Does 23-gauge sutureless vitrectomy modify the risk of postoperative retinal detachment after macular surgery? A comparison with 20-gauge vitrectomy

Retina. 2011 May;31(5):902-8. doi: 10.1097/IAE.0b013e3182069aa4.


Purpose: To compare the cumulative risk of retinal detachment (RD) after macular surgery with 23-gauge sutureless vitrectomy and with 20-gauge vitrectomy.

Methods: A single-center retrospective comparative study was conducted, comparing eyes operated for epiretinal membrane, macular hole, vitreomacular traction, and internal limiting membrane peeling. The 23-gauge group included 349 eyes operated consecutively between June 2007 and December 2008. The 20-gauge group included 346 eyes operated between October 2003 and September 2007.

Results: After a 6-month follow-up, the cumulative probability of RD was 1.1% in the 23-gauge group and 3.5% in the 20-gauge group (P = 0.04). With a median follow-up of 14 months (range, 6-30 months) in the 23-gauge group and 30 months (range, 6-72 months) in the 20-gauge group, the cumulative probability of RD was, respectively, 1.1% and 4.9% (P = 0.04; log-rank test). Overall, RD was observed in 7 of 96 cases after macular hole surgery (7.3%), in 11 of 478 cases after epiretinal membrane surgery (2.3%), and in 3 of 70 cases after vitreomacular traction surgery (4.3%) (P = 0.14; log-rank test).

Conclusion: After a short-term follow-up, a lower rate of postoperative RD was observed in the 23-gauge group. Sutureless 23-gauge vitrectomy appears safe when considering the risk of postoperative RD. Prospective and long-term studies are still needed to confirm these results.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microsurgery / methods*
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control*
  • Probability
  • Retinal Detachment / etiology
  • Retinal Detachment / prevention & control*
  • Retinal Diseases / surgery*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Suture Techniques*
  • Vitrectomy / methods*