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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Retinal Detachment: Treatment & Monitoring
      Category : Health Centers > Eyes and Vision

Retinal Detachment

Retinal Detachment | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the condition?

If a retinal tear is found before a detachment has started, it should be treated immediately. Treatments include laser surgery or freezing the area to create a seal around the tear, preventing detachment from developing. In most cases, this will prevent detachment.

However, when fluid has already passed under the retina, lifting it, surgery is needed to put the retina back in its proper place. There are several procedures to fix the detachment. At the time of surgery other small tears without detachments around them may be treated, also. In one type of surgery a gas bubble is injected into the vitreous space inside the eye. This bubble pushes the retina back into its normal position. The person will need to hold a certain head position for several days and the gas bubble gradually disappears.

Another procedure involves placing a band, called a scleral buckle, around the eye to indent the outer portion of the eye, allowing the retina to seat itself back in place. With this procedure the doctor drains the fluid from under the retina before the band is tightened.

With a third procedure, called a vitrectomy, the gel is removed from the eye and usually replaced with a gas bubble. The body's own fluid then gradually replaces the bubble as it dissolves. Sometimes the removal of the vitreous gel is combined with the scleral buckle procedure.

Following surgery, eye drops are usually placed in the eye for several weeks. Normal activity cannot be resumed until the eye doctor gives permission. People are usually required to avoid flying in an airplane or traveling up to high altitudes until the gas bubble is gone from the eye. This increase in altitude could cause a sudden rise in eye pressure, which is quite dangerous.

Usually glasses will be needed after the surgery.

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Retinal Detachment: Prevention & Expectations


Author: William Stevens, MD
Reviewer: Sandy Keefe, RN, MSN
Date Reviewed: 04/10/01

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