What Benefit can I Expect from ERM Surgery?
Surgery for ERM has a high success rate. The principal benefit of ERM surgery is an improvement in your symptoms of distortion. About 70-80% of patients will also show an improvement in their vision. Much of these improvements occur within the first 1-2 months following surgery, but further gradual improvements can occur over 12 or more months after surgery.
The level of improvement depends on several factors:
- how badly your vision was affected before surgery and for how long,
- whether there are any surgical complications
- and the original cause of the ERM.
Where ERMs develop spontaneously there is generally a better chance of visual recovery compared to ERMs secondary to retinal detachment or retinal vascular disease. Despite the cause, most people will notice improvements in vision. Sometimes, vision may not improve due to irreversible damage caused by the ERM or other causes. Rarely, vision can be worse following surgery. For most people, vision will not return to 100% normal. In about 10% of patients, the ERM can recur which may or may not require further treatment. In many cases, I perform additional treatment to prevent recurrence.