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Medical Air and Gas Makes For Successful Eye Surgeries

Gases / Industries / Industry News

In the United States, ophthalmic surgeons perform about 225,000 vitrectomies each year. Vitreous degeneration is one of the most common eye problems found in people over 50, but there are a variety of reasons one might need a vitrectomy. These can include:

  • Retinal detachment
  • Posterior vitreous detachment
  • Diabetes-related retinopathy
  • Macular hole
  • Eye injury
  • Eye infection
  • Tumors

Some of these are retinal and macular conditions and others are non-retinal issues. This surgery is commonly used to treat a variety of medical conditions, as it’s very low risk and has a high success rate.


What Is Vitrectomy? 

A vitrectomy is a type of eye surgery that’s used to treat various problems with the retina and vitreous. The vitreous, is a gel-like substance that fills the middle portion of your eye.

During vitrectomy surgery, the vitreous gel in the eye is removed and replaced with a substitute. Depending on the condition, the doctor will determine the best substitute, which can include air or other specialty gases. At first, it can block some vision, but it begins to clear from the top down.

Using this air or gas substitute helps the eye keep its shape and the retina to stay in position until the eye heals. After several weeks, the air or gas bubble will dissolve, and vision will become clearer.


How Air and Gas are Used


Compressed air is air that is pressurized and condensed. Just like regular air, compressed air consists mostly of nitrogen, oxygen, and water vapor. During the surgery, compressed air is used, and the retina is protected by a vacuum. The vacuum reduces local pressure on the retina, allowing the surgeon to operate in a tissue-friendly and safe manner. Vitrectomy performed under air has the benefit of better visualization of the peripheral vitreous and vitreous base.

After the surgery, air keeps the retinal surface dry and in place until it heals properly. This is a shorter-term solution and used when appropriate. Air bubbles can remain in the eye for about 2-10 days, depending on the volume.


Gas blends are a vitreous substitute that also serve to keep the retinal surface dry until it heals properly. Gas bubbles can remain in the eye for about 2-8 weeks, depending on the type and volume of the gas. The patient’s vision will be limited during this time.

It is very important for patients to follow home care instructions when a gas bubble is present. Patients cannot fly, go to high altitudes (>1000ft), or scuba dive due to the risk of gas expansion.

A vitrectomy provides an option to treat eye conditions that were untreatable previously. Using pure, high-quality medical air and gas ensures the proper support of this surgery and successful outcomes. PurityPlus gas providers ensure the medical air and gas used is free from contaminates or undesirable characteristics. Contaminants of unwanted gases or foreign elements will create poor quality products, especially when it comes to use in hospitals.


An FDA Compliant Medical Gas Distributor

Rocky Mountain Air understands that our medical gas products and services are essential to your patients’ health. To best serve your business, we transport a range of gases and air directly to your location. We provide medical gases to hospitals, veterinarians, home healthcare professionals, laboratories, and more. You demand precision and we will deliver. With our dedication to flawless dependability, we work hard to provide medical gases that are of high purity and are safe to use for your medical applications.

Whether you are a current or prospective customer, if you have any questions about our high purity medical air or gases, please contact your local branch in any one of our five states (Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska) today. We look forward to serving you!

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