Oman Journal of Ophthalmology

: 2022  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 373--375

Evolution and successful management of a large postvitrectomy macular hole

Dhananjay Shukla1, Jay Kalliath2,  
1 Retina-Vitreous Service, Ratan Jyoti Netralaya, Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, India
2 Department of Ophthalmology, NMC Specialty Hospital, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Correspondence Address:
Dhananjay Shukla
Ratan Jyoti Netralaya, Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh


We report the successful closure of a large postvitrectomy macular hole by temporal extension of internal limiting membrane (ILM) peeling. A 25-year-old man underwent pars plana vitrectomy, ILM peeling, and perfluoropropane gas tamponade for optic pit with chronic macular schisis and outer lamellar hole. The macular schisis deroofed into a large, full-thickness macular hole postoperatively. Optical coherence tomography revealed the horizontally oval shape of the secondary macular hole (658 × 824 μ). The best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) was 20/200. Since ILM had already been peeled and the macular hole was widest horizontally, we combined a repeat gas tamponade with temporal extension of the ILM rhexis. Closure of the large macular hole with no central defect was observed and documented after the gas fill of the vitreous cavity was reduced sufficiently. BCVA remained unchanged for the initial months but gradually improved to 20/63 by the final follow-up visit at 5 years. A simple horizontal extension of ILM peel – in line with the shape of the hole – with repeat gas tamponade successfully closed a large secondary macular hole with progressive visual improvement.

How to cite this article:
Shukla D, Kalliath J. Evolution and successful management of a large postvitrectomy macular hole.Oman J Ophthalmol 2022;15:373-375

How to cite this URL:
Shukla D, Kalliath J. Evolution and successful management of a large postvitrectomy macular hole. Oman J Ophthalmol [serial online] 2022 [cited 2023 Feb 9 ];15:373-375
Available from:

Full Text


Optic pits are rare congenital anomalies of the optic nerve head (prevalence: 2 in 10,000) which cause visual loss only in the third and fourth decades of life due to waxing and waning accumulation of fluid within and under the macula.[1] The surgery is therefore usually performed on young adults with a variable history of visual loss. Subretinal and multilayered fluid in macula is associated with worse surgical outcomes and postoperative complications including macular hole formation.[2],[3] When large, these macular holes are refractory to closure, more so when the internal limiting membrane (ILM) has already been peeled. We report the successful management of a large macular hole following vitrectomy for optic pit and long-standing maculopathy with a novel technique: Horizontal extension of the area of ILM peeling conforming to the shape of the macular hole. We are unaware of any report in the literature on matching the shape of ILM peeling to the shape of a macular hole.

 Case Report

A 25-year-old man presented at a tertiary eye care hospital in India with gradual diminution of vision in the left eye for 5 years. His best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) was 20/20 in the right eye and 20/120 in the left. Anterior segment biomicroscopy was unremarkable in both eyes. Fundus was normal in the right eye; the left eye had a temporal optic disc pit with macular elevation, and retinal pigment epithelial disturbance [Figure 1]a and [Figure 2]a. Optical coherence tomography of the left eye revealed a multilayered macular schisis and outer lamellar hole, and central macular thickness was 647 μ. The patient was advised vitrectomy, but he sought further consultation and returned for surgery only after a year. The fundus picture remained largely unchanged, but the schisis had become extensive (central macular thickness 930 μ), with a near full-thickness outer lamellar hole and wafer-thin roof [Figure 1]b. He underwent vitrectomy, laser demarcation of the optic pit, ILM peeling, and nonexpansile perfluoropropane (C3F8 15%) gas tamponade having been warned about the potential complications. A full-thickness macular hole was observed after the gas was absorbed. Since ILM had already been peeled, we waited for a month to observe for spontaneous reduction in the size of the hole. However, the macular hole enlarged from 518 μ to 824 μ (horizontal diameter) over this period [Figure 1]c and [Figure 1]d. BCVA, which was unchanged postoperatively in spite of macular hole formation, had now dropped to 20/200. Since the ILM had already been peeled over the posterior pole, and the macular hole was observed to be horizontally oval (vertical diameter: 658 μ), the ILM rhexis was enlarged only in the horizontal direction (by approximately one-disc diameter) [Figure 2]b; C3F8 gas (15%) was repeated for tamponade. The macular hole was observed to be closed 1 month after resurgery [Figure 1]e. BCVA remained unchanged for about a year notwithstanding the cataract surgery at 10 months but gradually improved to 20/63 by the last follow-up over a period of 5 years [Figure 1]f.{Figure 1}{Figure 2}


A conventional ILM peeling was performed for the optic pit with schisis, having observed excellent outcomes with this procedure previously in similar cases in spite of secondary macular hole formation.[3] However, the size of the macular hole was much bigger than those encountered previously;[3] and looked unlikely to respond to merely repeat gas tamponade. Since the hole was observed to be horizontally oval, we presumed the centrifugal tangential traction to be more predominant in the horizontal meridian. The temporal retina is also more compliant for centripetal movement after the release of traction.[4] Charles and colleagues have reported a temporal arcuate retinotomy for the treatment of large macular holes on the same principle.[5] Retinal autograft has also been proposed to close the defect in similar-sized macular holes.[6] A temporal extension of ILM rhexis appealed to us as a less aggressive alternative to the aforementioned procedures. Along with a long-acting gas tamponade, the procedure helped the extra-large macular hole to close rapidly and completely. Nonspecific enlargement of area of ILM peeling for refractory macular hole has been described previously with variable anatomic and functional success,[7] but in this case, ILM had already been peeled up to the arcades. Another surgical option suitable for a secondary macular hole is a free flap of ILM, harvested outside the arcades. This technique indeed reported 90% closure rates in a large case series.[8] The series included two macular holes secondary to ILM removal in optic pit maculopathy. While the smaller hole (281 μ) closed well with significant visual improvement, the larger macular hole (430 μ) showed a Type 2 (flat-open)[9] closure with no visual improvement. The free flap also required more manipulation and necessitated leaving viscoelastic substance in the eye.[8] Enlarging the previous ILM peel according to the shape of macular hole was simpler, less invasive, and made intuitive sense. In a chronic schisis with very large secondary macular hole and underlying retinal pigment epithelial degeneration, we obtained a Type 1 closure[9] with significant visual improvement. It is noteworthy that the visual improvement started only after a year but continued up to the last follow-up at 5 years. Such gradual incremental recovery is expected in a large macular hole.[10] The variable functional success in previous studies on large macular holes could partly be due to a shorter follow-up.[5],[6],[7] We report the successful closure of a large secondary macular hole with a simple, minimalistic procedure conforming to the shape of the macular hole.

Declaration of patient consent

The authors certify that they have obtained all appropriate patient consent forms. In the form, the patient has given his consent for his images and other clinical information to be reported in the journal. The patient understands that his name and initials will not be published and due efforts will be made to conceal identity, but anonymity cannot be guaranteed.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


1Steel DH, Suleman J, Murphy DC, Song A, Dodds S, Rees J. Optic disc pit maculopathy: A two-year nationwide prospective population-based study. Ophthalmology 2018;125:1757-64.
2Bloch E, Georgiadis O, Lukic M, da Cruz L. Optic disc pit maculopathy: New perspectives on the natural history. Am J Ophthalmol 2019;207:159-69.
3Shukla D, Kalliath J, Tandon M, Vijayakumar B. Vitrectomy for optic disk pit with macular schisis and outer retinal dehiscence. Retina 2012;32:1337-42.
4Ishida M, Ichikawa Y, Higashida R, Tsutsumi Y, Ishikawa A, Imamura Y. Retinal displacement toward optic disc after internal limiting membrane peeling for idiopathic macular hole. Am J Ophthalmol 2014;157:971-7.
5Charles S, Randolph JC, Neekhra A, Salisbury CD, Littlejohn N, Calzada JI. Arcuate retinotomy for the repair of large macular holes. Ophthalmic Surg Lasers Imaging Retina 2013;44:69-72.
6Moysidis SN, Koulisis N, Adrean SD, Charles S, Chetty N, Chhablani JK, et al. Autologous retinal transplantation for primary and refractory macular holes and macular hole retinal detachments: The global consortium. Ophthalmology 2021;128:672-85.
7Kuriyan AE, Hariprasad SM, Fraser CE. Approaches to refractory or large macular holes. Ophthalmic Surg Lasers Imaging Retina 2020;51:375-82.
8Morizane Y, Shiraga F, Kimura S, Hosokawa M, Shiode Y, Kawata T, et al. Autologous transplantation of the internal limiting membrane for refractory macular holes. Am J Ophthalmol 2014;157:861-9.e1.
9Kang SW, Ahn K, Ham DI. Types of macular hole closure and their clinical implications. Br J Ophthalmol 2003;87:1015-9.
10Purtskhvanidze K, Treumer F, Junge O, Hedderich J, Roider J, Hillenkamp J. The long-term course of functional and anatomical recovery after macular hole surgery. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2013;54:4882-91.