Objective: To evaluate the potential risk factors, management strategies, and outcomes of scleral rupture during retinal detachment (RD) surgery. Design: Case-control study. Participants and Controls: Fourteen consecutive patients with scleral rupture during RD surgery (cases) and 65 consecutive patients who underwent RD surgery without scleral rupture (controls). Intervention: Demographic and clinical data were abstracted from patients' medical records. Outcome Measures: Visual acuity and retinal attachment status at the last examination. Results: Significant risk factors for scleral rupture during RD surgery were reoperation after failed RD surgery (71% vs. 32%), and pre-existing scleral pathologic condition (29% vs. none). The site of rupture was in the bed of a previously placed scleral buckle in all patients with a previous buckling surgery. Repair of the rupture included scleral sutures in eight (57%), scleral patch graft in four (29%), and placement of a scleral buckle over the site in two (14%) eyes. Eleven (79%) underwent vitrectomy with retinal tamponade by gas (n = 4) or silicone oil (n = 7). Complications observed postoperatively included vitreoretinal incarceration (n = 3), vitreous hemorrhage (n = 2), suprachoroidal hemorrhage (n = 2) and subretinal hemorrhage (n = 3). In the 14 eyes with scleral rupture, the final visual acuity was ≥20/40 in 1 (7%), 20/50 to 20/200 in 5 (36%), and <20/200 in 8 (57%). Ten (71%) had proliferative vitreoretinopathy develop. The retina was attached in 7 (50%), 6 (43%) had localized peripheral detachment, and 1 had a total retinal detachment. The vision improved in 4 (29%), was unchanged in 5 (36%), and was worse than before surgery in 5 (36%). In the 65 controls, the visual acuity at the time of the last examination was ≥20/40 in 26 (40%), 20/50 to 20/200 in 21 (32%), and <20/200 in 18 (28%). Sixty three (97%) patients had complete retinal reattachment, 1 (2%) had a localized peripheral RD, and 1 (2%) had an RD involving the posterior pole. After surgery, the vision improved in 45 (69%), was unchanged in 15 (23%), and was worse in 5 (8%) of the control eyes. The visual and anatomic outcomes of the eyes with scleral rupture were significantly worse than in the control group (P = 0.002 and P < 0.001, respectively). Conclusions: Risk factors associated with intraoperative scleral rupture include reoperation for failed RD surgery and pre-existing scleral pathology. Although this complication may be compatible with a good visual outcome in some patients, a high incidence of persistent or recurrent RD with proliferative vitreoretinopathy worsens the visual outcome for most patients with this complication. (C) 2000 by the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
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