Purpose: To compare the anatomic and functional results of primary vitrectomy alone or vitrectomy-scleral buckling for pseudophakic retinal detachment (RD). Vitrectomy permits a detailed view of the peripheral retina, so otherwise undetectable holes or additional small lesions can be found which, left untreated, may cause a residual RD.
Patients and methods: Twenty-four consecutive pseudophakic eyes with pseudophakic RD were operated by vitrectomy and encircling band (Group I) and 27 additional cases were operated on by vitrectomy alone (Group II). Internal subretinal fluid drainage, using liquid perfluoro-n-octane, endolaser, and/or cryocoagulation and fluid-air exchange with SF6 20%, was applied in all cases. Preoperative findings and intraoperative and postoperative complications as well as final results were analyzed.
Results: Preoperatively undetected retinal holes were identified in 7 of the 51 eyes and additional retinal holes were found in 21. The mean follow-up was 14 months for Group I and 11.5 months for Group II. The retina was successfully reattached with a single operation in 22 of 24 eyes (92%) in Group I. One eye had a recurrence of RD due to an unsuccessfully treated preexisting retinal tear. Proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR) was observed in one case with recurrence of RD. In both cases, a second operation achieved retinal reattachment. In Group II, the retinas were attached with a single operation and visual acuity improved by an average of four or more lines in 62.5% of the vitrectomy-buckling group and in 55.5% of the vitrectomy group. The most frequent complication was a transient hypertony, in 21 cases.
Conclusions: Surgical treatment of pseudophakic RD, combining vitrectomy and scleral buckling or vitrectomy alone, achieves very good anatomic and functional results. The advantages include more efficient detection of the peripheral detachment causing retinal lesions, and a lower redetachment rate than after extraocular surgery only.