Investigating: RETINAL DETACHMENT

Do you know what repair of retinal detachment consists of?

The retina is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. If there is detachment, it means that it has separated from the surrounding tissue (pigment epithelium and choroid).

The repair of the retina is about placing the retina back in its correct place. If a retinal detachment occurs, medical treatment is urgently needed to prevent permanent loss of vision if the case is severe or is not treated in a short period of time. For this it is very important that, in doing so, oxygen is not used during the intervention, as this could cause blindness. Everything will always depend on the severity of detachment.

But why can the retina detach?

For a tumor, injury or illness. It can be released totally or partially.

Detachment is the most frequent cause of retinal involvement, but retinal surgery may also occur due to pathologies such as ocular macules and epiretinal membranes, vitreous hemorrhage (with diabetic retinopathy being the most frequent), or severe intraocular inflammation.

It is usually given more in cases of 40-70 years in both men and women.

How is it repaired?

With surgery or laser

What techniques are usually used?

  1. Scleral surgery, where you work outside the eye. The surgeon implants a silicone band on the outermost layer of the silicone.
  2. Vitrectomy, where you work inside the eye. It is the most used method. It consists of the extraction of the vitreous gel by the substitution of a gas bubble. As the bubble is absorbed in a few weeks, it does not cause damage or changes in the retina. It is used for the most complicated cases. The patient has to maintain a posture upside down until the bubble disappears.
  3. Cryopexy and laser photocoagulation, in cases of very small detachments or if detachment has not yet been performed. Cryotherapy (cold) is used for this purpose. The time to heal can be 7-10 days. With this type of intervention, the patient should be followed up if he develops problems and needs another technique.
  4. Retinopexy Pneumatic, where gas is injected into the eye without extracting the vitreous gel. Therefore, it is the least used technique.

Although in many occasions they combine both techniques.

Do you know what the vitreous is?

A gelatinous and transparent liquid inside the eye and in contact with the retina. The good condition of the retina and the gel are indispensable for the good functioning of the visual system.

Is repair of retinal surgery effective?

It will depend on the severity of the detachment, the size of the retina and whether there are any scars or not.

More than 90% of cases are cured in a single intervention, but there are times when severity requires several interventions.

Depending on the severity, you may need general or local anesthesia, so always tell the doctor the medications we take and if we have allergies.

The purpose of the intervention is to find all the breaks, close them and release the vitreoretinal traction present and the one that can be developed in the future.

To consider

After the intervention, you have to be careful with the area when washing your face, do not do extreme exercise, do not lift weight and things like that.

In most cases, one-day hospitalization is not necessary, but the patient leaves home after the procedure.

Depending on the type of intervention, the doctor will then tell us what anti-inflammatory drugs or medications we will have to take and what precautions we should take. In any case, the patient has to go to the postoperative controls to monitor the evolution of the intervention.

At the Vithas Xanit International Hospital in Benalmadena, in the Ophthalmology unit, we treated detachment of the retina, as well as any pathology concerning the visual system. Always with the best professionals and a state-of-the-art equipment.