Retinal Detachment Repair – Treatment Options and Prognosis

What is Retinal Detachment Repair?

Retinal Detachment Repair is any procedure that aims to reattach the retina to the wall of the eye along with sealing the defects (tears and holes) that led to the detachment.

Depending on the characteristics of the detachment, retinal surgeon Dr. DellaCroce will determine the most appropriate method to reattach the retina.  Retinal detachment repair surgery is successful in approximately 90% of cases.  In some cases, due to the severity, length of detachment, and scar tissue formation more than one surgery may be necessary.

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Methods of Retinal Detachment Repair

Four methods can be employed to treat a detached retina (combinations of these techniques can be used in certain circumstances).

Laser surgery

When a retinal detachment is very limited in extent, it can be walled off with a laser to prevent the detachment from growing larger.

Pneumatic Retinopexy

This is an office-based procedure where a small gas bubble is injected into the vitreous cavity.  This is best for smaller detachments only affecting the superior portion of the retina.  The tear is sealed either with a freezing treatment at the time of the gas injection or laser treatment after the retina is reattached.  


This is the most common method used for detachment repair.  There are three small punctures made in the sclera of the eye in the pars plana region and fine instruments are used to remove the vitreous fluid and subretinal fluid from the inside of the eye.  The tears or defects are treated with laser or cryopexy and the eye is filled with a gas or silicone oil bubble to hold the retina in place while it heals.

Scleral buckle

This method treats the detachment from the outside of the eye.  A silicone band is placed around the eye behind the rectus muscles of the eye and secured in place with sutures in the sclera.  The scleral buckle pushes the wall of the eye inward to close the tear from the outside in.  The tear or defects are treated with cryopexy or laser.  The subretinal fluid may be drained from the outside of the eye by creating a small cut in the sclera to drain the fluid out. 

Retinal Detachment Prognosis

The visual results are dependent on the pre-operative vision, duration of detachment, and extent of the detachment.  If the central vision has been involved with the detachment, visual recovery may not be complete but there is often a significant improvement.

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Contact the Retina Center of Arkansas or make an appointment today to learn more about your options for Retinal Detachment Repair.

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