Intravitreal Gas

When is Intravitreal Gas used?

An intravitreal gas bubble may be used for any of the following conditions:

Retinal Detachment/ Retinal Tears  – The gas helps to float the retina in place and keep it in position whilst the retina heals.

Macular Hole – The gas acts as an internal support helping to push the edges of the hole closed.

Submacular Haemorrhage – The gas is used to displace blood away from the centre vision.

Does it affect vision?

When you look through a gas bubble, vision is very poor – you can often only see movement. The edge of the gas bubble is seen as a black line at the top of vision. As the bubble absorbs this line descends through the field of vision. Depending on the gas, it can take between 2-6 weeks for the gas bubble to dissolve.  As the gas dissolves, patients may notice that the bubble breaks up into several smaller bubbles until they finally disappear.

It may be necessary to position after surgery. This allows the gas to press against the area of the retina that is damaged

ie  Put the bubble on the trouble

Correct post-operative posturing helps to increase the overall success of the surgery. You will be advised on how long you are required to posture for following your operation.


It is important not to fly whilst you have gas in the eye. You should also avoid travelling to high altitudes. Intraocular gas has potential to expand at high altitudes causing increased pressure, which affects the blood supply to the eye.

There are also certain types of anaesthetic (eg nitrous oxide) that can’t be given with intraocular gas. You should inform all health professionals if you are to have a general anaesthetic. You will be given a green coloured medi-alert bracelet that speaks for you if you cant speak for yourself.  This must be worn at all times until the gas bubble dissolves completely.