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Consultant Ophthalmologist, Cataract & Refractive Surgeon
BMedSci BM BS MRCS MRCSEd MRCOpth FRCOphth MMedLaw PgD Cataract & Refractive Surgery

Retinal Detachment Repair

Retinal detachments may be repaired by vitrectomy, cryobuckle or pneumatic retinopexy.

Pneumatic retinopexy involves injecting a gas into the vitreous cavity. The gas is light and floats upwards to exert pressure on a superiorly located detachment in order to flatten it. Cryotherapy is also applied to the retinal break to seal it. The patient usually has to keep their head in a specific position to allow the floating gas to press upon the appropriate area.

Cryobuckle is an external repair, as opposed to the internal repair of the vitrectomy procedure. Cryotherapy is applied to the sclera in the area of the retinal break to seal it by inducing a scar in the choroid, which involves the retina. As no internal pressure can be placed on the retina in order to flatten it, an external force is applied. Plastic or sponge material (explant or buckle) is sutured to the outer surface of the eye to indent the sclera.


Unfortunately, detachment may recur and require a further operation.