What is retinal detachment surgery?


Quick Answer

Retinal detachment surgery is an operation to repair a detached retina. The retina lies at the back of the eye and is sensitive to light rays. A detached retina happens when this layer becomes separated from the supporting layers of the eye, including the blood vessels.

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Full Answer

A detached retina requires immediate surgery to keep the retina from becoming devoid of oxygen, which causes the cells of the retina to die. The death of retinal cells can cause blindness.

Detached retinas can be repaired using several surgical methods. Pneumatic retinopexy allows the doctor to introduce a gas bubble into the eye and maneuver it to the retinal tear to repair it. In the scleral buckle method, which involves the use of a piece of silicone, the surgeon caves the outer layers of the back of the eye to meet the part where the retina has detached. The vitrectomy procedure inserts tiny instruments into the eye to remove liquid to relieve pressure so that the retina can settle back into place.

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