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Vitreomacular Traction

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Vitreomacular traction (or VMT) refers to an abnormal attachment between the vitreous gel which fills the eyeball and the central part of the retina (the macula).  This attachment alters the normal macular contour and can cause decreased vision or distortion.   

How does vitreomacular traction occur?

At birth, the vitreous gel is clear and firm. With age or after surgery, the vitreous liquifies and begins to separate from the retina (a vitreous detachment).  In most eyes, the surface of the gel separates cleanly from the retina.  In the periphery, if there is an abnormally tight vitreoretinal adhesion, a retinal tear or detachment could develop.  If there is tight central attachment, central macular deformation can develop which results in VMT.  

 

What is the treatment for vitreomacular traction?​​

Most cases of VMT do not require treatment and are initially managed with observation. The vitreomacular adhesions can resolve on their own and treatment can be avoided.   If symptoms are more severe or progressive, treatment might be indicated.  Most commonly, treatment involves vitrectomy surgery.  In some patients who are not good surgical candidates, alternative treatments include an intravitreal injection of Jetra (ocriplasmin) or a small gas bubble (pneumatic vitreolysis).  Although vision often improves after treatment, residual visual defects can persist.  

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