Retinal detachment associated with macular hole surgery: Characteristics, mechanism, and outcomes

Homayoun Tabandeh, Nauman A. Chaudhry, William E. Smiddy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Objective: To study the frequency, features, and outcomes of retinal detachment (RD) occurring after macular hole surgery. Methods: Retrospective review of all cases of macular hole surgery. Cases with postoperative RD were identified for study. Outcome measures included baseline demographic and ocular characteristics, RD features, surgical procedure, macular hole status, and final visual and anatomic outcomes. Results: Retinal detachment occurred in 8 (1.8%) of 438 eyes undergoing macular hole surgery. The rate of RD was 3.5% early in the course of the surgeon's experience (first 200 cases) and 0.4% later in the surgeon's experience (after 200 cases) (P = 0.026). Two of the eight eyes with RD had undergone previous macular hole surgery. All six primary cases occurred after repair of stage 3 macular holes, which had involved peeling of the posterior cortical face. The RD involved the inferior quadrants in seven eyes and the macula in two eyes. The pathogenic retinal break was in the equatorial region in four eyes, was anterior to the equator in two eyes, and remained undetermined in two eyes. The retina was attached and the macular hole was closed in all cases at the final follow-up examination (mean 30 months). The macular hole reopened 2 years following successful reattachment of the RD in one eye. Final visual acuity was ≥ 20/60 in four eyes and < 20/200 in one eye. Conclusion: Retinal detachment after macular hole surgery is uncommon and may be related to posterior cortical vitreous stripping. Early detection of RD minimizes adverse visual and anatomic outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)281-286
Number of pages6
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999


  • Macular hole
  • Pars plana vitrectomy
  • Posterior cortical vitreous
  • Retinal detachment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems


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