A Macular Pucker is a thin tissue that is similar to the skin of an onion or a piece of plastic wrap that has developed over the central portion of the retina, the macula.

There are other names that can be used for this condition including epiretinal membrane, wrinkled retina, pre-retinal fibrosis, or scar tissue. The condition can result in decreased vision and distortion of your vision. Straight lines can appear wavy. This is a result of the tissue contracting, distorting, and thickening the retina. These changes can best be seen on a cross sectional image of the retina which can be obtained by the Retina Health Center specialists using Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT).

OCT delivers a high resolution imagery to help ophthalmologists determine the presence of a macular pucker. Normal retina appears in image 1, whereas a thickened and distorted retina due to a macular pucker can be seen in image 2. The distorted line on top of the image represents the macular pucker. This condition is most common in patients over the age of 50. Most of the time it affects one eye, however it may affect the other eye at a later stage. Macular puckers are more common when other conditions are present such as diabetes, inflammation, and trauma. Severe visual loss from macular pucker is rare; most of the time patients may notice blurred or distorted vision that can be mild to moderate with slow progression. Most of the time when symptoms are mild treatment is not needed.

Surgery for Macular Pucker

If visual distortion and blurriness limits reading or everyday activity then a surgical procedure may be recommended. The surgical procedure consists of vitrectomy with removal of the scar tissue. Surgery can restore vision and improve distortion in most people; however it may not return to normal.

Normal Retina with smooth surfaceMacular Pucker Pulls and Distorts

A discussion with one of our specialists at Retina Health Center about whether surgical treatment is appropriate is advisedContact us today.

Privacy Statement