Epiretinal Membrane2022-03-07T09:51:10+00:00

Restore clarity of vision with epiretinal membrane surgery in Auckland

Discover how this procedure could significantly improve your sight so you can keep enjoying life and prevent further vision loss

Book an appointment

Restore clarity of vision with epiretinal membrane surgery in Auckland

Discover how this procedure could significantly improve your sight so you can keep enjoying life and prevent further vision loss

Book an appointment
Reclaim your vision

Discover how this latest no-stitch surgery can give you clearer vision with a faster recovery than traditional techniques

An epiretinal membrane is a very thin layer of fibrous tissue that can form on the surface of your retina (the focusing surface at the back of your eye). It can act as a film over your macula (the sharp focusing area of the retina) through which it is harder for you to see. In severe cases, the epiretinal membrane may contract like scar tissue, ‘puckering’ the retina and distorting your vision further.

Not all epiretinal membranes require treatment. If your vision is only mildly affected, surgery may not be the right option.

When surgery is required, the procedure involved is called a vitrectomy.

Your surgeon will remove the vitreous gel (the jelly-like substance inside your eye) using highly specialised instruments.

The epiretinal membrane is then carefully detached from the surface of your retina.

Advantages
  • Improvement in vision.
  • Reduced distortions and wavy lines on the Amsler grid.
Disadvantages
  • The treatment carries certain risks mentioned below.
Risks include:
  • Early cataract formation
  • Retinal tear
  • Macular oedema or haemorrhage

Treatment options include vitrectomy and membrane peel.

What to expect from the procedure

Before your surgery, you’ll be given a local anaesthetic to numb your eye so you don’t feel any pain.

Your surgeon will use the latest ‘no-stitch’ surgical techniques to make tiny incisions in the white of your eye. This type of surgery means your eye will heal faster, and you should feel virtually no irritation after surgery.

Your eye may also be treated with steroids, gas, laser or freezing treatments, depending on the exact situation.

After surgery, you should be able to go home almost straight away, and you can usually resume normal, non-strenuous activities the day after. You’ll need to wear a patch on your eye until the following morning, and we will give you eye drops and antibiotics to use for up to four weeks after surgery.

Most patients have better vision after epiretinal membrane surgery, and regaining perfect vision isn’t unusual. Still, it does not always go back to completely normal. It can take three to 12 months for your vision to improve fully. How much and how soon your vision improves after surgery depends on several things. Primarily, your age and how far the epiretinal membrane has advanced.

Gain relief from a worrying eye condition

We understand that any issue with your eyes can be a weight on your shoulders. Book an appointment today, and we’ll help you get to the bottom of your issue and put your mind at ease.

Book an appointment

Gain relief from a worrying eye condition

We understand that any issue with your eyes can be a weight on your shoulders. Book an appointment today, and we’ll help you get to the bottom of your issue and put your mind at ease.

Book an appointment
Gain visual freedom in 3 easy steps

Eye treatment options can be confusing. We’ve made the journey as straightforward as can be

Get in touch

The first step is to call us so we can answer any questions we can on the phone. Give our friendly team a call on 0800 99 2020 or request a call back from us.

We’ll meet

At your consultation, we’ll diagnose your issues, answer your questions and give you a clear recommendation based on your needs. You’ll confidently leave with a clear understanding of your treatment options.

Enjoy clarity

After treatment, people often tell us how pleased they were that they took action when they did. They’re often so glad that they reached out so that we could address their concerns and help them resolve their troublesome eye condition.

We are proud to be associated with top quality private medical insurers

Give us a call to understand how your insurance can help cover your treatment

Watch the best patient education videos on eye treatment in New Zealand

Get a quick overview of everything you need to know about gaining visual freedom

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Meet our world-class surgeons

Our industry-leading experts are here to guide you every step of the way

Dr Nick Mantell

Dr Mantell is a specialist in refractive and cataract surgery. He has restored the vision of thousands of people in his 17-year career.

LEARN MORE

Dr Peter Ring

Dr Ring is an expert in cornea, cataract and refractive surgery.

LEARN MORE

Dr Shanu Subbiah

Dr Subbiah is a cataract, corneal and laser surgery specialist.

LEARN MORE

Dr Adam Watson

Dr Watson specialises in treating many aspects of the eye, including the face, eyelids, tear drainage system and the cornea.

LEARN MORE

Prof Helen Danesh-Meyer

Professor Danesh-Meyer is an international authority on glaucoma and neuro-ophthalmology and one of the most highly regarded experts in her field.

LEARN MORE

Prof Charles McGhee

Professor Charles McGhee, a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon for 25 years, specialises in corneal diseases and cataract surgery.

LEARN MORE

Dr William Cunningham

Dr Cunningham is a consultant ophthalmologist who specialises in cataract surgery and vitreoretinal surgery.

LEARN MORE

Dr Sophie Hill

Dr Hill completed her MBBS at St Georges University of London in 2008, also obtaining an Intercalated BSc from King’s College University, London.

LEARN MORE

Dr Peter Hadden

Dr Hadden specialises in vitreoretinal and cataract surgery, including the treatment of intraocular tumours.

LEARN MORE

Dr Narme Deva

Dr Narme Deva is a key opinion leader for Medical retina and Uveitis in New Zealand.

LEARN MORE

Dr Liz Insull

Dr Elizabeth Insull is a New Zealand and UK trained Oculoplastic and Ophthalmic surgeon.

LEARN MORE

Dr Kaliopy Matheos

Dr Matheos is an ophthalmologist with subspecialist training in glaucoma and anterior segment surgery, cataract surgery and pterygium surgery.

LEARN MORE

Dr John Beaumont

Dr Beaumont is a general ophthalmologist. He specialises in surgical ophthalmology, medical ophthalmology and urgent eye trauma care.

LEARN MORE

Dr Jay Meyer

Dr Meyer is a specialist eye surgeon specialising in cataracts, glaucoma, and corneal diseases and surgeries.

LEARN MORE

Dr Graham Reeves

Dr Reeves has advanced training in the diagnosis and management of glaucoma. He offers a variety of laser and surgical treatments, including minimally invasive glaucoma surgery.

LEARN MORE

Dr Divya Perumal

Dr Perumal is a New Zealand trained ophthalmologist with advanced training in glaucoma and cataract surgery.

LEARN MORE

Dr Narme Deva

Dr Narme Deva is a key opinion leader for Medical retina and Uveitis in New Zealand.
LEARN MORE

Dr Peter Ring

Dr Ring is an expert in cornea, cataract and refractive surgery.
LEARN MORE

Dr Shanu Subbiah

Dr Subbiah is a cataract, corneal and laser surgery specialist.
LEARN MORE

Dr Adam Watson

Dr Watson specialises in treating many aspects of the eye, including the face, eyelids, tear drainage system and the cornea.
LEARN MORE

Prof Helen Danesh-Meyer

Professor Danesh-Meyer is an international authority on glaucoma and neuro-ophthalmology and one of the most highly regarded experts in her field.
LEARN MORE

Prof Charles McGhee

Professor Charles McGhee, a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon for 25 years, specialises in corneal diseases and cataract surgery.
LEARN MORE

Dr William Cunningham

Dr Cunningham is a consultant ophthalmologist who specialises in cataract surgery and vitreoretinal surgery.
LEARN MORE

Dr Peter Hadden

Dr Hadden specialises in vitreoretinal and cataract surgery, including the treatment of intraocular tumours.
LEARN MORE

Dr Liz Insull

Dr Elizabeth Insull is a New Zealand and UK trained Oculoplastic and Ophthalmic surgeon.
LEARN MORE

Dr Kaliopy Matheos

Dr Matheos is an ophthalmologist with subspecialist training in glaucoma and anterior segment surgery, cataract surgery and pterygium surgery.
LEARN MORE

Dr John Beaumont

Dr Beaumont is a general ophthalmologist. He specialises in surgical ophthalmology, medical ophthalmology and urgent eye trauma care
LEARN MORE

Dr Jay Meyer

Dr. Meyer is a specialist eye surgeon specialising in cataracts, glaucoma, and corneal diseases and surgeries.
LEARN MORE

Dr Graham Reeves

Dr Reeves has advanced training in the diagnosis and management of glaucoma. He offers a variety of laser and surgical treatments, including minimally invasive glaucoma surgery.
LEARN MORE

Dr Divya Perumal

Dr Perumal is a New Zealand trained ophthalmologist with advanced training in glaucoma and cataract surgery.
LEARN MORE

Dr Nick Mantell

Dr Mantell is a specialist in refractive and cataract surgery. He has restored the vision of thousands of people in his 17-year career.
LEARN MORE

Dr Sophie Hill

Dr Hill completed her MBBS at St Georges University of London in 2008, also obtaining an Intercalated BSc from King’s College University, London.
LEARN MORE

See all surgeons
Additional resources on epiretinal membrane

Learn more about treating retinal eye conditions from authoritative sources.

Epiretinal membranes are thin, transparent layers of fibrous tissues that form a film on the inner surface of the retina.

Epiretinal membranes (ERMs) most often occur in people over age 50. According to The American Society of Retina Specialists (ASRS), at least 2 percent of people over 50 years old and 20 percent over age 75 have ERMs, but most do not need treatment.

Up to 20 percent of people with ERMS have them in both eyes, but symptoms and severity for each eye differ. Click here to read more.

ERMs, also commonly known as cellophane maculopathy or macular puckers, are avascular (having few or no blood vessels), semitranslucent, fibrocellular membranes that form on the inner surface of the retina. They most commonly cause minimal symptoms and can be simply observed, but in some cases they can result in painless loss of vision and metamorphopsia (visual distortion). Generally, ERMs are most symptomatic when affecting the macula, which is the central portion of the retina that helps us to distinguish fine detail used for reading and recognizing faces. Click here to read more.

Epiretinal membrane is a very fine layer of scar tissue or membrane that has formed across the surface of the retina when the vitreous gel inside the eye has altered due to aging changes in the vitreous jelly and has caused an area of superficial irritation in the retina. It is the healing response which has caused this fine membrane to develop, which in turn, has shrunk slightly causing a mechanical wrinkling and distortion if the retina. In most patients there is very slow growth of this membrane which eventually stops growing.

These membranes are usually clear, and in many people do not produce any significant disturbance in vision. In some cases, over a period of time a thicker membrane may form, which then contracts and pulls on the retina, giving the retina a wrinkled appearance. When this happens, you may notice that your central vision becomes blurred with distortion in lines or letters. Click here to read more.

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