Scleral buckling combined with vitrectomy for the management of rhegmatogenous retinal detachment associated with inferior retinal breaks

Eye (Lond). 2008 Feb;22(2):200-3. doi: 10.1038/sj.eye.6702555. Epub 2006 Sep 1.


Aim: The use of adjunctive scleral buckling during vitrectomy for retinal detachment associated with inferior breaks has been the recent focus of some debate. It has been suggested that any benefit might be outweighed by potential complications associated with buckling surgery. The purpose of this study was to compare the success rate of vitrectomy, gas, and supplementary scleral buckling with the results of two recently published case series suggesting that acceptable results in inferior break detachments can be achieved with vitrectomy and gas alone.

Methods: A retrospective analysis of 60 consecutive patients with inferior break retinal detachments was conducted. All patients underwent vitrectomy, gas, and scleral buckling. In all cases, fellow eyes were examined under anaesthesia for retinal breaks if posterior vitreous detachment (PVD) had occurred at the time of presentation. Demographics, preoperative, and postoperative complications and outcome were recorded.

Results: Primary retinal attachment at 3 months was achieved in 95% of patients. This exceeds success rates of published data of patients who underwent vitrectomy and gas without buckling (81-89%). In patients with PVD in the fellow eye, 53% had horseshoe tears and all were treated with cryopexy. No sight-threatening complications occurred, but five patients developed minor buckle-related complications postoperatively.

Conclusion: Supplementary scleral buckling is a safe procedure that improves and enhances primary success rates in inferior break detachments over vitrectomy and gas without buckling. There is a high rate of PVD-related breaks requiring treatment in the fellow eyes.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Gases
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retinal Detachment / complications
  • Retinal Detachment / surgery*
  • Retinal Perforations / complications
  • Retinal Perforations / surgery*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Scleral Buckling* / adverse effects
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vitrectomy*


  • Gases