How to treat a retinal detachment

If a retinal detachment is suspected, the ophthalmologist examines the ocular fundus by means of an ophthalmoscope. For this, the pupil must first be dilated with eye drops. Then the ophthalmologist can see all areas of the retina with a so-called ophthalmoscope. If he discovers cracks or holes that have not yet led to detachment, they can be treated by laser therapy as a preventative measure.

Laser treatment: Prevention of retinal tears

The laser beam is used to set punctiform foci around the retinal defect, which will scar after a few days to "fix" the retina. This can prevent retinal detachment.

The laser treatment is usually done on an outpatient basis. Most of the visual acuity is then somewhat limited for about a day, which is why you are not allowed to drive a car for 24 hours. In addition, for about a week you should avoid strong shocks - such as through sports - until the scarring has occurred.

OP for the treatment of retinal detachment

However, if the retina has already detached itself, an operation is absolutely necessary. Various methods are used: Most often, a foam sponge (silicone seal) is sewn from the outside to the dermis of the eye.

In this way, there is a denting of the eyeball wall, whereby the pull of the vitreous body is reduced and the retina rests again. If different areas are affected by the detachment, the denting can be done with a silicone band (cerclage), which is placed around the eyeball.

In rare cases, the vitreous must be surgically removed and replaced (vitrectomy). First, the vitreous body is removed and instead a heavy liquid is given into the eye, which presses the retina. This is then sucked off and the eyeball filled with silicone oil or an air-gas mixture, which replaces the glass body.

After surgery: reading and flying prohibited

Retinal detachment surgery can be performed under local anesthesia, but general anesthesia may be necessary in some cases. Most patients have to stay in hospital for a few days and are not allowed to read for about four weeks in order to avoid "jerking" of the eye due to rapid eye movement.

If gas was used as a substitute in a vitrectomy, air travel is taboo for a few months as the gas can expand due to the altitude change.

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