Management of retinal detachment when no break is found

Alberto Salicone, William E. Smiddy, Anna Venkatraman, William Feuer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Objective: To review the results of 2 different surgical approaches in the management of primary rhegmatogenous retinal detachments (RDs) with undetected retinal breaks. Design: Retrospective, consecutive, interventional case series. Participants: Medical records of 44 patients with uncomplicated macula-involving primary rhegmatogenous-appearing RDs, but without retinal breaks detected preoperatively or intraoperatively, were reviewed. Methods: All study patients were operated by the same surgeon between 1989 and 2004 using 2 approaches: 26 (59%) patients underwent a scleral buckling procedure (SBP) with or without subretinal fluid drainage, whereas 18 (41%) patients underwent scleral buckling combined with pars plana vitrectomy (PPV), fluid-gas exchange, and broad application of endolaser. Main Outcome Measures: Single operation and final postoperative anatomic success, and 2-month postoperative and final best-corrected visual acuity (VA) (negative logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution [logMAR]). Results: Mean preoperative VAs were 1.73 logMAR units (median, 1.60; range, 0.48-2.60) in the combined surgery group and 1.52 logMAR units (median, 1.30; range, 0.30-2.60) in the scleral buckling group. Neither preoperative (P = 0.33), 2-month postoperative (P = 0.53), best-corrected (P = 0.98), nor final (P = 0.46) mean VA showed any statistically significant differences between the 2 treatment groups. A single operation reattachment rate of 72% (13/18 cases) was achieved in the combined surgery group, compared with 61.5% (16/26 cases) in the scleral buckling group (P = 0.17, log rank test). Immediate anatomic success rates were 89% after combined treatment and 38.5% after scleral buckling alone (P = 0.002). At the final visit, the retina was attached in 15 (83.3%) patients who received the combined treatment and in 22 (84.6%) patients who underwent scleral buckling (P = 0.900). Intraoperative subretinal hemorrhage occurred in 1 (5.6%) patient from the combined surgery group and in 2 (7.7%) patients from the scleral buckling group. Retinal incarceration in the drainage sclerotomy occurred in 1 (3.8%) case during the SBP. Proliferative vitreoretinopathy sufficient to require reoperation developed in 1 (5.6%) eye of the combined surgery group and in 3 (11.5%) eyes of the scleral buckling group. Conclusions: Scleral buckling is as effective in the management of uncomplicated rhegmatogenous RDs with undetected breaks as is surgery combining scleral buckling and PPV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)398-403
Number of pages6
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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