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Macular Pucker

Macular pucker is a layer of scar tissue that develops on the macula, the central portion of the retina that enables us to see straight ahead. The macula provides us with sharp central vision for purposes of reading or seeing fine details. When a macular pucker develops, the macular portion of the retina becomes wrinkled or pleated as a result of this scar tissue distorting its surface.

A macular pucker is completely different from Macular Degeneration. Having a macular pucker does not predispose an individual to developing macular degeneration. It may, however, lead to a macular hole. Macular hole, cellophane maculopathy, epiretinal membrane and pre-macular fibrosis are all different names for macular pucker.


If a macular pucker develops, central vision will become blurred or wavy. The side or peripheral vision remains normal.


Macular puckers are caused by a normal aging process of the vitreous jelly. As people live, the vitreous undergoes a degenerative change that results in deposition of scar tissue on the macular surface. Most macular puckers are not severe and do not interfere significantly with vision.

There is no known method of preventing macular pucker. Diet, exercise, and systemic disease do not appear to play a role in the development of macular pucker.

Treatment Options

If a macular pucker is sufficiently severe to interfere with the patient’s vision, surgical removal of the pucker is the only known form of treatment. The surgery is known as a vitrectomy.

In the majority of cases, the procedure is performed under local anesthesia on an out-patient basis. The patient’s eye is thoroughly numbed, and the patient rests comfortably during the 30 to 45 minute procedure. Vitrectomy surgery successfully removes the scar tissue in more than 90% of all cases, resulting in improvement in vision. Vision recovers slowly over many months.

Wheaton Eye Clinic surgeons have extensive experience removing macular puckers and can discuss whether surgery is right for you.


Wheaton Eye Clinic’s unparalleled commitment to excellence is evident in our continued growth. Today we provide world-class medical and surgical care to patients in six suburban locations—Wheaton, Naperville, Hinsdale, Plainfield, St. Charles, and Bartlett.

(630) 668-8250 (800) 637-1054
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