To describe an optimized surgical technique for feline vitrectomy which reduces bleeding and aids posterior gel clearance in order to facilitate stem cell delivery to the inner retina using cellular scaffolds.
Three-port pars plana vitrectomies were performed in six-specific pathogen-free domestic cats using an optimized surgical technique to improve access and minimize severe intraoperative bleeding.
The surgical procedure was successfully completed in all six animals. Lens sparing vitrectomy resulted in peripheral lens touch in one of three animals but without cataract formation. Transient bleeding from sclerotomies, which was readily controlled, was seen in two of the six animals. No cases of vitreous hemorrhage, severe postoperative inflammation, retinal detachment, or endophthalmitis were observed during postoperative follow-up.
Three-port pars plana vitrectomy can be performed successfully in the cat in a safe and controlled manner when the appropriate precautions are taken to minimize the risk of developing intraoperative hemorrhage. This technique may facilitate the use of feline models of inner retinal degeneration for the development of stem cell transplantation techniques using cellular scaffolds.