Purpose: To assess whether performing an air or gas exchange at the conclusion of a microincision vitrectomy procedure is beneficial regarding the rate of endophthalmitis.
Methods: This was a collaborative, multicenter, retrospective chart review of 2,336 eyes that underwent microincision sutureless vitrectomy (23 or 25 gauge) with either SF6 or C3F8 gas endotamponade for macular hole between January 2008 and December 2009. For all eyes, the search methodology was structured to identify the main outcome measure, which was the occurrence of acute postoperative endophthalmitis (<6 weeks after pars plana vitrectomy).
Results: Of the cumulative 2,336 consecutive cases over a 2-year period, only 1 (0.04%) had postoperative endophthalmitis. All eyes had near-complete gas-fluid exchange at the end of surgery; C3F8 was the most common endotamponade agent. The majority of cases were performed with 23-gauge vitrectomy. No other complications were noted.
Conclusion: Endophthalmitis was a rare occurrence in this large series of gas-filled eyes after macular hole surgery (0.04%). Gas endotamponade after microincision sutureless vitrectomy may be beneficial in reducing the risk of postoperative endophthalmitis; however, additional studies are necessary to make a definitive recommendation.