Scleral Buckle Surgery
in Baton Rouge, LA
Scleral buckling is the traditional surgical intervention for retinal detachments and has been used successfully for over 50 years. While newer surgery techniques have slowly replaced the need for a scleral buckle, the method is still commonly used and remains a relevant option for retina treatment. Scleral buckling is sometimes recommended with other surgeries or treatments, such as vitrectomy and laser photocoagulation.
What is a scleral buckle?
A scleral buckle is a medical device used in retinal surgery. A silicone band is placed around the outside of the eye to compress the wall of the eye in order to facilitate retinal reattachment. The device is meant to be permanent and is only removed if it moves out of place or there are signs of infection.
How is Scleral Buckle Surgery Performed?
Scleral buckle surgery is an outpatient procedure. You will be discharged home after the surgery. Total surgery time is typically one to two hours.
Your pre-op instructions will require you to have no food or medication by mouth after midnight before the surgery. This reduces the risk of anesthesia complications caused by an upset stomach.
On the day of surgery, you will be given general anesthesia to keep you sedated for the duration of the procedure. Once you are asleep, your surgeon will begin by making microscopic incisions in your eye. Your surgeon will insert surgical instruments and the scleral buckle through these small incisions. The scleral buckle is placed around the outside of your eye and tightened as needed. This is to position the retina properly for reattaching to the rest of your eye. Your surgeon may perform a vitrectomy prior to placing the scleral buckle. The incisions will be closed with tiny stitches to complete the surgery.
Scleral Buckle Recovery
After surgery, your doctor may want your eye protected by wearing an eye patch. Eye drops will be prescribed to reduce swelling and inflammation. You can expect some pain and blurriness for several days and a full recovery within two to four weeks. Your doctor will give you additional instructions to care for your eye after surgery. Follow these specific instructions so your eye can heal properly.
Scleral Buckle Risks and Complications
As with any surgery, there are risks associated with scleral buckle surgery. Risks previously reported include bleeding, infection, reaction to anesthesia, and increased intraocular pressure. There is also a risk of the retina detaching again; however, this risk is usually minimal if you are under the care of an experienced surgeon. Most people report success during and after the surgery. The success rate for scleral buckling is generally high and most patients experience retinal reattachment. Scleral buckle surgery is regarded as a safe and effective way to treat retinal detachments.
Schedule a Consultation
If you have been diagnosed with a retinal tear or detachment, schedule an appointment today with one of our retinal specialists. Our experienced and caring retina doctors can help you decide if scleral buckle surgery is right for you.