What is retinal detachment?
? Retinal detachment describes an emergency situation in which a thin layer of tissue (the retina) at the back of the eye pulls away from its normal position.
Retinal detachment treatment:
- Injecting air/gas into your eye
- This retinal detachment treatment is also called the pneumatic retinopexy
- A bubble of air in inserted in the centre of the eye which pushes the hole backward, closing the open spaces and preventing leakage
- Cropexy/freezing is also used along with this process to freeze treat any tears or scars
- You will need to hold your head up against gravity for several days post the retinal surgery for the bubble to do its job, after which it will dissolve on its own
2. Indenting the surface of your eye
- This is also called scleral buckling
- In this form of retinal detachment surgery, a piece of silicone material is sewed to the damaged part of the eye to prevent any leakage and damage
- 3. Draining and replacing the fluid of the eye
- This is also called vitrectomy
- The doctor removes the fluid and tissue causing harm to the retina
- Air,silicone or oil is replaced which gets absorbed by the body eventually, and body fluids take up the space of the drained area retaining normal conditions.
Retinal detachment causes:
? Advanced Diabetes
? Sagging vitreous humour (usually genetic)
Symptoms of retinal detachment:
? Flashing lights
? Blurred Vision
? Reduced side vision
? A curtain/shadow like barrier to eyesight
? Sudden floating of tiny specks drifting through field of vision
Diagnosis of retinal detachment:
? Retinal examination
- A bright light will be flashed at your eye for the Doctor to determine a detailed inspection of the eye
? Ultrasound imaging
- If bleeding has occurred,the blood will create obstruction for the retinal examination and hence an ultrasound will be required
How to prepare for surgery?
- One week prior to surgery: Do not take aspirin containing products, any form of blood thinners. Preoperative check up is mandate,when you must tell your doctor about any discomfort,pain or recent development pertaining to health or otherwise
- The morning of the surgery: Take no medication for diabetes unless instructed otherwise. All medication with respect to the surgery including eye drops must be taken religiously. No ingestion of drinks and food are allowed on the day of the surgery. No makeup, jewellery should be adorned and someone should be brought along for support.
What type of anaesthesia is available?
? Local anaesthesia (LA) is administered with IV medication so there will be no memory of the pain felt during the eye injection
? Surgical drapes are placed over the face, there is plenty of breathing room for the patient
? Being still is key, no movement during the retinal detachment surgery will be allowed of beneficial for the patient
? With general anaesthesia (GA), the patient remembers absolutely nothing. There will be several side effects post use of GA, but nothing severe. It takes longer for a patient to recover from GA compared to LA.
Things that make the surgery difficult are:
- Scarring from a previous surgery
After the surgery, the post retinal detachment treatment will involve usage of corticosteroids and antibiotic eyedrops to prevent any possible prospect of infection. The doctor will give an eyepatch that needs to be maintained at her his discretion. The recovery time is long and uncomfortable, but equally comforting and rewarding on the long run.
Retinal detachment surgery is over 90% successful. A successful retinal surgery will restore a section of vision, but not all,unfortunately. 2-6 weeks postoperative care is the minimum time required to notice healing and improvement.