Floaters Treatments

What is the Vitreous?

Vitrectomy is performed by retina specialists to repair various retinal diseases.  Randall Wong, M.D.As a retina specialist, my specialty niche is disease pertaining to the retina and vitreous.   The retina is the light sensitive tissue which lines the inside of the eye.

The vitreous is the gel like substance which fills most of the eye in the posterior chamber (that portion of the eye behind the iris and lens).

What Does the Vitreous Do?

The vitreous is critical to embryonic development, that is, it’s part of the development of the eye.

The vitreous should be optically clear.  You should not be able to see your own vitreous although your eye doctor should be able to see all of your vitreous!

Once we are born, there is no practical function of the vitreous.  Because it is 2-3 times thicker than water, it potentially could “plug” cuts or holes into the eye…kind of like putting a finger in a dike.

Vitreous Causes Retinal Detachments

Many of the diseases I treat as a retina specialist stem from the vitreous.  If it weren’t for the vitreous, there would not be a retinal surgical sub-specialty – there wouldn’t be any diseases upon which to operate!

The vitreous causes;

Retinal Tears – the vitreous is adherent to the retina.  Forces tugging on the retina can cause a retinal tear.  This may happen during a PVD (posterior vitreous detachment) or trauma.
Retinal Detachments – There are two basic types of retinal detachments.   The vitreous is implicated in both.

Rhegmatogenous retinal detachment – these are the most common types of retinal detachments emanating from a retinal tear.  Fluid migrates through the tear and underneath the retina…causing a retinal detachment.

Certain diseases, such as advance diabetic retinopathy can lead to a “traction” retinal detachment.   These detachments occur when sheets of protein/scar tissue grow on the surface of the retina and start to detach the retina by “pulling” or causing traction.

These sheets of protein develop in between the vitreous and retina.

Epiretinal membranes are microscopic types of traction retinal detachments as are macular holes.

Diabetic macular edema improves if a PVD develops or a vitrectomy is performed.

Floaters are a common annoyance and for some impair the vision by causing spots in the vision, glare or blurriness.

What Does this Mean?

This is a vestigial tissue, the vitreous is important in our development.   Once born, we don’t really need the vitreous.

A vitrectomy, the core operation performed by a retinal specialist, removes the vitreous and is performed a part of the procedure to fix a variety of the problems noted above.

The vitreous does not need to be replaced – we simply don’t need it.  During the operation, artificial saline is pumped into the eye.  After the vitrectomy, the artificial saline is replaced by our own.

Floaters FOV

New Website for FOV and Webinar!

Vitrectomy for the removal of Floaters, Randall Wong, M.D.I have started a separate website for patients suffering from floaters and have scheduled two webinars to discuss the treatment of floaters.

There are many patients who have “floaters” which decrease their vision.  “FOV” means “Floater Only Vitrectomy” where a vitrectomy is performed to remove the vitreous, and hence, the disturbing floaters contained within.

Webinars:  FAQ’s about FOV

I have selected two separate dates to host the webinars and to discuss the more common questions and concerns regarding the treatment of floaters.  The information should be similar and have been scheduled at different times of the day and week to allow for as many time zones as possible.

You can register for either one or both.  They are free!  Just click to register.

“FAQ’s About FOV” (Webinar)


New Website:

I started a new website for patients suffering from floaters.

I do not want to bias this site ( with information and discussion about floaters and felt that it was time to start a separate site.  Also, there are numerous forums and chat rooms for patients suffering from floaters.

I wanted to start a place where constructive and accurate information about floaters and their treatment could be discussed.  I’ve never felt comfortable “invading” other sites, so I started my own website.

What Does this Mean?

I’m proud of everything we’ve achieved on this site,  I’d like to duplicate this type of community on as I understand the needs of the two communities will be different.

The website is technically up and running, but will require a bit more effort to get some quality content so it may stand on its own.

If you are interested in signing up for the webinars, they are free.  The webinars will present the same content and I expect the Q & A sessions to be similar.

See you there and on the new site!


“Other” Eye Conditions Floaters

What is the Vitreous?

A Posterior Vitreous Detachment May Cure VMT
The vitreous is a gel-like substance filling most of the eye.

The vitreous is the gel-like substance which fills most of the inside of your eye.  The vitreous is composed mainly of water and is very similar to a jelly-fish; i.e., a substance which is mainly water, but still has substance.

The vitreous fills the posterior chamber of the eye which is the space behind the iris and the lens.

Purpose of the Vitreous

The vitreous is a vestigial tissue.  Like the appendix, it serves no purpose.  Important for development, once we are born, there is no physiologic function.  We don’t need it.

When I examine patients, I am able to see your vitreous; however, your own vitreous is usually invisible to you.  In other words, light gets transmitted perfectly through your own eye and vitreous without casting shadows or creating any visible shapes.

It is normally optically clear.

Other than filling space, it serves no purpose.

Diseases of the Vitreous

There are no diseases of the vitreous.  Blood (vitreous hemorrhage) and inflammatory cells (vitritis) may accumulate in the vitreous, but these conditions arise secondary to other complications or diseases of the eye.

The vitreous can; however, cause a variety of problems.  In fact, almost every surgery performed by a retinal specialist involves the vitreous.  Below are common indications for retinal surgery and all involve the vitreous in a variety of ways.

Removing the Vitreous is Safe

When operating, I often perform a vitrectomy.  Vitrectomy surgery basically involves removing the vitreous and is a basic part of almost every retinal operation.  When performing an FOV (vitrectomy to remove floaters or blood), simply removing the vitreous is curative.  With other conditions, the vitreous needs to be removed to facilitate operating on the retinal surface.

Modern vitrectomy operations are now safer than modern cataract surgery.  25 gauge technology allows me to operate more safely and efficiently with more comfort to you and a rapid healing time.

What Does this Mean?

Without the vitreous, there would be far fewer retinal surgeries, if any at all.  The vitreous only causes problems.  In general, removing the vitreous is curative for the retinal diseases listed above.  This also explains why most of the diseases are unlikely to recur after an operation.

Luckily, with modern instrumentation, removal of the vitreous has become “routine” compared to even 5-10 years ago and my ability to restore your vision and prevent complications has never been better.




Webinar: The Evaluation and Treatment of Floaters

I am hosting my first webinar.  Two similar events to review the evaluation and management of floaters.   The webinars will be live and I plan to present the same material.  They are free and anyone interested is welcome to register.

What is a Webinar?

Our webinar on floaters will be a live presentation, followed by real-time interactive discussion.  Specifically, I plan a short Power Point presentation followed by a question and answer (Q & A) session.  The whole event will last an hour.  I’ve scheduled two different times to accommodate as many different people and their schedules as possible.

This is a novel idea and I’d love as much participation as possible.  Please spread the word via your own links and communities.

Webinar for Floaters

Webinar for Floaters, Randall Wong, M.D.Why a Webinar?

I really hoped to do this via a Google Hangout, but it seems, at this time, the number of participants is limited.  I am probably overlooking something, but have decided to go with a webinar.

As with a blog, webinars are interactive. Unlike a blog, the interaction is live and in real-time.  I am looking forward to communicating in real time with so many of you who have sent in comments over the past few years and look forward to greeting many more you…online!

I chosen a subject, floaters, or vitreous opacification, which is very common.  Floaters are very common and can be from a variety of causes.  Floaters, depending upon the causes and/or visual goals, may or may not need to be treated.

We can discuss Ocriplasmin, Laser Treatment, FOV….whatever you want!

My point is that many, many of you may find relevance to this particular subject and presentation.

You Must Register

Simply  click on the links below and follow the directions.  Participation and registration are free.

Tuesday, February 5, 9 PM EST

Sunday, February 10, 3 PM EST

What Does This Mean?

Really trying to try a new way to interact with my online community.  This will allow me/us to interact with one another simultaneously, versus reading a thread on the blog.  This may prove to be very exciting, stimulating and informative!

See you there!

Randall V. Wong, M.D. 
Ophthalmologist, Retina Specialist
Fairfax, Virginia


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