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Retinal detachment

Retinal detachment treatment aims to prevent your vision from getting worse

The retina is a thin layer of nerve cells that lines the inside of the eye. It is sensitive to light, and you need it to be able to see properly.

The retina becomes detached because it has one of more holes (retinal tears) forming in the outer part of the retina that allows the vitreous (the jelly-like fluid substance within the eye) to pass underneath it and lift it off. This fluid causes the retina to become separated from the supporting and nourishing tissues underneath it.

Small blood vessels may also be damaged and cause bleeding into the vitreous which might cause further clouding of your vision. Without treatment, a retinal detachment can lead to blindness in the affected eye.

The sooner you seek expert advice, the less chance there is of permanent damage to your sight.

Your consultant can advise the best treatment for you, but you’ll usually need to have surgery to reattach your retina. Your doctor may recommend this is done within 24 hours or within a few days, depending on which part of your eye is affected.

Our Consultants can perform one of the following procedures to repair your retinal detachment:

  • Laser retinopexy - Retinal laser photocoagulation is a clinic procedure used to treat many retinal conditions.  It is most commonly used to seal retinal tears to prevent the development of retinal detachments This procedure is performed with topical anaesthetic instilled on the eye.
  • Vitrectomy – A type of keyhole surgery for the eye.  The vitreous (clear gel) from the back of your eye and replaces it with either a gas bubble or, less commonly, a silicone oil bubble. This holds your retina in place while it heals. The gas bubble slowly disappears over about six weeks. If your doctor uses a silicone oil bubble, this may need to be removed later.
  • Pneumatic retinopexy. Your doctor injects a small gas bubble over the site of your detachment, without removing any of the vitreous. This bubble then presses the retina back in place. This procedure is only possible if your retinal detachment covers just a small area.

To find out more or to book an appointment please call us on 0808 296 4502