Retinal Detachment - Surgery
Common methods of repairing a retinal detachment
- Pneumatic retinopexy. In this procedure, your eye
doctor injects a gas bubble into the middle of the eyeball. The gas bubble
floats to the detached area and lightly presses the detached retina to the wall of the eye. The eye doctor then
uses a freezing probe (cryopexy) or laser beam
(photocoagulation) to seal the tear in the
- Scleral buckling surgery.
Your eye doctor places a piece of silicone sponge,
rubber, or semi-hard plastic on the outer layer of your eye and sews it in
place. This relieves pulling (traction) on the retina, preventing tears from getting
worse, and it supports the layers of the retina.
- Vitrectomy. This is the removal of the
vitreous gel from the eye. Vitrectomy gives your eye
doctor better access to the retina and other tissues. It allows him or her to
peel scar tissue off the
retina, repair holes, close very large tears, and
directly flatten a retinal detachment.
Common methods of repairing a retinal tear
- Laser photocoagulation, in which an
intense beam of light travels through the eye and makes tiny burns around the
tear in the retina. The burns form scars that prevent fluid from getting under
- Cryopexy (freezing), in which your eye
doctor uses a probe to freeze and seal the retina around the tear.
What to think about
You have several surgical
options to repair a retinal detachment. Their success in restoring good vision
varies from case to case. The cause, location, and type of detachment usually
determine which surgery will work best. Other conditions or eye problems may
also play a role when you choose the best type of surgery.
need more than one surgery to reattach the retina if scar tissue from the first surgery grows over the surface of your retina.
Things that may make surgery more difficult
- Pupils that
will not get larger (dilate).
- Infection inside or outside the
- Scarring from previous surgery.
(hemorrhage) in the
- Scars on or cloudiness in
of the lens (cataract).
After surgery, you
may need to use antibiotic eyedrops and
corticosteroid medicines for a short time.