Outcomes of macular hole surgery: implications for surgical management and clinical governance

Eye (Lond). 2005 Aug;19(8):879-84. doi: 10.1038/sj.eye.6701679.


Purpose: The optimal method and timing of the surgical treatment for idiopathic macular holes remains unknown. The aim of this retrospective study was to identify factors associated with anatomical and visual success in macular hole surgery.

Methods: Case records of 55 patients undergoing macular hole surgery at three units in the 2-year period up to July 2002 were reviewed to identify factors associated with anatomical and visual success. The following potential prognosticators were evaluated: patient age, hole stage, hole latency prior to surgery, preoperative acuity, simultaneous phacoemulsification, and intraocular lens implantation, internal limiting membrane peeling with and/or without indocyanine green, and postoperative posturing.

Results: The duration of preoperative symptoms, indocyanine green-assisted internal limiting membrane peeling, hole stage, and better preoperative visual acuity were associated with both anatomical success and regaining a postoperative visual acuity of 6/12 or better.

Discussion: The closure rate in patients undergoing surgery within 1 year of onset was 94.0%, and in those waiting 1 year or more it was 47.4%. Clinical governance and quality issues should dictate that NHS macular hole surgery is available to all within 1 year of onset. This study showed no adverse effect of ICG dye retinal staining. The results support the use of a 'patient-friendly' approach of simultaneous cataract surgery with no prone postoperative posturing.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Coloring Agents
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Indocyanine Green
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phacoemulsification
  • Retinal Perforations / physiopathology
  • Retinal Perforations / surgery*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Visual Acuity


  • Coloring Agents
  • Indocyanine Green