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CURRENT OPHTHALMOLOGY
Year : 1996  |  Volume : 44  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 131-143

Pneumatic retinopexy: principles and practice


1 University of California San Francisco, USA
2 L.V. Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad, India

Correspondence Address:
George F Hilton
University of California San Francisco
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


PMID: 9018990

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Pneumatic retinopexy (PR) is an alternative to scleral buckling for the surgical repair of selected retinal detachments. A gas bubble is injected into the vitreous cavity, and the patient is positioned so that the bubble closes the retinal break (s), allowing absorption of the subretinal fluid. Cryotherapy or laser photocoagulation is applied around the retinal break(s) to form a permanent seal. The procedure can be done in an outpatient setting, and no incisions are required. A multicenter randomized controlled clinical trial has demonstrated that the anatomic success rate is comparable to scleral buckling, but the morbidity is significantly less with PR. If the macula was detached for less than two weeks, the visual results are significantly better with PR than with scleral buckling. Cataract surgery was required significantly more often following scleral buckling than following PR. Two independent reports have shown that an attempt with PR does not disadvantage the eye; such that the results of scleral buckling after failed PR are not significantly different than primary scleral buckling. A comprehensive review of the world literature on PR revealed 27 statistical series totaling 1,274 eyes. These combined series had a single-operation success rate of 80%, and 98% were cured with reoperations. Pneumatic retinopexy should be considered in cases without inferior or extensive retinal breaks and without significant proliferative vitreoretinopathy. The cost of buckling varies from 4 to 10 times that of PR.


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