what is Scleral Buckle Surgery?
Scleral buckle surgery is normally performed to repair a retinal tear or detachment. The white of the eye or the scleral helps support the external layer of the eye. During this surgery, our ophthalmologists connects a semi-rigid plastic, silica sponge, or rubber to the white of your eye near the area of your retinal tear. The buckle helps repair the retinal tear or detachment by pushing the sclera near the retinal tear or break. By itself, the scleral buckle does not entirely ensure that the retina will not rip again. However, we use other techniques, such as cryopexy (intense cold treatment), diathermy (heat treatment), or laser photocoagulation to make a small scar, which holds the buckle in its proper position. This process creates a seal on the retina and the underlying layer to stop additional damage.
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What Are the Benefits of Scleral Buckle Surgery?
For those with detached or torn retinas, scleral buckle surgery can be a vision-saving procedure. Benefits of this procedure to fix issues with the retina performed at Ophthalmology Associates of the Valley near the San Fernando Valley, CA include:
- Reattaching the retina or repairing retinal tears
- A high likelihood of success
- Lowers the risk of cataract formation
- Restoring healthy vision
- Typically does not require general anesthesia
- You can return home following the procedure
Am I A Candidate For Scleral Buckle Surgery?
Ideal candidates for scleral buckle surgery at Ophthalmology Associates of the Valley include anyone who has experienced retinal detachment. Often performed as a complementary procedure for retinal detachment repairs, candidates often have:
- Repeated retinal detachments
- A diagnosis of rhegmatogenous retinal detachment
- A complex detachment with multiple tears
- Detachment caused by dialysis
- A child with posterior hyaloid
- Had a previous failed surgery to repair rhegmatogenous retinal detachment
People that are nearsighted, have other eye disorders like uveitis, have had a previous cataract surgery, have diabetes, and are older are typically at a higher risk for retinal tears.
how does scleral buckle surgery work?
Before your surgery and to help prevent additional tearing, our ophthalmologists may ask you to wear a patch over one or both eyes and stay in bed for a specific amount of time. During buckle surgery, we use a local anesthetic or general anesthesia, and normally, it takes about two hours to complete. Right before your surgery, we administer eye drops to dilate your pupils, and we may trim your eyelashes so they do not interfere. Next, the scleral buckle is then connected to your sclera. Generally, after your procedure, you can return home on the same day.
how long is recovery after scleral buckle surgery?
After surgery, we may ask patients to administer eye drops, which prevent infection and reduce the movement of their eye(s). In some cases, patients will wear an eye patch over the recently treated eye. Patients can expect mild discomfort a few days after the surgery and inflammation or redness for the next couple of weeks. If your macula (the yellow part close to the retina) was attached before surgery, this will increase your chances for a more successful procedure. However, the chance for a successful surgery is reduced for patients who did not have an attached macula, but good vision is still possible.
Protect and preserve your vision
Scleral buckle surgery is a great treatment choice to repair retinal tears, breaks, or holes. Combined with other treatments, this complex surgery can help improve vision and reduce further tearing. Please schedule an appointment at either of our locations in Encino or West Hills to receive additional information about scleral buckle surgery, or if we have previously diagnosed you with a retinal tear, please ask us more about the different options we offer.