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What is Retinal Detachment Surgery?
Retinal detachment surgery is carried out to treat a retinal detachment and return it to its normal position.
Surgery is currently the only option for treating retinal detachment.
What are the types of Retinal Detachment Surgery?
The most common Retinal Detachment Surgery procedures are:
What are the chances of success?
- Pneumatic retinopexy: A laser or cryotherapy procedure seals the retinal hole or tear and a gas bubble is injected into the cavity in the eye to push the retina towards the eye’s outer wall.
- Scleral buckling: Holes or tears in the retina are sealed with an electric current or frozen with a cryoprobe or laser. A scleral buckle made of synthetic material is then placed on the outer wall of the eye which compresses the eye and pushes the retinal tear towards the outer wall. Often a gas or air bubble is inserted into the cavity to prevent the hole from moving until scarring takes place and holds it in position.
- Vitrectomy: The surgeon makes small cuts in the eye and removes the fluid in the eye, replacing it with gas to move the retina to a new position. Sometimes the surgeon also inserts a scleral buckle alongside the vitrectomy.
85% of patients will be successfully treated with one operation, while the remaining 15% will requiring 2 or more operations.
How well you see after surgery depends in part on whether the central part of the retina (macula) was affected by the detachment before surgery, and if it was, for how long.
Duration of procedure/surgery:
1-3 hours, depending on the type of surgery performed.
Usually done on an outpatient basis.
Vitrectomy may require an overnight stay.
Local or general anesthesia
- Limit physical activity for up to a week following retinal detachment surgery.
- If the gas bubble procedure is carried out you will need to keep your head facing down or to one side for up to four weeks in order to make sure the gas bubble fixes the retina in place successfully.
- Blurred vision following a retinal detachment surgery often persists for a few months.
- Discomfort, redness and swelling.
- Double vision.
- Drooping eyelid (ptosis).
- Use medicated eye drops and antibiotics after retinal detachment surgery.
- You will not be able to fly or travel to high altitudes for a few weeks following the gas bubble procedure.
- You may need a new glasses prescription if retinal detachment surgery has changed the shape of your eye.
Learn more about Retinal Detachment