Change Text Size : Normal Text Medium Text Large Text
Macular Hole
Macular holes occur right in the center of the macula. In most cases no underlying cause is found although in the younger age-group trauma is the leading etiology. Macular holes are classified in different stages as they evolve from a small defect in the center of the macula to a full-blown hole.

In its early stages it is possible for a macular hole to regress spontaneously. However when the hole fully opens the only effective treatment is vitrectomy. During the operation a membrane (Internal Limiting Membrane) that surrounds the hole is removed and a special gas (c3F8 or SF6) is placed in the eye. The gas serves as a tamponade, keeping the hole sealed as it heals. It is important for the patient to remain face-down after the operation for at least 7-10 days. This allows the gas bubble to prevent the hole from opening again.

Macular hole surgery is most successful when it is performed within the first 6 months of a hole opening and when the patients vision has not dropped severely. There is a risk of the hole reopening, retinal detachment, infection, bleeding, and progression of cataract.
Copyright 2009 Retina Institute of the Carolinas & The Macular Degeneration Center. All Rights Reserved.