Visual field loss after macular hole surgery

Ophthalmology. 1996 Jul;103(7):1069-77. doi: 10.1016/s0161-6420(96)30565-4.


Background: Vitrectomy has been successfully used for treating idiopathic macular holes. Although macular hole surgery has been successful and is generally regarded as a safe procedure, various complications have been reported. The authors report eight patients with symptomatic peripheral visual field loss occurring after vitrectomy for macular holes.

Methods: Over a 3-year period, vitrectomy with removal of the posterior cortical vitreous and fluid-gas exchange was performed on 50 eyes of 47 patients with idiopathic macular holes. Eight patients reported visual field loss postoperatively, and Goldmann visual fields were obtained. The clinical characteristics and outcomes of the group of patients with visual field loss were compared with the group of patients without visual field loss.

Results: Postoperatively, significant peripheral visual field loss was documented in eight patients. The macular holes were anatomically closed in seven eyes (87.5%) of these patients compared with 37 (88.1%) of 42 eyes in the group of patients with no symptomatic visual field loss. The visual field loss was not associated with age, sex, macular hole stage, postoperative intraocular pressure, or history of hypertension or coronary artery disease. The etiology of visual field loss was unclear in six patients.

Conclusion: Vitrectomy for idiopathic macular holes can result in significant peripheral visual field loss. The etiology of this complication usually is unknown.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Coronary Disease / complications
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / complications
  • Intraocular Pressure
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Retinal Perforations / surgery*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Vision Disorders / etiology*
  • Visual Acuity
  • Visual Field Tests
  • Visual Fields*
  • Vitrectomy / adverse effects*