Eyes Home > Detached Retina Treatment

Some of the treatment options for retinal detachment include laser surgery, cryopexy, scleral buckle, vitrectomy, and pneumopexy. The specific treatment your doctor recommends will depend on the type, size, and location of the retinal detachment. Many people who undergo treatment experience favorable results, but this is hard to predict. It may take months before the final result is known.

An Introduction to Treating a Detached Retina

Detached retina treatment involves immediate surgery in order to repair the detached retina. The specific type of surgery the doctor recommends will depend on the type, size, and location of the detached retina. Left untreated, a detached retina can result in partial or complete vision loss in the affected eye.

Laser Surgery and Cryopexy

Small holes and tears are treated with laser surgery or with a freezing treatment called cryopexy. These procedures are usually performed in the doctor's office. During laser surgery, tiny burns are made around the hole to "weld" the retina back into place. Cryopexy freezes the area around the hole and helps reattach the retina.

Scleral Buckle, Vitrectomy, and Pneumopexy

In some cases, a scleral buckle, a tiny synthetic band, is attached to the outside of the eyeball to gently push the wall of the eye against the detached retina.
If necessary, a vitrectomy may also be performed. During a vitrectomy, the doctor makes a tiny incision in the sclera (the white of the eye). Next, a small instrument is placed into the eye to remove the vitreous, a gel-like substance that fills the center of the eye and helps the eye maintain a round shape. Then, gas is often injected into the eye to replace the vitreous and reattach the retina (known as a pneumopexy); the gas pushes the retina back against the wall of the eye. During the healing process, the eye makes fluid that gradually replaces the gas and fills the eye.
These procedures may require the patient to stay in the hospital. After a couple of weeks, either laser surgery or cryopexy is used to "weld" the retina back in place.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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