Retinal Detachment Surgery

Submitted by Thiruvelan on Fri, 06/25/2010

Only treatment available for retinal detachment is to reattaching the retina by surgery. Otherwise, complete loss of vision is almost certain.

Surgery for retinal detachment

Pneumatic retinopexy – is an outpatient procedure recommended for a relatively uncomplicated detachment with the tear located in the upper half of the retina. This procedure is performing with local anesthesia, usually starts with cryopexy to treat the retinal tear. Then expandable gas bubble is passing into vitreous cavity; the gas expands in few days, and it flattens the retina so that the fluid can press out from beneath it. Now the retina can reattach itself to the back wall of the eye. The gas bubble is slowly disappeared after few weeks (absorbed by the eye).
Scleral buckling - is the most common way to treat retinal detachment. Fine-band of silicone rubber or sponge is stitching onto the outside white of the eye (the sclera) in the area where the retina has detached. Laser or freezing treatment is useful to scar the tissue around the retina. The bands are leaving on the eye and should not be noticeable after the operation.

Vitrectomy – a jelly-like substance “vitreous” in the eye is removing and replacing with either a gas or silicone bubble. This holds the retina in a position from the inside. Tiny dissolving stitches are useful to close the wound. Retinal holes or tears can seal using either lasers or cryotherapy (freezing treatment). After the procedure, the patient will advise to keep their head in a certain position and to avoid travel by air for a while.

Surgery to correct retinal tears

Retinal tear or hole has diagnosed at an early stage, before it progressed to the detachment retina, the following procedures may recommend:

  • Laser’s photocoagulation - It is a procedure usually performed on an outpatient basis. A laser beam is passing through a contact lens or ophthalmoscope used for this procedure. The laser beam makes burns around the retinal tear, and seals the leakage of fluid; thus, stops any further detachment. It needs no surgical incision and only causes minor irritation to the eye.
  • Retinal Cryopexy (Freezing) - Retinal cryopexy is also called as retinal cryotherapy, performed on an outpatient basis. After local anesthetic, this procedure uses an intense cold probe place at the affected retinal tear to induce a chorioretinal scar and to destroy retinal or choroidal tissue. That helps to secure the retina to the eye wall. This procedure is recommending for difficult to reach retinal tears, usually along the retinal edge. This procedure may cause redness and eye inflammation for some time.

There are a few chances of complications during or after surgery, they are rare chances. They include: double vision, eye allergy (due to the medicine used), bruising around the eye, eye infection, eye bleeding, cataract (cloudy lens), glaucoma (increased eye pressure), immune system reaction affecting the other eye, and more holes/tires in the retina.

Sometimes, more than one surgery may need to refit the retina. Surgery is not always successful in retinal reattachment. Vision after surgery depends on the part affected.

Tips to retinal detachment

There are some ways to cope with impaired vision due to retinal detachment:

  • At the home lit with proper light for reading and other activities.
  • Inform friends and family members regarding vision problems so that they can help.
  • Correct the vision with glasses for retinal detachment. Furthermore, keep an extra glass.
  • Connect to others with impaired vision it can be helpful.

Recovering from retinal detachment

After surgery, eyelids may feel itchy, sticky, eye bruising and discomforts, it will go away in a couple of days. Simple painkillers can relieve the discomfort.

A day after the operation, eye drops will give to treat swelling and to prevent infection. You should not rub the eye; it is usual to feel itching while it heals; it takes two to six weeks. Vision will be very blurry, and it is only temporary.
Eyesight cannot always completely restore. This depends largely on how much of the retina was detached and for how long.

Any of the following symptoms after surgery need immediate attention: Heavy eye pai, Vision loss, or Increasing eye redness.