'En bloc' dissection of epimacular membranes using aspiration delamination

Eye (Lond). 1996:10 ( Pt 1):47-52. doi: 10.1038/eye.1996.7.


'En bloc' dissection is a technique in which epiretinal membranes (ERM) are separated from the retina as a single lamina with a 20-gauge blunt flute needle. We used this technique to remove epimacular membranes of various aetiologies in a consecutive series of 25 eyes, with a minimum follow-up of 5 months (mean 10.4 months). Small residual epicentres of ERM away from the fovea remained in 7 (29.1%) eyes only; 3 were inside and 4 outside the temporal vascular arcades. Postoperatively 64% (16/25) of patients achieved a final visual acuity of 6/12 or better and 76% (19/25) achieved a final visual acuity of 6/18 or better. Progressive lens opacities were the most important postoperative complication in phakic eyes that significantly affected the visual results. This technique successfully removed epimacular membranes over a wide area, without the need to find a starting edge or the use of sharp instruments near the retina. Diaphanous ERMs with ill-defined borders and tenaciously adherent membranes could be removed with minimal trauma to the underlying retina. Histopathological and immunohistochemical examination of 10 ERMs demonstrated the absence of internal limiting lamina in 6 (60%).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lens, Crystalline / pathology
  • Macula Lutea / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ophthalmology / instrumentation
  • Ophthalmology / methods*
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retinal Diseases / surgery*
  • Suction / instrumentation
  • Suction / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Visual Acuity