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Treating Retinal Detachment

Treating retina detachment is one of our special areas of service here at Elman Retina Group. When a retina becomes detached, surgery is necessary to replace it in its proper position. It takes highly trained specialists like us to do this properly. Your eyes are precious, so don't trust their repair and healing to anyone but the best. Come to us for a consultation and let us show you just what we can do and how well we will care for your eyes.

What is Retina Detachment and What Does it Do to Your Vision?

The retina is in the back of your eye, and is composed of light-sensitive tissue. If it is detached, this means it is not properly attached to the surrounding tissues anymore. It may also mean the retina has a tear or a hole in it. Sometimes, a tear or hole in the retina forms first, and causes the retina to detach from the surrounding tissues if it is not treated. In any of these instances, the damage to the retina must be repaired.

In fact, it must be repaired quickly. Detached retina tissue quickly becomes useless due to cells in it dying off. When enough retina cells are gone, it can lead to blindness in the affected eye. A tear or hole in the retina can be repaired with a laser, if the damage appears before the retina itself detaches. If the retina begins to detache, more complex surgery, called a pneumatic retinopexy, must be done to repair and correct it.

With this type of surgery, a gas bubble is injected into the eye, and the bubble floats to the retina and pushes it back into its proper place. A laser will be used to seal it there, so it does not detach again.

If the retina is severely detached, another type of surgery is used to correct it. Unlike the retinopexy, which is done in your eye doctor's office, these other surgeries are done in a hospital or day surgery center.

There are two other types of surgery used in a hospital or surgery center setting. One is the scleral buckle. With this method, the walls of the eye are pushed inward to meet the damaged part of the retina, sealing off the damage, and creating a smooth retina again. The second type of surgery is called a vitrectomy. This surgery inserts small devices into the eye to release the pressure on the retina. With the release of pressure, the retina can move back into its correct position on its own. Both surgical procedures are usually done with local anesthesia while you are awake, but can be done with general anesthesia if you prefer and if your eye doctor determines it is correct for you.

While the surgery needs to be done quickly to avoid any loss of vision, and the recovery can take several days to several weeks, depending on the type of surgery, the prognosis for retinal detachment surgery is typically very good for most patients. Eye health and overall health history play a part, but most patients do very well and have no complications.

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