The eye’s retina is a very thin sheet of tissue against the back wall of the eye where images are focused before being sent to the brain. When the retina becomes detached or develops a tear our Laurel ophthalmologist must repair it often using laser therapy or cryotherapy. When more serious detachments occur our doctors will perform retina surgery. If the macula, the central part of the retina, detaches permanent damage to the patient’s vision may occur and if the retina completely detaches then vision may be lost permanently.
Our Laurel ophthalmologist at the Retina Group of Washington will evaluate the problem and can perform retina surgery to reattach the retina to the wall of the eye. Since a detached retina will lose blood flow so it is important that our doctor perform the reattachment surgery as quickly as possible. There are several different types of retina reattachment surgery depending on the type and severity of the detachment. One type of surgery is a pneumatic retinopexy, which entails our doctor injecting a gas bubble into the eye. The bubble presses against the detached retina and pushes it back into place. A laser or cryotherapy is then used to reattach the retina firmly into place. The gas bubble will dissolve in a few days. This procedure is done in our office.
Another type of retina surgery done by our Laurel ophthalmologist is a scleral buckle, which is done by placing a flexible band around the eye to counteract the forces pulling the retina away from the wall of the eye. Our doctor will then drain the fluid behind the retina, which allows the retina to return to its normal place. This surgery is performed in the hospital. A third surgery to reattach the retina is called a vitrectomy and is performed for very serious detachments. Often this procedure entails removing the vitreous fluid inside the eye. In about 90 percent of cases a detached retina can successfully be reattached. The degree to which vision will be restored depends on the seriousness of the detachment, any scarring that may have occurred prior to the surgery and any damage to the macula. If you are experiencing any problems with your vision, especially if you are seeing floaters, sudden flashes of light or a shadow over part of the eye please contact our office for an examination as soon as possible.