Management of vitreous floaters: an international survey the European VitreoRetinal Society Floaters study report

Eye (Lond). 2020 May;34(5):825-834. doi: 10.1038/s41433-020-0825-0. Epub 2020 Apr 20.


Background/objectives: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of pars plana vitrectomy for symptomatic floaters.

Subjects/methods: Forty-eight vitreoretinal surgeons from 16 countries provided information on 581 eyes who underwent vitrectomy for floaters in this retrospective survey study conducted by European VitreoRetinal Society. Percentage symptomatic improvement, incidence of retinal tears/detachment and post-vitrectomy cataract surgery, and the factors associated with satisfaction and complications were investigated.

Results: Ninety-two percent were satisfied with the results, with 86.3% reporting complete resolution of daily-life symptoms. Overall satisfaction was lower in patients with smaller vitreous opacities at presentation (OR:0.4). Iatrogenic retinal breaks occurred in 29 eyes (5%). Core vitrectomy and cut rates of 1500-4000 or >4000 cuts/min were associated with lower risk of retinal breaks than complete vitrectomy (OR:0.05) and cut rates < 1500 cuts/min (OR: 0.03, 0.12, respectively). Fourteen eyes (2.4%) developed retinal detachment at a median of 3 months; and 84 (48.6%) developed cataract at a median of 16 months post-vitrectomy.

Conclusions: Pars plana vitrectomy resulted in high patient satisfaction with relatively low rate of severe complications in a large group of patients. The procedure may be safer when core vitrectomy and cut rates > 1500 cuts/min are favoured. Proper patient selection and informed consent are the most important aspects of surgery.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Retinal Detachment* / surgery
  • Retinal Perforations* / surgery
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Vitrectomy
  • Vitreous Body / surgery