BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: The authors evaluated long-term postoperative visual outcomes and recurrence rates following surgery for symptomatic epiretinal membrane (ERM) ± internal limiting membrane (ILM) peeling. PATIENTS AND METHODS: This was a retrospective, consecutive case series of 78 patients undergoing vitrectomy for symptomatic ERM between 1/2010 and 4/2012 with follow-up through at least postoperative year 5 (POY5). Outcomes included visual acuity (VA) (Snellen VA converted to logMAR), central retinal thickness (CRT; µm), and ERM recurrence. Subgroup analysis evaluated outcomes related to ILM peeling. RESULTS: Subgroup analysis based on ILM peeling did not find VA (20/50 [0.430 logMAR ± 0.061 logMAR; mean ± SD] vs. 20/60 [0.518 logMAR ± 0.128 logMAR] for ILM vs. non-ILM peeling respectively; P = .513) nor macular thickness (355 µm ± 13 µm vs. 360 µm ± 42 µm; P = .410) to be significantly different at POY5. Recurrence requiring surgery with and without ILM peeling was not statistically significantly different at POY5 (1.6% and 11.8%; P = .118). CONCLUSION: Vitrectomy for symptomatic ERM led to improved visual and anatomic outcomes with sustained benefit through 5 years. ILM peeling was was associated with reduced ERM recurrence, but this benefit was not statistically significant at POY5.
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