One hundred sixty-four patients (171 eyes) were treated for retinal breaks and the treatment outcomes were studied. One hundred two eyes were acutely symptomatic, 22 eyes were chronically symptomatic, and 47 eyes were asymptomatic. The reasons for further treatment in 38 of the 171 eyes (22%) included the following: (1) inadequate closure of the original break without detachment in eight eyes (5%), (2) new breaks without detachment in 15 eyes (9%), (3) an operation for retinal detachment caused by the original break in seven eyes (4%), or (4) retinal detachment caused by a new break in eight eyes (5%). Failure rates of treatment among acutely symptomatic, chronically symptomatic, and asymptomatic subgroups were not statistically significant. The risk of treatment failure was higher for aphakic and pseudophakic eyes, and in eyes with peripheral retinal abnormalities in the fellow eye. Among 38 patients with failed treatments, 20 (52%) returned for further examination within one month of initial treatment, whereas eight of the 38 patients with failed treatments (21%) returned six months or more after initial treatment. Peripheral retinal abnormalities were recognized initially in 65 of the 171 fellow eyes (38%) and subsequently developed in nine of the fellow eyes (5%) during the follow-up interval. Further treatment is often necessary after initial treatment of peripheral retinal breaks, emphasizing the need for careful long-term follow-up care.
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