Investigators find surgical times equivalent in 20-, 25-gaugevitrectomy systems

May 2, 2006

In a prospective comparison study of 20- versus 25-gaugeinstruments for pars plana vitrectomy, investigators found thatoverall operating times were not significantly different betweenthe two systems.

In a prospective comparison study of 20- versus 25-gauge instruments for pars plana vitrectomy, investigators found that overall operating times were not significantly different between the two systems.

However, patient comfort and satisfaction in the first postoperative week were significantly higher in the group that had undergone surgery with the 25-gauge system, according to Barbara Wimpissinger, MD, of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Retinology, Vienna.

While the vitrectomy time was significantly longer in the 25-gauge group, opening and closing times were significantly shorter, Dr. Wimpissinger said.

"The time advantage gained by the use of the 25-gauge technique has been lost by longer vitrectomy times in order to remove the same amount of vitreous through the smaller diameter of the instrument," she added.

Sixty patients were enrolled in the study and randomized equally into two groups to undergo surgery with the two different instrument lines.

Investigators noted that several technical problems occurred with the 25-gauge system but suggested that experienced surgeons could handle these problems.

Dr. Wimpissinger and her colleagues used 25-gauge instruments from various manufacturers and found no difference between them. They have begun a study of 23-gauge instruments to see if these tools combine the best qualities of other vitrectomy systems.