Treatment of old submacular hemorrhage by subretinal endoscopic surgery and intraoperative subretinal endoscopic findings

Sho Yokoyama, Tatsushi Kaga, Takashi Kojima, Jorge Orellana-Rios, R. Theodore Smith, Kazuo Ichikawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Purpose: We report a case of old submacular hemorrhage (SMH) due to polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy (PCV). Subretinal endoscopic surgery (SES) was performed, which improved visual function. In addition, we show the intraoperative findings of subretinal aberrant PCV vessels as seen under endoscopic observation, which cannot be observed by microscopic surgery. Observations: A 71-year-old Japanese man presented with an old dehemoglobinized SMH due to PCV in his left eye. At the time of presentation, three weeks had already passed after the onset of the patient's symptoms, and the best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) was 20/200. SES was performed to remove the SMH and treat the subretinal PCV lesions. After creating retinal detachment using a 38-gauge cannula, three subretinal 25-gauge trocars were inserted from the sclera to the subretinal space. Then, SES was performed under ophthalmic endoscopic observation with continued subretinal irrigation for maintaining the retinal detachment. After removal of the SMH, subretinal polyp-shaped nodular vascular lesions (polyps) and a branching vascular network, which is located inside the retinal pigmented epithelium, were identified. The sites that presumably originated from the aberrant vessels of the PCV and the associated polyps were coagulated using endodiathermy. After the subretinal procedure, the retina was flattened with fluid/air exchange, and silicone oil (SO) was injected into the vitreous cavity. The SMH completely disappeared after surgery. Although at one-month follow-up BCVA (20/250) was slightly worse than that before surgery, there was an improvement in postoperative retinal sensitivity in the macula compared to that before surgery. At the three-month follow-up, the SO was removed. The BCVA was 20/200 one month after SO removal. No postoperative complications occurred. Additional treatment was not required, including anti-vascular endothelial growth factor therapy, for PCV progression or SMH recurrence in the left eye till the final visit two years after surgery. Conclusion and importance: SES could effectively remove the old SMH, and the activity of PCV was suppressed by intraoperative subretinal coagulation. The retinal sensitivity of the macula improved after the SES. In addition, we observed subretinal polyps and a branching vascular network located internal to the retinal pigmented epithelium under intraoperative subretinal endoscopic observation. SES is a good surgical option for the removal of old SMH or treatment of subretinal lesions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101393
JournalAmerican Journal of Ophthalmology Case Reports
StatePublished - Mar 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Branching vascular network
  • Ophthalmic endoscope
  • Polyp
  • Polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy
  • Subretinal endoscopic surgery


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