In the case of a retinal detachment, an operation is unavoidable. In the event of a tear-related retinal detachment, the chances of recovery are however good. Nowadays, many highly specialised surgical techniques are available for treatment. As a result, the chances of recovery have significantly improved.
Retinal holes and thinning of the retina constitute a preliminary stage of retinal detachment and can be sealed by the ophthalmologist via lasering. Scar tissue thus forms at the treatment site, which results in the joining of the retina with the underlying tissue. A retinal detachment can no longer occur in this area.
If the age-related shrinking of the vitreous body pulls at the retina resulting in a hole with surrounding retinal detachment, the eyeball is artificially dented. For this purpose, the operating ophthalmologist stitches a silicone foam seal onto the sclera, or the entire eyeball is fitted with a silicone band, so-called cerclage. This allows the retina and underlying tissue to regain contact and grow together.
Nowadays, the surgical procedure is usually performed inside the eye. In this case, the vitreous body pulling on the retina is removed. The retina can relax and lie back in position. To support the process – that is to say, to provide the retina with hold – gas or silicone oil is usually introduced into the eye.
Today, almost all retinal detachments are surgically treatable using the operating techniques outlined above.