A retinal detachment occurs when the thin nerve layer in the back of your eye that senses light and sends images to your brain is pulled away from its normal position therefore causing the retina to not function properly. Vision becomes blurred due to this separation. A retinal detachment is a very serious problem and almost always causes blindness unless treated.
Scleral Buckle: This surgery is performed in the operating room and the surgeon places a flexible band around the external portion of the eye to push the wall inward and counteract the force pulling the retina out of place
Pneumatic Retinopexy: a gas bubble is injected into the vitreous space and in combination with laser surgery or cryotherapy (freezing), the gas bubble pushes the retinal detachment/tear closed and allows the laser or cryotherapy to seal the break. This typically requires certain head positions to move the gas bubble over the retinal breaks until the gas bubble eventually disappears.
Vitrectomy: This surgery is performed in the operating room where the vitreous gel, which is pulling on the retina, is removed and replaced with a gas or oil bubble. These bubble tamponades help seal the retinal tears while the laser surgery heals. This typically also requires certain head positions to move the gas bubble over the retinal breaks until the gas bubble is removed. The gas bubble gradually disappears over time, but the oil bubble requires a second operation to remove the oil.
The Eye Encyclopedia written by Eye Physicians & Surgeons, sponsored by The American Academy of Ophthalmology
Eye Health information from The American Academy of Ophthalmology
Patient-information resource hosted by The American Society of Retina Specialists