Pneumatic Retinopexy

Submitted by abigailnprescott on Tue, 04/26/2022 - 15:35

Pneumatic retinopexy is a procedure used to fix retinal detachment, where the retina detaches from the inner wall of the eye. This is a serious condition that can lead to permanent vision loss if not addressed properly. Pneumatic retinopexy involves a gas bubble being injected into the eye to reattach the retina to the eye. 

The procedure starts with anesthesia being administered to the eye so that the patient feels no pain. Fluid from the anterior chamber of the eye, which is found in the frontmost part of the eye, will most likely be removed before the bubble is inserted. This is to provide room for the gas bubble, and to prevent extremely high intraocular pressure. Then, gas is injected near the back of the eye. The two gasses typically used for this are C3F8 or SF6. SF6 will double in size and last for 10 days. C3F8 will last for 8 weeks and expand in size 4 times throughout that time. The gas used depends on the patient. Once the gas is injected, intraocular pressure is observed, the positioning of the bubble is checked, and it is ensured that the bubble does not block any arteries in the eye. If all of these factors are satisfactory, then the procedure is over. 

After the procedure, antibiotic eye drops may be given to the patient to prevent infection. In addition, the patient will be advised to hold a certain position for a specific amount of time to ensure that the gas bubble holds against the retina and reduce the possibility of complications. Finally, air travel may cause complications for people who have the gas bubble in their eye. 

This procedure is generally regarded as the best repair option for retinal detachment. It is quick and can be done in an office setting. However, it is not the best option for every case. It works best for simple cases of detachment with no complicated tears. In addition, it works best for cases that occur in the upper part of the eye. Other procedures like scleral buckling and pars plana vitrectomy are more invasive and have a longer recovery time. Overall, pneumatic retinopexy has the highest success rate of any procedure used to treat a detached retina, but it is not suited for every case.