Pneumatic retinopexy is a surgery to repair certain types of
retinal detachments. It is usually an
outpatient procedure, which means you don't need to stay in the hospital.
Before surgery, your eye is numbed with
local anesthesia. Then the eye doctor (ophthalmologist) injects a gas bubble
into the middle of the eye. Your head is positioned so that the bubble
floats to the detached area and presses against the detachment.
The eye doctor then seals the tear in the
retina using a freezing probe or laser
The bubble helps to flatten the
retina until a seal forms between the retina and the wall of the eye. This takes about 1 to 3 weeks. The eye
slowly absorbs the gas bubble.
It takes about 3 weeks to recover from this surgery. The hardest part of the recovery is keeping the gas
bubble in the right place.
Contact your doctor right away if you notice any problems after surgery, such as:
retinopexy is done for certain types of
retinal detachments. It can be useful when:
This surgery can repair the retina most of the time.
You are more likely to have good vision after surgery if the
macula was still attached before surgery. Good vision is less likely if the
detachment affected the macula.
The most common problems after this surgery include:
Less common problems
For this surgery to work, the gas bubble has to press against the retina until it
flattens. This means you will need to hold your head in the proper
position for long periods of time. This surgery may not be an option if for any reason you are not able to stay in the right
position for the time required.
There are a
few ways to repair a retinal detachment. Which surgery will work best depends on the cause, location, and
type of detachment. Other
conditions or eye problems may also play a role in the
need more surgery to reattach the retina if scar tissue from the first surgery grows over the surface of your retina.
Complete the surgery information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you prepare for this surgery.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerCarol L. Karp, MD - Ophthalmology
Current as ofMarch 3, 2017
Current as of:
March 3, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Carol L. Karp, MD - Ophthalmology
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Last modified on: 8 September 2017