Northeast Wisconsin Retina Associates

Surgical Procedures

SCLERAL BUCKLING SURGERY

This procedure is performed in the operating room and is used to repair some retinal detachments. In most cases, this surgery can be performed on an outpatient basis. During scleral buckling surgery, a clear, flexible silicone band (scleral buckle) is attached to the white coat of the eye (the sclera) with sutures. The buckle must be positioned properly to counteract the pulling forces of the vitreous which have resulted in retinal tear formation and detachment. When the sutures are tightened somewhat, the eye wall becomes indented or “buckled” inward. The buckle may be placed around part of the eye or the entire circumference depending on the specific characteristics of a given retinal detachment.

Scleral buckle procedure

Scleral Buckle

After the eye has healed, the scleral buckle is not visible and creates no physical sensation for the patient. It is intended to remain in place permanently. In some cases, a small gas bubble may also be injected into the vitreous cavity at the time of scleral buckling – much like pneumatic retinopexy described previously. For some complicated retinal detachments, scleral buckling surgery may also be combined with vitreous surgery described next.

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