Subretinal neovascularization is a term used to describe the
growth of abnormal blood vessels and scar tissue under the
macula. These vessels grow for a variety of reasons, especially
macular degeneration as well as certain types of inflammations.
The vessels can leak fluid, bleed, and cause a scar, and all of
these changes can cause loss of central or detail vision. Laser
treatment may be possible for subretinal neovascularization.
When laser treatment is not helpful or cannot be done, vitrectomy
surgery can be done to remove the subretinal neovascularization
and scar tissue as well as blood from under the retina.
Special instruments are placed through a surgically created
retinal hole to grasp, pull-on, and remove the subretinal
neovascularization. In eyes with a great deal of blood under the
retina, a drug may be placed under the retina to liquify the
blood clot before it is removed. After this a gas bubble is
placed in the eye and the retinal hole may then be treated with
laser. The patient is then required to remain in a facedown
position following surgery so that the gas bubble in the eye can
hold the retina in place while laser treatment creates a
It has not been determined whether submacular surgery is truly
helpful to preserve vision. Your surgeon will discuss with you
whether this surgery may possibly be helpful for your particular