Alternative Names (quote)
Scleral buckling; Vitrectomy; Pneumatic retinopexy; Laser retinopexy
Most detachment repair operations are urgent. A detached retina lacks oxygen, which causes cells in the area to die. This can lead to blindness.
If holes in the retina are found before a detachment occurs, an opthalmologist can close the holes using a laser. This is usually done in the doctor’s office.
If the retina has just started to separate, a procedure called pneumatic retinopexy may be done to repair it. Pneumatic retinopexy (gas bubble placement) is also usually an office procedure. The health care provider injects a bubble of gas into your eye. You will be positioned so the gas floats up against the hole in the retina and pushes it back into place. The surgeon will use a laser to permanently seal the hole.
More severe detachments require more advanced surgery. The following procedures are done in a hospital or outpatient surgery center:
- The scleral buckle method bends the wall of the eye inward so that it meets the hole in the retina. Scleral buckling can be done under local or general anesthesia.
- The vitrectomy procedure uses very small instruments inside the eye to pull the retina forward. Most vitrectomies are done under local anesthesia.
For some complex detachments, both procedures may be done during the same operation.