A pars plana vitrectomy with removal of retained lens fragments is an outpatient surgical procedure called a pars plana vitrectomy. It may be performed under under twilight (awake, relaxed, and painless) or general anesthesia.
The retina specialist places 3 small ports that are less than 0.5 millimeters in size through the white of the eye and into the vitreous cavity. Fluid is infused into the vitreous cavity while the surgeon uses a vitrectomy probe to carefully free the vitreous from any remaining lens fragments. The lens may be dense enough that a special instrument called a fragmatome must be used to break up the lens with ultrasound energy. The surgeon then carefully evaluates the eye to confirm there are no retinal tears. An eye patch and eye shield are placed on the eye. An intraocular lens may or may not be inserted into the eye at this time. The surgery is not typically painful. Tylenol is all that is needed for pain.