The only way to treat an epiretinal membrane is by having an operation called a vitrectomy. Eye drops or glasses are not effective. During the vitrectomy, the surgeon makes tiny cuts in your eye and removes the vitreous from inside. They then grasp and gently peel away the epiretinal membrane from the retina. We usually put small stitches in the eye. These dissolve naturally over about four to six weeks. At the end of the operation, we usually put a pad and shield over your eye to protect it. These will be removed the morning after your surgery.
Your doctor will help you to decide if surgery is appropriate for you. The main reason to proceed with the operation is to attempt to correct the distortion of your central vision. If you are not aware of any visual problems, you might not need to have surgery. However, if the distortion affects your ability to work, drive, read, or perform other important activities, you should consider having an operation. Some patients decide not to have an operation and accept the distorted central vision in the affected eye. This is reasonable, especially if the vision in the other eye is not affected. There is no “right” or “wrong” decision, as every person has different needs and priorities. In general, you should only go ahead with surgery if you find the distortion of your vision troublesome at the moment, and not as a preventative measure.