Background: Intravitreal silicone oil injection used for managing complicated retinal detachments can be associated with elevated intraocular pressure (IOP). This study was undertaken to determine the incidence of glaucoma in patients who underwent silicone oil injection, as well as to evaluate the effectiveness of medical and surgical therapy in patients in whom glaucoma developed.
Methods: The postoperative courses of 50 eyes of 47 consecutive patients who underwent pars plana vitrectomy and silicone oil injection for the management of complicated retinal detachments were reviewed retrospectively. The outcomes of patients who underwent silicone oil removal and/or glaucoma surgery also were evaluated.
Results: The mean overall postoperative IOP before any glaucoma surgery was 16.7 +/- 9.3 mmHg (range, 0 to 45 mmHg), with a mean follow-up of 16.6 +/- 12.1 months (range, 2 to 51 months). Twenty-four (48%) eyes had postoperative IOPs of at least 25 mmHg and IOP elevations of at least 10 mmHg above the preoperative levels. Twenty-one (42%) eyes underwent complete removal of silicone oil and/or glaucoma surgery to effect IOP control. The IOPs were controlled to 21 mmHg or less (but > 5 mmHg) in 8 of 14 eyes that underwent removal of silicone oil alone, in 3 of 5 eyes that underwent Molteno implantation, and in 1 eye that underwent Nd:YAG transscleral cyclophotocoagulation, but not in 1 eye that underwent a modified Schocket procedure (mean follow-up, 13.5 +/- 11.0 months; range, 0.2 to 33 months).
Conclusion: Intraocular pressure elevation is a common occurrence after intravitreal silicone oil injection. The underlying mechanism may often be multifactorial in nature. Patients in whom uncontrolled IOP develops may benefit from aggressive medical and/or surgical treatment with silicone oil removal, glaucoma implants, or cyclodestructive procedures.