How is retinal detachment treated?

There are a number of approaches to treating a detached retina. Sometimes these approaches can be combined. Treatments include the following:

  • Laser (thermal) or cryopexy (freezing): Both of these approaches can repair a retinal tear if it is diagnosed early enough.
  • Pneumatic retinopexy: This procedure can be used if the tear is small and easy to close. A small gas bubble is injected into the vitreous (the gel that fills the inside of the eye), where it rises and presses against the retina, closing the tear. A laser or cryopexy can then be used to seal the tear.
  • Scleral buckle: This procedure involves placing a silicone band (buckle) around the eye to hold the retina in place. This band is not visible and remains permanently attached. A laser or cryopexy can then be used to seal the tear.
  • Vitrectomy: This procedure is used for larger tears. During a vitrectomy, the vitreous is removed from the eye and a bubble of gas or silicone oil is placed in the eye.

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