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A detached retina is an emergency situation that occurs when your retina – a thin layer of tissue at the back of your eye that processes light – pulls away from its normal position. If left untreated, the condition can lead to vision loss. There are several types of surgery to treat a detached retina, which are performed depending on the severity of the retinal detachment.
There are five main types of detached retina treatment, laser surgery, freezing (cryopexy), pneumatic retinopexy, scleral buckle, and vitrectomy. Laser surgery and cryopexy are performed to repair a tear in the retina if it is diagnosed early enough, both are done under local anesthetic. Pneumatic retinopexy works for a small tear that is easy to close, it involves injecting a tiny gas bubble into the vitreous. If your retina has completely detached, your doctor may recommend scleral buckling, which involves suturing a piece of silicone material to your sclera (the white of your eye) over the affected area. If your case is very serious, your doctor may perform a procedure known as vitrectomy. During a vitrectomy, the vitreous is removed and replaced with a saline solution. Depending on the size of the tear on your retina, your doctor may use various combinations of these detached retina treatments. For scleral buckling and vitrectomy, you may be given local or general anesthetic.
You must stay in Heidelberg for 6 weeks because you cannot fly until the air bubble has gone from your eye. Before you fly home, make sure you have your doctor’s approval as the air bubble may expand with cabin pressure and cause severe damage.
If you have a scleral buckle or vitrectomy, the recovery period may take around 4 weeks until you can go back to work and resume your normal activities. However, laser surgery and cyropexy have shorter recovery time, usually around 2 weeks. Make sure to eat a healthy diet and avoid vigorous exercises during the recovery period.
Your doctor will schedule a follow-up checkup to see whether the procedure was effective. You may want to make some lifestyle changes after the procedure. Keep your diabetes or high blood pressure under control and get regular eye exams.
Detached retina treatment is known to have a high success rate, with a 90% repair rate. The success usually depends on the seriousness of the tears and detachment. Surgery carries some risk and side effects, such as serious reaction to anesthesia and permanent loss of vision if the retina is damaged before reattachment.
A detached retina needs to be treated to prevent vision loss. There is currently no alternative besides surgery.
A detached retina can be fatal and you can lose your vision forever. If you have a detached retina get treatment as soon as you are diagnosed with the condition, your vision will improve within several months.
Whilst the information presented here has been accurately sourced and verified by a medical professional for its accuracy, it is still advised to consult with your doctor before pursuing a medical treatment at one of the listed medical providers. This content was last updated on 28/11/2020.