To evaluate postoperative pain and other irritation symptoms after 20-gauge (20G) pars plana vitrectomy.
A total of 110 consecutive patients were enrolled in our studies, and 87 patients who underwent the conventional 20G pars plana vitrectomy were included in the final analysis. All vitrectomies were performed using the same surgical technique by the same surgeon. Patients were examined before surgery and 1 day, 3 days, 7 days, 1 month, and 2 months postoperatively. The main outcome measures include patient age and sex, intraocular pressure (IOP), ocular pain, pain score, pain medication use, and other irritation symptoms comprising itching, foreign body sensation, burning, photophobia, and dryness. The pain was evaluated using the Numerical Rating Scale scored from 0 to 10.
Postoperative pain was relatively common during the first day after surgery, as it was reported by 43 (49.4%) patients. Then, the prevalence gradually decreased to eleven (12.6%) patients at 2 months. Most patients reported mild or moderate pain, with a pain score of 1-5, but only four patients were given analgesics for ocular pain. A postoperative rise of IOP was noted in 25 patients at day 1. Most of these patients with high IOP reported moderate pain. Other ocular irritation symptoms were varied after surgery. There was still one-quarter of patients that had foreign body sensation and dryness symptoms at month 2 after surgery.
Mild and moderate ocular pain were relatively common after 20G vitrectomy, which is more often associated with elevated IOP. Other irritation symptoms were also presented after surgery and could affect the life quality of patients. Therefore, the discomforts after 20G pars plana vitrectomy should be of concern, and timely management should be provided as part of routine postoperative care.