Should Posterior Vitrectomy be Made a Priority in Ophthalmic Facilities of Sub Sahara Africa?

Oluleye Tunji Sunday*
Retina and Vitreous Unit, Department of Ophthalmology, University College Hospital, PMB 5116, Ibadan, Nigeria

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© Oluleye Tunji Sunday; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Retina and Vitreous Unit, Department of Ophthalmology, University College Hospital, PMB 5116, Ibadan, Nigeria; Tel: +2348023265594; Fax: +234 (2) 241 1768; E-mail:



Posterior vitrectomy facilities are lacking in Sub Sahara Africa due to paucity of trained personnel in vitreo retinal subspecialty. More cases are seen needing vitrectomy, especially cases with vitreous opacities and complications of cataract surgery as more residents are being trained. The review will aim to determine whether vitrectomy facility should be a priority as part of ophthalmic facility in the region.


A 3 year review was carried out. All cases of posterior vitrectomy performed at the retinal unit of the University College Hospital, Ibadan, Africa between 2008 and 20011 were retrieved. Indications, and visual outcome were documented. Proportions and percentages were used to analyse the data.


Sixty six posterior vitrectomies were performed during the period. The most common indication for vitrectomy was vitreous hemorrhage n=30 [45.5%].Complication of cataract surgery such as dropped intraocular lens 7 [10.7%], sclera fixated intra ocular lens 6 [9.2%], and dropped nucleus 5 [7.5%] were emerging indications. Other indications noted include complicated retinal detachments 4 (6.1%), membranectomy for posterior capsule opacity from pediatric cataract surgery 3 (4.5%) and congenital lens subluxation 2 (3.0%). Improved visual outcome was noted after surgery. Forty nine [75%] eyes were blind [visual acuity of < 3/60] before vitrectomy. This proportion dropped to 24 [37%] after vitrectomy with an additional 24% regaining navigational vision [visual acuity of 3/60 to Counting fingers at 1meter] .


Vitrectomy should be an integral part of eye care and its availability should be made a priority in ophthalmic facilities of Sub Sahara Africa, especially those involved in ophthalmology training.

Keywords: Cataract surgery complications, posterior vitrectomy, retinal, sub Sahara Africa, vitreous opacities.