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How can a retinal detachment be treated?

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Quick Answer

The treatment for retinal detachment typically involves surgery in conjunction with photocoagulation and cryopexy, as noted by the Mayo Clinic. The three possible surgical procedures include pneumatic retinopexy, scleral buckling and vitrectomy. In some cases, a second surgery is necessary to completely rectify the problem.

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Full Answer

With pneumatic retinopexy, the surgeon injects a small bubble of air or gas into the vitreous. The bubble floats near the tear and helps to seal it, thereby preventing fluids from leaking into the space behind the retina.

With scleral buckling, the surgeon sews a small pieces of silicone rubber material to the sclera, or white of the eye, over the area affected by the retinal detachment. This causes an indention in the wall of the eye, relieving the force on the retina. Those who suffer from multiple retinal tears or detachment can be treated with a silicone piece that encircles the entire eye.

With a vitrectomy surgery, the surgeon removes the vitreous and tissue that is causing problems for the retina and replaces the area with air or fluid to reattach the retina. This surgery is often coupled with the scleral buckling process, since the air or fluid can be absorbed by the eye in time.

The patient's vision quality after surgery will depend on where the retinal detachment has occurred and how long the patient has been affected by it.

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