Your ophthalmologistwill discuss with you the treatment options.You may need a combination of treatments for best results.
Laser (thermal) treatment or cryopexy (freezing). Sometimes, your ophthalmologist will diagnose a retinal tear before the retina begins to detach. Your ophthalmologist uses a medical laser or a freezing tool to seal the tear. These devices create a scar that holds the retina in place.
Pneumatic retinopexy: Your ophthalmologistmay recommend this approach if the detachment is not so extensive. During pneumatic retinopexy:
- Your vitreoretinal specialist injects a small gas bubble into the vitreous, the fluid into the eye
- The bubble presses on the retina, closing the tear
- You may need laser or cryopexy to seal the tear
- The fluid collected under the retinalgets re-absorbed from the body. The retina can now stick to the eye wall like it should. Eventually, the gas bubble also gets reabsorbed.
After surgery, your vitreoretinal surgeon will recommend that you keep your head still for a few days to promote healing. You also may be told not to lieonyourback.
Scleral buckle (Scleral buckle). During this procedure:
- Your surgeon surgically places a silicone tape around the eye
- The band holds the retina in place and stays there permanently
- The detached retina begins to heal
- Laser or cryopexy is used to seal the tear
Vitrectomy. During a vitrectomy, your vitreoretinal surgeon:
- Surgically removes the vitreous
- Places a bubble of air, gas or oil in the eye to push the retina back into place
If your surgeon uses an oil bubble, will removeit a few months later. Gas and air bubbles get reabsorbed.
If you have a gas bubble, you may need to avoid activities at certain altitudes. Changing altitude can increase the size of the gas bubble and the pressure in your eye. You should avoid flying and traveling at high altitudes. Your surgeon will tell you when you can start these activities again.