Retinal detachment is a serious condition of the eye in which the retina pulls away from the wall of the eye, and is unable to receive proper oxygenation and nutrition. If not treated quickly, a retinal detachment can cause you to lose your vision. Retinal detachment repair is a surgery that is used to restore the retina to its natural position circulation to the retina and preserve as much vision as possible.
Symptoms of Retinal Detachment
If you have the symptoms described below, you should call your ophthalmologist or go to the emergency department of a hospital affiliated with an ophthalmology service immediately.
- The sudden appearance of many floaters —that seem to drift through your field of vision
- Flashes of light in the eye (photopsias)
- Sudden blurred vision
- Gradually reduced side (peripheral) vision
- A curtain-like shadow over your visual field
There are several treatment options available for retinal detachment, depending on the severity of the condition and the overall health of the patient.
Pneumatic Retinopexy is an in-office procedure in which a bubble of gas is injected into the eye. A cold probe may be applied to treat the retinal break prior to the injection of gas. The bubble pushes the detached retina against the wall of the eye, stopping additional fluid from entering the subretinal space and allowing the retina to adhere to the wall of the eye. You will need to hold your head in a certain position for several days to keep the bubble in the proper position. The bubble will eventually reabsorb on its own.
Pars Plana Vitrectomy (PPV) is an outpatient procedure in which the vitreous that normally fills the eye is removed to relieve traction on the retina, followed by removal of fluid underneath the detached retina to allow the retina to lay flat against the inner wall of the eye again. During this surgery, laser will also be applied to seal any causative retinal break(s), and a gas bubble or silicone oil would be injected into the eye to keep the retina in place. If a gas bubble is utilized, you will need to hold your head in a certain position for at least several days, and the bubble will gradually resorb with time.
Scleral Buckle is a surgical procedure commonly used to repair a retinal detachment. During this outpatient procedure, the patient is placed under general or local anesthesia and the
scleral buckle, which is a thin strip of silicone made to look like a belt, is secured around the eyeball under the conjunctiva not visible from the outside. The scleral buckle indents, or "buckles" the sclera oppose the detached retina to the inner wall of the eye. After the placement of the scleral buckle, patients may experience pain, swelling, and redness for a few days. Your doctor may prescribe eye drops to treat these symptoms and prevent infection. Your prescription may change after the scleral buckle procedure. Over 90% of patients who undergo the scleral buckle procedure experience a successful retina reattachment.