To describe the anatomic evolution of full-thickness macular hole closure after the inverted internal limiting membrane (ILM) flap technique.
A retrospective review of 39 eyes (38 patients) with a full-thickness macular hole treated with the inverted ILM flap technique was performed. Ophthalmic examinations and imaging were performed preoperatively and postoperatively.
Macular changes in the early postoperative period included flap closure (15.4%), U-shaped closure (17.9%), V-shaped closure (33.3%), W-shaped closure (28.2%), gap closure (2.6%), and gap open (2.6%). Flap closure was associated with low myopia and shorter axial length (P < 0.05). Two types of flap closure were observed. Type 1 was characterized by gap opening with an ILM cap, followed by a thickened ILM band drawing the edges of the macular hole closer with subsequent external limiting membrane formation; Type 2 was characterized by gap closure with an ILM cap, followed by gliotic proliferation filling the gap. Flap closure configuration disappeared within 4 months postoperatively. At the last follow-up, foveal contours were U-shaped closure (25.6%), V-shaped closure (35.9%), W-shaped closure (35.9%), and gap open (2.6%).
Two types of flap closure were observed in the early postoperative period. Several patterns of the foveal contour were observed in the late period. The presence of the ILM flap predicts eventual hole closure. These findings require confirmation and further elucidation of their possible clinical significance.