Resident-performed prophylactic retinopexy and the risk of retinal detachment

Ophthalmic Surg Lasers Imaging. 2009 Mar-Apr;40(2):120-6. doi: 10.3928/15428877-20090301-14.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence*
  • Cryosurgery*
  • Education, Medical, Graduate
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Laser Coagulation*
  • Lasers, Gas
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ophthalmology / education*
  • Retinal Detachment / physiopathology
  • Retinal Detachment / prevention & control*
  • Retinal Detachment / surgery*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Visual Acuity