The internal limiting membrane (ILM), the basement membrane of the Müller cells, serves as the interface between the vitreous body and the retinal nerve fiber layer. It has a fundamental role in the development, structure, and function of the retina, although it also is a pathologic component in the various vitreoretinal disorders, most notably in macular holes. It was not until understanding of the evolution of idiopathic macular holes and the advent of idiopathic macular hole surgery that the idea of adjuvant ILM peeling in the treatment of tractional maculopathies was explored. Today intentional ILM peeling is a commonly applied surgical technique among vitreoretinal surgeons as it has been found to increase the rate of successful macular hole closure and improve surgical outcomes in other vitreoretinal diseases. Though ILM peeling has refined surgery for tractional maculopathies, like all surgical procedures it is not immune to perioperative risk. The essential role of the ILM to the integrity of the retina and risk of trauma to retinal tissue spurs suspicion with regard to its routine removal. Several authors have investigated the retinal damage induced by ILM peeling and these complications have been manifested across many different diagnostic studies.
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