About Pneumatic Retinopexy
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What is Pneumatic Retinopexy?
Pneumatic retinopexy is a procedure to repair several kinds of retinal detachments.
How is the Surgery Performed?
- Gas bubble is injected into the center of the eyeball.
- The patient’s head is positioned in a way to enable the gas bubble to float to the area that is detached, and it fixes against the detachment.
- Fluid is pumped out from the underneath the flattened retina.
- A freezing probe known as cryopexy or laser probe known as photocoagulation is used to seal the retinal opening.
- The bubble helps the retina to flatten for one to three weeks, after which a seal is formed between the retina and the eye wall.
- The gas bubble is gradually absorbed by the eye.
Pneumatic retinopexy can also be done using a large silicone oil bubble instead of a gas bubble. Since the silicon oil is not absorbed, after the detachment of the retina is healed a procedure is used to remove the oil.
Days admitted : The procedure is usually done as an outpatient procedure.
Anesthesia : Local anesthesia
Recovery : The patient will take about 3 weeks to recover.
Risks : - Proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR), i.e. retina scarring that may cause retinal detachment again.
- New breaks and tears
- More surgeries may be required to reattach the retina.
- The fluid under the retina may persist and take a lot of time to be absorbed.
- Small bubbles may be trapped beneath the retina.
Other rare complications include:
- Macula detachment affecting central vision
- Choroid detachment
- A rise in pressure inside the eye
- Vitreous hemorrhage
- Subretinal hemorrhage
After care : - For 1 to 3 weeks after the procedure, the patient must keep the head and eye positioned properly for 16 to 21 hours a day.
- The patient should avoid lying back to prevent the bubble from moving to the front of the eye and pressing against the lens.
- Airplane travel should be strictly avoided as the gas bubble may expand and the pressure inside the eye may increase.
The doctor should be informed if the following symptoms occur:
- Rise in pain and redness
- Diminishing vision
- Swelling around the eye
- Discharge from the eye
- Any vision problems
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