Background and purpose: To evaluate the visual outcome of primary macula-off rhegmatogenous retinal detachment after successful scleral buckling.
Methods: A retrospective, non-controlled case series study was conducted in 93 patients (93 eyes) who underwent primary successful scleral buckling procedure for retinal detachment. Factors including duration of macular detachment, patient age, preoperative best-corrected visual acuity (VA), surgical management of subretinal fluid, and refractive error were analyzed statistically to determine their association with final visual outcome.
Results: Postoperative VA of 20/50 or better was found in 53.6% of eyes with duration of macular detachment within 7 days, and 29.7% of eyes with macular detachment for more than 7 days (Fisher's exact test, p = 0.019). VA better than 20/50 was found in 61% of eyes with preoperative VA better than 20/400 and in 33.9% with preoperative VA worse than 20/400 (Fisher's exact test, p = 0.008). Patients aged 30 years or less achieved better mean postoperative VA than those aged 31 to 50 and those aged 50 years and older (ANOVA, p = 0.003). Patients with low-grade myopia (< -6D) regained significantly better mean postoperative VA as compared with high myopia (> -6D) and emmetropic eyes (0 to +3D) (ANOVA, p < 0.001). Subretinal fluid drainage procedure did not affect postoperative visual result. Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that the duration of macular detachment was the only variable affecting the visual result.
Conclusion: Scleral buckle surgery performed within the first week, preoperative vision more than 20/400, age younger than 30 years old, and low-grade myopia were associated with significantly better visual recovery from macular-off rhegmatogenous retinal detachment.