Retinal detachment

Retinal detachment or tear repair is eye surgery to place a retina back into its normal position. The retina is the light sensitive film at the back of the eye. Retina detaches happen when the retina peels away from the inner-wall of the eye.

Overview of Retinal Detachment

Patients may be more likely to have retinal detachment if they are short-sighted, have had cataract surgery in the past or have suffered a severe direct blow to the eye. Some types of retinal detachment can run in families but these are rare. Most retinal detachments occur as a natural ageing process in the eye. A detached retina is a serious and sight-threatening event, occurring when the retina becomes separated from its underlying supportive tissue. The retina cannot function when these layers are detached. And unless the retina is reattached soon, permanent vision loss may result.

Type of Retinal Detachment:

  • Vitrectomy: The retinal tear may have been caused by the vitreous gel (jelly inside the eye) pulling on the blood vessels. In a vitrectomy operation, this gel will be removed from the eye.
  • Scleral buckle: the ophthalmologist can help seal any holes in the retina by stitching a piece of silicone rubber or sponge to the outside of the eye. The buckle will not be visible on the outside of the eye. And it will be left in that place permanently.
  • Pneumatic retinopexy: In this procedure, the surgeon injects a small bubble of gas into the vitreous body to push the detached portion of the retina onto the retinal pigment epithelium. When a retinal tear or hole hasn’t yet progressed to detachment, the eye surgeon may suggest one of the following procedures prevent retinal detachment and preserve vision.
  • Laser surgery (photocoagulation). The surgeon directs a laser beam into the eye through the pupil. The laser makes burns around the retinal tear, creating scarring that usually “welds” the retina to underlying tissue.
  • Freezing (cryopexy). After giving a local anesthetic to numb the eye, the surgeon applies a freezing probe to the outer surface of the eye directly over the tear. The freezing causes a scar that helps secure the retina to the eyewall.

Retinal Detachment Recommended For:

  •  Patients that have had cataract surgery in the past or have suffered a severe direct blow to the eye

Before Retinal detachment

The surgeon will take a medical history from the patient. He or she will run some tests and evaluate the patient’s eyes for more information.

During Retinal detachment

Patients would be under general or local anesthesia depends on types of surgery during the procedure. This procedure usually lasts 1 to 2 hours. Patients usually need to stay at the hospital overnight.

After Retinal detachment

Patients should place their head in a specific position so that the gas or oil bubble will lie against the part of the retina that needs support. Patients will need to hold their head in the posturing position for 45 minutes of every hour during the day, for five days after the operation. This can be a challenge, but it is just as important as the operation itself. The eyesight may be di?erent after the procedure. The surgeon will explain the kind of results patients can expect, but it may be a few weeks or months before they can tell whether their vision has improved.