A laser or surgery is usually used to repair a retinal tear, hole or detachment. Your ophthalmologist will discuss the risks and benefits of your treatment options with you. Together, you can determine a suitable treatment.
Laser surgery (photocoagulation)
The ophthalmologist directs a laser beam at the retinal tear. The burns produced by the laser will adhere the retina to the underlying tissue.
In this process, a freezing probe is applied to the outer surface of the eye directly over the retinal tear or hole to freeze the area around the hole. The scar that subsequently develops will help to secure the retina to the eye wall.After the procedure, you may be advised to refrain from vigorous activity for one month to allow time for the bonds created by the procedure to strengthen.
Scleral buckling. Your ophthalmologist may choose to place a scleral buckle which is a silicon band that encircles the eye like a belt. The scleral buckle seals the retinal tears externally.
Vitrectomy. A vitrectomy involves removing the vitreous (the jelly-like substance in the eye cavity) and filling the eye with a gas bubble to hold the retina in place, giving it time to heal. After a vitrectomy, your ophthalmologist may ask you to maintain a certain head posture for a few weeks to position the gas bubble against the hole or tear in the retina.
With modern therapy, over 90% of those with a retinal detachment can be successfully treated with one procedure, although sometimes a second operation may be required. The degree of vision that returns after successful surgery will vary depending on the extent and duration of the retinal detachment.
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