How Much Does a Vitrectomy Cost?

Written by: Staff
Last Updated:  August 13, 2018

A vitrectomy, considered to be a low-risk surgical procedure, is designed to eliminate the vitreous gel from the center of your eye.

Being removed for a variety of reasons, Healthline notes it’s often removed in order for your surgeon to access your retina to obtain better access to the back of the eye.

The success rate, even if you’re older than 60 years old, is about 90 percent.

Vitrectomy Cost
retina” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by s13n1

The cost of a vitrectomy surgery in the USA

The cost of a vitrectomy will greatly depend on your health insurance policy, the surgeon performing the procedure, what needs to be done during the surgery, the facility and your geographical location.  From our research online, the average costs, without any health insurance, will range anywhere from $1,000 to $7,000 per eye.  Based on the multiple sources we found online, the prices really came down to how much the facility was willing to haggle if you didn’t have insurance and how much needed to be done during the surgery.

However, if you do have health insurance, it should be covered as long as it’s medically necessary.  In this case, you will solely be responsible for your co-pays and deductibles, but in most cases, even if you have a high deductible plan, the insurance rate will be much lower than someone who doesn’t have an insurance policy., a Harvard-educated physician, offered its pricing via its official price sheet.  A vitrectomy with a focal endolaser would cost $1,141 if you paid cash up front, whereas a vitrectomy with the removal of the membrane of the retina would cost $1,368.

On a group, a few members talked about the costs of a vitrectomy.  One member, in particular, said he was billed $12,000, but he was only responsible for $1,000, while another said don’t be afraid of the high costs as many professionals are willing to knock down the price to about $6,000 if you haggle.

Why it’s done

Aside from being performed to access your retina, it can also be done if your vitreous humor is either inflamed, infected or filled with blood.  It can also help treat other conditions, including:

How is it done?

Before the surgery, your doctor will more than likely ask you to take a few days off work and bring someone in with you so they can drive you home after you’re ready to go home.

Once admitted and prepared, you will be given a mild anesthesia to number your eye, but in some cases, a general anesthesia can be considered if you prefer this option.

During the procedure, the surgeon will fully open your eyelids, followed by cutting through the first layer of your eye tissue.

Once this first layer is cut, the white tissue, known as the sclera, is cut into.

In these cuts, he or she will insert cutters, forceps and scissors, followed by inserting a fiber-optic light into one of the lights in order to see inside of the eye.

When able to see inside, the vitreous and any necessary tissue will be removed and replaced with another substance, which is often air, gas or a saline solution.  Eventually, this substance will replace the fluid your eye was able to create naturally.

Depending on your circumstances, any other surgeries, at this time, will be performed to either repair your retina and/or remove damaged tissue.

Lastly, all tools and lights will be removed from the cut and the openings in your eye will be stitched, but in some cases, stitches may not be required at all as your eye will be able ot naturally heal itself without them.

The entire surgery, from start to finish, lasts two to three hours.

Recovery period

After the procedure, your doctor will monitor your position and will let you know when you can go home depending on your vitals.  Most healthy people are able to go home the same day, but in some cases, if other procedures were performed, you may be asked to stay overnight.

While you’re recovering, you will need to take prescribed eye drops as prescribed and will be asked to refrain from driving until your doctor says your vision has returned to normal.  Also, depending on your pain tolerance, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may be recommended as well.

Directly after the surgery, you will also be asked to lay your head on one side to help maintain pressure in your eye.

Vitrectomy risks and complications

As per, risks and complications may include cataracts, high-pressure buildup inside the eye, bleeding into the vitreous gel, retinal detachment and/or an infection inside of the eye.

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