Retinal detachment surgery to help prevent vision loss, further detachment

Retinal detachment requires immediate medical attention and surgical repair to prevent loss of vision and stop the retina from further detaching from surrounding layers of tissue.

The different types of retinal detachment surgery include the sclera buckle, pneumatic retinopexy, and vitrectomy. Each takes a slightly different approach to reattachment based on what your eye surgeon determines is the best method for your particular condition.

  • Sclera buckle surgery – Sclera refers to the white of the eye. A sclera buckle is a thin silicone or plastic band that goes around the eyeball, gently squeezing it into the area where the retina has detached and also holding it in place and therefore preventing any further detachment.
  • Pneumatic retinopexy – This treatment involves the injection of a gas bubble into the eyeball. By holding your head in a certain position the gas bubble floats to the area where the retina has become detached and presses against the detachment. The detachment is then sealed with a laser or cryopexy (freezing probe). The gas bubble goes away (is absorbed by the eye) after a few weeks.
  • Vitrectomy – By removing vitreous, the gel-like substance inside the eye, your doctor can have easier access to the back of the eye to repair retinal detachment. In place of the vitreous, a bubble of gas is injected to “fill out” the eye and push the retina back into place, similar to retinopexy. The detachment is sealed with cryopexy or laser.

To schedule an appointment with a specialist at Main Line Health, call 1.866.CALL.MLH (1.866.225.5654) or use our secure online appointment request form.