Retinal Detachment Surgery: Diagnosis | ASG Eye Hospitals

Retinal Detachment Surgery: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Retinal Detachment Surgery: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Eye Retinal Detachment is an emergency that occurs when the retina, a light-sensitive membrane situated at the back of the eye, separates from its normal position.
The lens of the eye focuses an image on the retina when light passes through it. The retina is a thin layer of tissue that receives images and sends them as electric signals through the optic nerve to the brain.
So, when the retina separates from its normal position it renders deprived of oxygen and nourishment. This may lead to Retinal Detachment surgery for treatment. As the retinal cells are cut off from the blood vessels that provide oxygen, the risk of partial or permanent vision loss increases. If it is not treated immediately, it may lead to severe consequences.

Symptoms of Retinal Detachment

Though there is no significant pain associated with this situation, various symptoms occur before or in the advanced stages:


  • Blurred vision
  • The sudden appearance of floaters or tiny specks or strings drifting through the field of vision
  • Partial vision loss that occurs as a curtain has pulled across your field of vision, with a shadowing effect
  • Photopsia: Sudden flashes of light in the eyes
  • Gradual reduction of side or peripheral vision
Symptoms occur rapidly and if not addressed or treated immediately, may lead to eye surgery for retinal detachment. The risk of vision loss also increases with time if the symptoms are overlooked.

Types or Causes of Retinal Detachment

Whether this condition is caused by a tear, scar tissue, or disease, the types differ with the state of the retina.
Majorly, there are three types of Retinal Detachment:
Rhegmatogenous: It is the most common type of retinal detachment caused by a hole or a tear in the retina, making the fluid slip through the opening and collect underneath the retina, consequently pulling the retina away from the underlying tissues. The regions where the retina detaches lose their supply of blood and cease to work, causing loss of vision.
Aging is the most common cause of rhegmatogenous detachment. Vitreous, a gel-like substance that fills the inside of the eye may change in consistency or render more liquid with age. Usually, this gel-like substance separates from the surface of the retina without any complications and this condition is termed posterior vitreous detachment (PVD). The common complication of this separation is a tear.
Vitreous may tug on the retina with sufficient force to create a retinal tear when it separates or peels off the retina. If immediate measures are not taken, the liquid vitreous can pass through the tear and settle behind the space of the retina, causing detachment.
Tractional: This type of retinal detachment is typically observed in people who have poorly controlled diabetes or people suffering from diabetes mellitus (which mainly affects the retinal vascular system).
In tractional retinal detachment, the scar tissue grows or contracts on the retina’s surface, causing the retina to pull away from the back of the eye.
The retinal vascular damage leads to scar tissue accumulation resulting in detachment of the retina.
Exudative: This type of retinal detachment is not caused by any tears or holes in the retina. In this, fluid accumulates beneath the retina. The main causes are:
  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • An inflammatory disorder that leads to the accumulation of fluid behind the retina
  • Injury or wound to the eye
  • Tumors
  • Cancer behind the retina

Are you at risk of retinal detachment?

It is usual for anyone to experience retinal detachment but a few factors can highly increase being at risk:
  • Anybody with a family history of retinal detachment
  • A severe injury or wound in the past
  • If someone has been through eye surgeries such as cataract surgery
  • Diagnosed with eye conditions or diseases
  • Aging (greater risk if the person is above the age of 50)
  • Extreme myopia (Not able to see objects situated farther from the eye)
  • Diagnosed previously with retinal detachment
Some eye-related conditions or diseases also put you at a higher risk:
  • Diabetic Retinopathy (a diabetic complication that affects the blood vessels in the retina)
  • Lattice degeneration (the thinning of the retina)
  • Retinoschisis (the separation of the retina into two layers)
  • Posterior vitreous detachment (gel-like material in the center of the eye pulls or separates away from the retina)

How is Retinal Detachment diagnosed?

This condition is diagnosed through an eye exam. The eye specialist will use dilated eye exam to check the retina. Initially, eye drops are put in the eyes. These drops dilate the pupils or widen them. The doctor will be able to get a close look after a few minutes.


The eye specialist or ophthalmologist may prescribe other tests after the dilated eye exam. These tests are non-invasive and painless. They help the doctors provide more detail and information for the further course of treatment. Some of the tests which are mostly recommended are:
Optical coherence tomography (OCT): Firstly, the pupils are dilated for this imaging. Secondly, the patient is required to sit in front of the OCT machine, where your head is placed on a support to stay still. Lastly, the machine scans your eye but does not touch it.
Eye (ocular) ultrasound: This test does not use drops for dilating the eye but the doctor may use drops that numb the eyes to diminish the discomfort. The patient is made to sit on a chair and rest the head on a support, so it stays still. The doctor will gently place the instrument in front of the eye to scan it. Thereafter, the patient is asked to close their eyes. The eye specialist puts gel on the eyelids. To scan the eyes with the instrument, the patient needs to move the eyes keeping them closed.

What is the treatment for retinal detachment?

In minor cases of retinal detachment or tears of the retina, a simple procedure in the eye specialist’s office may suffice. But, in most cases, surgery becomes a necessity to repair the detached retina.
Laser surgery (photocoagulation) and freezing (cryopexy) are the most usual treatment options for the tears in the retina.
Photocoagulation is performed with a laser in case there exists a hole or tear in the retina but the retina is still attached. The laser burns around the tear site and results in scarring, which in consequence affixes the retina to the back of the eye.
Cryopexy is a procedure that means freezing with intense cold. In this treatment, the doctor applies a freezing probe outside of the eye in the region over the retinal tear site and the eventual scarring will hold the retina in the normal place.

Eye Surgery for Retinal Detachment

In case, a larger part of the retina is detached, doctors usually recommend Retinal Detachment Surgery to move the retina back in place.
The three most typically prescribed surgeries are retinopexy, scleral buckling, and vitrectomy.


Pneumatic retinopexy

This procedure is performed to repair minor detachments. The doctor may perform it in the office itself. Firstly, the doctor uses medicine to numb the eyes to reduce or diminish discomfort. The steps thereafter are:
  • A small amount of fluid is extracted with the help of a tiny needle.
  • Formation of petite bubbles in the eye by injecting a small amount of air.
  • Lastly, the doctor waits for the retina to shift back into place and repairs any holes or tears with laser surgery or freezing.
The air bubble in the eye will cause no issues and disappear over time, but some precautions are suggested after the surgery to make sure the eye heals completely.
Few engagements like intense exercise, heavy lifting, or flying in an airplane should be avoided for minimal exertion of the body. The patient needs to keep following up with the doctor to make sure the eye is healing correctly.

Scleral bulking

Scleral bulking is performed in more severe cases of retinal detachment. The doctor will typically give the patients anesthesia for this surgery so they can sleep and do not feel any discomfort during the entire procedure. Next:
  • The doctor will place a small and flexible band around the sclera (white portion of the eye).
  • The band then pushes the sides of the eye and toward the retina so it will reattach.
  • The band remains permanently after the surgery.
  • Lastly, to repair any holes or tears, laser surgery or freezing might be provided.
The retinal detachment surgery is very simple and not painful, so the doctor may discharge the patient the same day. Although, due to the induced anesthesia, someone might have to drive the patient home.
Some precautions are necessary to make sure the eye heals properly:
  • Wearing an eye patch for at least a day after surgery.
  • Avoidance of heavy lifting or intense exercise.
  • Follow-ups with the eye specialist.


It is an eye surgery for retinal detachment used for larger tears and is performed usually in an outpatient surgery center. The patient will be under anesthesia to proceed through the following steps:
  • The doctor will make a small incision in the sclera of the eye.
  • A microscope is inserted to examine the interior of the eye.
  • Then, the doctor will remove abnormalities like scar tissue or vitreous.
  • A gas bubble will be injected simultaneously placing the retina back in its place.
  • Eventually, freezing or laser will be done to repair tears or holes.
The patient might feel some discomfort after the surgery and is suggested to avoid intense exercise.

Prevention from Retinal Detachment Surgery

There are no known ways to prevent retinal detachment condition or surgery but a person can take a few precautionary measures:
  • Getting eye dilation exams regularly
  • Wearing a protective eye shield while playing sports
  • Controlling levels of blood sugar
These conditions might worsen the normal functioning of the eye and may result in severe consequences. But, don’t worry if you have such conditions. At ASG Eye Hospitals, we take pride in providing the best solutions for eye care to people irrespective of their awareness, knowledge, and financial levels. The most optimal retinal detachment surgery at ASG encompasses state-of-the-art equipment and highly experienced doctors.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *




ASG Appointment Whatsapp Chat