What Are the Success Rates for Retinal Detachment Surgery?

Retinal detachment is a condition that can develop in many people from all walks of life, and is a serious illness that can result in severe loss of vision when not treated rapidly. With that said, there are several excellent treatment methods available today which can effectively deal with the problem if action is taken rapidly.

These different methods all fall under the umbrella of retinal detachment surgery, and include vitrectomy, pneumatic retinopexy and scleral buckling. In addition to this, laser eye surgery or cryopexy can be performed to repair small tears in the retina.

All of these different treatment options are available depending on the type of retinal detachment that the individual is suffering from and what will be the most efficient method to stop progression of the condition and retain as high a level of vision as possible.

Several of these treatments – including cryopexy, pneumatic retinopexy and laser eye surgery – can be completed in the office of the eye specialist and there is no need for surgery. On the other hand, vitrectomy and scleral buckling treatment are both out patient procedures that take place under local anaesthetic.

All of these different treatments are more or less successful at halting the further development of the condition, repairing parts of the damaged retina and maintaining a good level of vision for the patient.

Pneumatic retinopexy – which works by inserting a gas bubble into the eye to push the retina back to the wall of the eye – is the least successful statistically than other two forms of local anaesthetic surgery mentioned above. In general, this boasts a rate of 75%, although this is by no means a low success rate.

In many cases where this fails to work as well as it s should, there is some blame that lies with the patient. This is because there are several requirements in regards to the positioning of the head after the treatment has taken place. These can be difficult to abide by, but they are absolutely essential in order for the patient to make a speedy recovery.

In other cases whether this type of treatment has been carried out, new tears can occur in the retina. In all the above cases, a follow up surgical procedure such as vitrectomy can be highly successful in reattaching the retina if the pneumatic retinopexy fails.

Vitrectomy itself has a very high success rate of over 90%. This works by removing the vitreous fluid that is inside the eye, at which point scar tissue can be removed and tears healed with laser eye surgery or cryopexy. The vitreous fluid is replaced with a gas bubble, which will be replaced naturally by the eye as it refills with fluid.

Although the success rate is very high, the outcome ultimately depends on how severe the condition was before it was treated.

Scleral buckle treatment works different by attaching a piece of silicone to the exterior of the eye, which then pushes the retinaand the eye wall together. Like vitrectomy, this has a 90% success rate, making it one of the better options, particularly for those whose condition cannot be treated by mere laser surgery or pneumatic retinopexy.

All in all, however, the outcome will take some time to gauge precisely. Many patients who have gone through the procedures outlined above have noted that their eyesight can deteriorate further several months after the surgery, at which time they will need a new vision correction prescription.

How good the patient’s eyesight is will mostly depend on how rapidly the condition has been detected and how quickly doctors were able to treat it. If the patient’s vision was relatively good before the condition developed, there are higher chances of vision still being good post-procedure.