Traumatic injuries to the eye can lead to severe retinal problems. A direct blow to the eye may cause vitreous hemorrhage and/or retinal detachment. Pieces of metal, or other materials called intraocular foreign bodies, may penetrate the eye wall (sclera) and cause retinal detachment, vitreous hemorrhage, or severe infection in the eye. Even if they don't cause immediate problems, certain metallic foreign bodies may be toxic and can eventually destroy the eye if they remain in place. If the eye is penetrated by a sharp object, scar tissue can form along the track of the object as well as on the retinal surface. The scar tissue can pull on and detach the retina (traction retinal detachment).
In cases where trauma has caused retinal problems, vitrectomy may save some vision. In some cases, the goal is to remove the intraocular foreign body or blood (vitreous hemorrhage) and repair the damage to the retina, or prevent traction retinal detachment from occurring.
The timing of the surgery, need for antibiotics, and the specific techniques used will depend on the type of trauma that the eye has suffered. Your surgeon will counsel you about this and talk to you about your chances of saving the eye and vision. Your surgeon will also tell you about the complications of this surgery, the most important of which are loss of all vision and even the eye.