One-year outcomes after retinal detachment surgery among medicare beneficiaries

Am J Ophthalmol. 2010 Sep;150(3):338-45. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2010.04.009. Epub 2010 Jun 29.


Purpose: To determine longitudinal rates of second retinal detachment operation and postoperative adverse outcomes after retinal detachment surgery in a nationally representative sample of older Americans.

Design: Retrospective, longitudinal cohort analysis.

Methods: A total of 9216 Medicare beneficiaries were identified from the Medicare 5% sample who were diagnosed with rhegmatogenous retinal detachment and underwent primary pars plana vitrectomy (PPV), scleral buckle, pneumatic retinopexy, or laser photocoagulation or cryotherapy alone. Rhegmatogenous retinal detachment, PPV, scleral buckle, pneumatic retinopexy, or laser photocoagulation/cryotherapy was ascertained from International Classification of Diseases and Current Procedural Terminology procedure codes. Rates of second retinal detachment operation and postoperative adverse outcomes were analyzed by cumulative incidence and logistic regression to control for prior adverse outcome measures and demographic factors.

Results: At 1-year follow-up, the rate of receipt of a second retinal detachment operation for beneficiaries who had undergone primary pneumatic retinopexy was much higher (40.6%, P < .0001) relative to the scleral buckle (19.2%) group. After controlling for demographic variables and ocular comorbidities, pneumatic retinopexy individuals were nearly 3 times more likely to receive a second retinal detachment surgery than scleral buckle individuals. No significant differences exist in risk of second retinal detachment surgery for the PPV compared to the scleral buckle group. Individuals receiving PPV were 2 times more likely to suffer adverse outcomes than were those undergoing scleral buckle. Results were robust in sensitivity analysis.

Conclusions: Rates of second operation were much higher after pneumatic retinopexy than PPV or scleral buckle, and rates of adverse outcomes were higher in PPV, even after controlling for risk factors and demographic variables.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cryotherapy*
  • Current Procedural Terminology
  • Humans
  • Laser Coagulation*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Medicare Part B / statistics & numerical data*
  • Recurrence
  • Reoperation
  • Retinal Detachment / physiopathology
  • Retinal Detachment / surgery*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Scleral Buckling*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States
  • Vitrectomy*