Rhegmatogenous retinal detachments affects 1 in every 10,000 people each year, and both eyes can be affected in about 10% of cases. Retinal detachment is characterized by the presence of a peripheral retinal rupture that is kept open by the traction of the internal gel of the eye, which allows for the accumulation of fluid under the retina and the subsequent retinal detachment.

More than 40% of all retinal detachments occur in patients with myopia. The risk is inversely proportional to the prescription, meaning that patients with higher myopia have a greater risk of a retinal detachment. Before a retinal detachment, these patients may have lesions in the retina (such as tears or holes) that can only be diagnosed during a consultation with an eye specialist.

A Retinal Tear

Myopic patients who have had corrective surgery are still at risk of a retinal detachment because this type of refractive surgery only modifies the cornea or lens that is found in the front of the eye (whereas the retina is located in the back of eye).

The main symptoms described by 60% of patients with retinal detachment are floaters and flashes (lights). As time goes by, the patient begins to notice blurred vision or a black curtain before ultimately losing all vision.

Traumatic Retinal Detachment, Superior tears

The goal of treatment is to successfully repair the retinal detachment with minimal trauma and associated risks.

The main procedures to treat problems affecting the retina include: pneumatic retinopexy, scleral buckle, and vitrectomy.

Pneumatic retinopexy or pneumopexy is an outpatient procedure in which a gas bubble is used that expands inside the eye to close a retinal rupture and adhere the retina without opening the eye. While it can be performed in the office and is minimally invasive, its success rate is lower than scleral buckling or a vitrectomy (described below).

Dr. Moreno Performing a Scleral Buckle Procedure

The scleral buckle is a surgical procedure in which a sponge or band is sutured to the walls of the eye creating an indentation or internal depression. The purpose of this procedure is to close retinal breaks by positioning the wall of the eyeball to the retina and to reduce the traction of the internal gel that caused the break. The scleral buckle is placed around the entire circumference of the eye to create a 360 degree closure.

Although the majority of retinal detachments are simple and can be satisfactorily treated with a scleral buckle, a vitrectomy offers a greatly improved prognosis for more complex detachments. A vitrectomy is a surgery performed inside of the eye using ports through which light, cut, and suction probes enter. A vitrectomy is suggested in cases where the retinal breaks cannot be visualized, and in cases of retinal detachments in which the retinal breaks cannot be treated with a scleral explant in a single procedure (which are usually detachments involving giant tears or posterior tears).

Retinal detachment during vitrectomy

Three Weeks After Vitrectomy


  • brightness_1  MYOPIA
  • brightness_1  FLOATERS AND FLASHES
  • brightness_1  CATARACT SURGERY
  • brightness_1  DIABETES
  • brightness_1  OCULAR TRAUMA

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