A macular pucker is scar tissue that has formed on the eye's macula, located in the center of the thin layer of light-sensitive tissue called the retina. The macula provides the sharp, central vision we need for reading, driving, and seeing fine detail. A macular pucker can cause blurred and distorted central vision.
As we grow older, the thick vitreous gel in the middle of our eyes begins to shrink and pull away from the macula. As the vitreous pulls away, scar tissue may develop on the macula. Sometimes the scar tissue can warp and contract, causing the retina to wrinkle or become swollen or distorted. The macula normally lies flat against the back of the eye. When wrinkles, creases or swelling affect the macula, vision can become blurry and distorted and you may even have a blind spot in your central vision. It is unusual for someone to have a macular pucker in both eyes at the same time; therefore the symptoms of a macular pucker usually are only visible in one eye at a time. . If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of a macular pucker it is important to immediately contact Dr Calotti's office to have your retina thoroughly examined.
Not uncommonly, vision deteriorates from a macular pucker to the point where it affects daily activities. When it does, a macular pucker can be treated with vitrectomy surgery. Surgery consists of making very small incisions on the white part of the eye (the sclera). After the vitreous gel is removed, the surgeon peels a very thin membrane called the "internal limiting membrane" from the surface of the retina around the macular hole. A gas bubble is then placed in the vitreous cavity. Newer surgical techniques and instrumentation may allow the surgeon to perform the surgery in some cases through tiny "self-sealing" incisions that do not require sutures. Eye drops or ointments are used for several weeks after surgery to facilitate healing. The gas bubble will gradually go away over several weeks following surgery. While vision improves after surgery in most cases, it does not usually return to normal.