Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy, or PDR, is the more advanced stage of diabetic eye disease. It happens when the retina starts growing new blood vessels. This is called neovascularization. These fragile new vessels often bleed into the vitreous. If they only bleed a little, you might see a few dark floaters. If they bleed a lot, it might block all vision.

These new blood vessels can form scar tissue. Scar tissue can cause problems with the macula or lead to a detached retina. PDR is very serious, and can reduce both your central and peripheral (side) vision.

If you have advanced PDR, your ophthalmologist may recommend surgery called vitrectomy. During this surgery, your doctor removes vitreous gel and blood from leaking vessels in the back of your eye. This allows light rays to focus properly on the retina again.

Like any surgery, vitrectomy has risks. They include:

  • Eye infection
  • Bleeding in your eye
  • A detached retina (where the retina lifts away from the back of the eye)
  • Glaucoma, when pressure increases inside the eye
  • Cataract, when the lens in your eye becomes cloudy

Your doctor will talk about these risks and how vitrectomy surgery may help you. Please do not hesitate to call our office if you have questions about your upcoming surgery.