Retinal detachment repair - Recovery
Scleral buckling; Vitrectomy; Pneumatic retinopexy; Laser retinopexy
After the Procedure:
The chances of successful reattachment of the retina depend on the number of holes, their size, and whether there is scar tissue in the area.
Most of the time, the retina can be reattached with only one operation, although some people need several surgeries. Less than 10% of detachments cannot be repaired. Failure to repair the retina always leads to poor or no vision in the eye.
After surgery, the quality of vision depends on where the detachment occurred, and the cause:
- If the central area of vision (macula) was not involved, vision will usually be very good.
- If the macula was involved for less than 1 week, vision will usually be improved, but not to 20/20 (normal).
- If the macula was detached for a long time, some vision will return, but it will be very impaired. Often, it will be less than 20/200, the limit for legal blindness.
The procedures usually do not require an overnight hospital stay.
You may need to limit physical activity for some time.
If the retina is repaired using the gas bubble procedure, you need to keep your head face down or turned to one side for several days or weeks. It is important to maintain this position so the gas bubble pushes the retina into place.
Patients with a gas bubble in the eye may not fly or go to high altitudes until the gas bubble dissolves. This usually happens within a few weeks.
- Reviewed last on: 8/12/2010
- David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Franklin W. Lusby, MD, Ophthalmologist, Lusby Vision Institute, La Jolla, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
Connolly BP, Regillo CD. Rhegmatogenous retinal detachment. In: Tansman W, Jaeger EA, eds. Duane's Ophthalmology. 15th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2009:chap 27.
Williams GA, Aaberg TM Jr. Techniques of scleral buckling. In: Tansman W, Jaeger EA, eds. Duane's Ophthalmology. 15th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2009:chap 59.
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