Background and objective: To examine the natural history of retinopexies performed by ophthalmology residents at university-affiliated clinics and to determine the rate of progression to rhegmatogenous retinal detachment.
Patients and methods: Charts of patients receiving prophylactic thermal coagulation between 1997 and 2006 were reviewed retrospectively. Outcome measures included subsequent rhegmatogenous retinal detachment and additional prophylactic treatments.
Results: Review of the medical records identified 166 eyes with peripheral retinal lesions treated by residents, with an average follow-up of 2.4 +/- 0.2 years. At presentation, only 43.4% of patients were symptomatic. Two (1.2%) eyes developed rhegmatogenous retinal detachment during follow-up, with each arising in a previously healthy area of retina in a patient with a history of detachment of the fellow retina. Twenty-five eyes (15%) received at least one additional prophylactic procedure.
Conclusion: The rate of rhegmatogenous retinal detachment following prophylactic retinopexy performed by residents at hospital-based clinics is low, supporting this standard practice.