When the retina tears or develops breaks and holes and gets detached from the eye wall, scleral buckle surgery is often used to close the breaks and flatten the retina. By using a special piece of material, semi-hard plastic, silicone sponge, or rubber, which is sewn onto the sclera (white of the eye), the sclera is pushed in or “buckled” toward the middle of the eye. The skilled and experienced Jacksonville, FL retina surgeons use scleral buckle surgery to restore vision to patients. While the surgery is helpful, it’s not completely effective at preventing the retinal opening from reoccurring. In many cases, cryopexy (intense cold therapy), diathermy (heat therapy), or laser photocoagulation is used to hold the retina in place until a secure seal forms between the retina and the underneath layer.
What to Expect
Before scleral buckle surgery, the surgeon may place a patch over both of the patient’s eyes and have him or her stay in bed for a certain amount of time in order to prevent the detachment from spreading. On the day of the surgery, eye drops will be used to dilate the pupils, and in some cases, the eyelashes may be trimmed to keep them out of the way during the procedure. Local or general anesthesia will be administered. The scleral buckle, which is a piece of semi-hard plastic, silicone sponge, or rubber, will be sewn to the white part (sclera) of the eye. The surgery usually takes 1 – 2 hours to complete and the patient normally can return home the same day.
The surgeon may use eye drops to protect the eye from infection and to keep the eye from closing or opening wide after surgery. Patients may experience some pain for the first few days following surgery, and the eye could be red, swollen, and tender for several weeks. Some patients may need to wear a patch over the treated eye for a certain amount of time. If the macula was attached prior to surgery, the chances for obtaining good vision after scleral buckle surgery is higher. However, if the macula wasn’t attached before surgery, good vision can still be achieved but the chances are less.
Scleral buckle surgery can be an effective way to restore vision after the retina tears, breaks, or develops a hole. To learn more and find out if you’re a candidate for this procedure, call our clinic today and schedule a consultation for more information.