Consultant Ophthalmologist Medical and Surgical Retinal Expert

Macular Surgery



Professor Pearce is a Consultant Vitreoretinal Surgeon with more than 20 years experiencing providing first class surgery for both macular hole repair and epiretinal membrane (macular pucker) removal. Through the fellowship program at St Paul's Eye Unit he has trained numerous national and international experts in these surgical techniques.

Macular Hole

A macular hole is a small break in the macula, located in the centre of the eye’s light-sensitive tissue called the retina. The macula provides the sharp, central vision we need for reading, driving, and seeing fine detail.

A macular hole can cause blurred and distorted central vision. Macular holes are related to ageing and usually occur in people over age 60.

Although some macular holes can seal themselves and require no treatment, surgery is necessary in many cases to help improve vision. In this surgical procedure – called a vitrectomy – the vitreous gel is removed to prevent it from pulling on the retina and replaced with a bubble containing a mixture of air and gas. The bubble acts as an internal, temporary bandage that holds the edge of the macular hole in place as it heals. 

Epiretinal Membranes

Epiretinal membrane (ERM) is a condition where a sheet of naturally occurring cells develops on or above the surface of the central part of your retina, an area called the macula. An epiretinal membrane is sometimes described as “scar tissue” on the retina. Other names for this include epi-macular membrane, macular pucker or cellophane maculopathy. 

ERM can affect vision if this sheet of cells starts to shrink, causing the retina to wrinkle up under it. This wrinkling of the retina can then cause distortion and blurring of your vision.

ERM does not always cause sight problems. Many epiretinal membranes do not get any worse and may never affect vision, so can just be observed without surgery. However, in some cases the distortion and blurring can become troublesome requiring vitrectomy surgery and peeling of the membrane.