To evaluate the rate of sclerotomy suturing in a large series of primary 23-gauge vitrectomies.
Retrospective chart review of 23-gauge transconjunctival pars plana vitrectomies performed between 2008 and 2012 in a multisurgeon retina practice. Patients with a history of retinal surgery, combination of vitrectomy and scleral buckling surgery, or intraoperative conversion of a sclerotomy to 20-gauge were excluded from the study. Vitrectomies were divided into two types according to their degree of complexity and intraoperative use of instrumentation. Demographic and clinical data were gathered from the chart. Location and number of sutured sclerotomies were obtained from the operative report.
A total of 589 eyes from 569 patients were included in this study. At least 1 sclerotomy was sutured in 227 eyes (38.5%): 69 (30.4%) had 1 sutured sclerotomy, 52 (22.9%) had 2 sutured sclerotomies, and 106 (46.7%) had 3 sutured sclerotomies. Sclerotomy suturing was significantly related to the surgical technique (P < 0.001), type of tamponade agent (P = 0.048), and complexity of the vitrectomy (P < 0.001). The incidence of postoperative hypotony at Day 1 was 2.2% and all cases returned to normal intraocular pressure at 1 week. There were no recognized complications related to sclerotomies regardless of suturing.
The factors that increased the rate of sclerotomy suturing were the absence of tamponade agent and higher complexity of the procedure. There was a high variability in the rate of suturing between the surgeons.