To compare clinical outcomes in eyes with macular hole (MH) managed by either facedown (FD) or no-FD (nFD) postoperative positioning protocols.
This is a prospective randomized cohort study. Eighty eyes of 80 consecutive patients with MH who had undergone vitrectomy surgery with internal limiting membrane peeling and gas tamponade were included in this study. Forty eyes of 40 patients who were kept in FD position for 3 days after surgery were assigned to the FD group, 40 eyes of 40 patients with nFD positioning were assigned to the nFD group. Macular hole was examined with swept-source optical coherence tomography images at 1 day, 2 days, 3 days, 2 weeks, 1 month, and 3 months after surgery. The MH closure rate and change of best-corrected visual acuity were compared.
At postoperative Day 1, MH was closed in 24 of 32 eyes (with clear optical coherence tomography images) (75%) in the FD group and 23 of 30 eyes (with clear optical coherence tomography images) (77%) in the nFD group (P = 0.97). At postoperative Day 2, MH closure was confirmed in 32 of 36 eyes (88.9%) in the FD group and in 31 of 33 eyes (94%) in the nFD group (P = 0.84), and the results were unchanged at Day 3. At 2 weeks after surgery, clear optical coherence tomography images were acquired from all eyes in both groups, and MH closure was confirmed in 36 of 40 eyes (90%) in the FD group and in 37 of 40 (92.5%) eyes in the nFD group (P = 0.91). Macular hole closure was not achieved in eyes that were kept open by Day 3 after surgery, and none of the eyes with confirmed MH closure by Day 3 had a reopening of the MH by 3 months. The distribution of macular configuration at 3 months was not significantly different between the two groups (P = 0.96). There was no difference in terms of the improvement in best-corrected visual acuity (Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study letters gain) between the 2 groups at 1 month (P = 0.22) and 3 months (P = 0.45).
The nFD protocol neither delayed the MH closure nor decreased the final closure rate after vitrectomy surgery. Therefore, postoperative prone position seems to be unnecessary for all MH repair procedures.
After vitrectomy surgery, no-facedown posture would achieve results comparable with facedown posture, not only in terms of final macular hole closure rate but also in relation to the dynamics of macular hole closure. Therefore, postoperative facedown position seems to be unnecessary for all macular hole repair procedures.
*Department of Ophthalmology, Wuhan General Hospital of PLA (Clinical Medicine Center of Eye Fundus Laser in Hubei Provience), Wuhan, Hubei, China; and
†Department of Ophthalmology, Taihe Hospital, Hubei University of Medicine, Shiyan, Hubei, China.
Reprint requests: Xiao Chen, MD, Department of Ophthalmology, Wuhan General Hospital of PLA (Clinical Medicine Center of Eye Fundus Laser in Hubei Provience), 627 Wuluo Road, Wuhan 430070, China; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Supported by the “Key Clinical Scientific Research Project of Healthy and Family Planning Commission of Hubei Province” No: wj2017H0034.
None of the authors has any financial/conflicting interests to disclose.