Retina Surgery is only needed with severe retinal detachment or a retinal tear. These medical issues occur in less than one percent of the population. It is primarily seen in people ages 40 and older and is more common in men. The conditions do not normally happen after sustaining physical injuries to the head or facial area. The various treatment options are highly successful.

The retina is the inner lining of our eyeballs, which are filled with a clear gel. When this lining detaches or tears, it immediately causes blatant visual distortions. If any of the following symptoms occur, an individual should immediately seek medical attention, because rapid treatment increases the potential for a 100 percent recover from surgery.

  • Photopsia – flashes of light appearing around the exterior of the field of vision.
  • Floaters – a sudden increase is a trigger, but it is perfectly normal in consistent low appearances.
  • Blurred Vision – specifically in a ring shape consisting of hair like strokes around the center of the field of vision.

Retina Surgery will be determined by medical eyecare professionals using one of two methods to inspect the retina. The first of which is fundus photography (ophthalmoscopy), which takes a picture of the back portion of the inside of our eyeball. The second method, Ultrasound, similar to viewing an unborn child, can be used to inspect the nature of the delicate layers that make up our eyeball. With both these methods, the picture can be shared amongst medical professions to best determine whether the damage is a tear or a detachment, and what the best treatment will be.

If left untreated, a retinal detachment can lead to a tear. There are three main types of detachment. One is most common in the elderly, where the breakdown of the tissues that make up the connection of the retina to the outer eyeball simply break down. Another form occurs when inflammation of these tissues pushes on the retina, causing distortion to the eyeball. The third, and most uncommon, is also caused by inflammation, but located on the fibres of the outside of the eyeball, where pressure causes unnatural pulling that distorts the eyeballs shape.

Retina Surgery is always necessary in a full tear, where the inner gel of the eye is able to leak into the exterior walls of the eyeball and great an uneven gap. The three methods of surgery are scleral buckle, pneumatic retinopexy or a vitrectomy.

  • A scleral buckle uses silicon bands to apply pressure to the location of the tear, closing the gap between the retina and exterior to allow no further leakage.
  • Pneumatic retinopexy is least common, and utilizes the pressure of our inner eye to suck back the liquid that has leaked out by injecting a tiny bubble into the eye and positioning the patients head so that it sits directly where the tear is. Once all liquid runs back into the eyeball, it will remain unless the tear is increased further.
  • A vitrectomy actually drains all the natural fluid from the eye to be replaced with a fluid that is less likely to leak or gas. This method is also effective for quickly fixing retina detachments.


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Sara T. Loving

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