Primary retinal detachment repair: comparison of 1-year outcomes of four surgical techniques

Retina. 2011 Sep;31(8):1500-4. doi: 10.1097/IAE.0b013e31820d3f55.


Purpose: To compare functional and anatomical outcomes of modern methods of repair of primary retinal detachment.

Materials and methods: Retrospective interventional comparative case series. A total of 1,226 patients with primary retinal detachment were included in the study. All patients completed 1-year follow-up and were divided into 4 groups: 322 patients underwent scleral buckling surgery, 442 patients underwent pars plana vitrectomy surgery, 316 patients underwent a combination of scleral buckling and vitrectomy surgery, and 56 patients underwent pneumatic retinopexy surgery for the primary repair of retinal detachment. Reattachment success rates, pre- and postoperative visual acuity, complications, and change in refractive error were reviewed.

Results: Initial success rate for retinal reattachment was 86% for scleral buckling only, 90% for vitrectomy only, 94% for the combination of scleral buckling and vitrectomy, and 63% for pneumatic retinopexy surgery. Although patients undergoing pneumatic retinopexy had a lower initial success rate, there was no statistically significant difference in initial reattachment rates between the other three groups. There was no statistically significant difference in final visual acuity between the four groups. Complication rates varied among the techniques used.

Conclusion: Postoperative visual acuity at 1 year did not differ among the various techniques used to repair primary rhegmatogenous retinal detachments. However, scleral buckling, vitrectomy, or a combination of both resulted in an initially better anatomical success rate and fewer operative procedures than pneumatic retinopexy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cryosurgery / methods*
  • Endotamponade
  • Fluorocarbons / administration & dosage
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Refractive Errors / physiopathology
  • Retinal Detachment / physiopathology
  • Retinal Detachment / surgery*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Scleral Buckling / methods*
  • Sulfur Hexafluoride / administration & dosage
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Visual Acuity / physiology
  • Vitrectomy / methods*


  • Fluorocarbons
  • perflutren
  • Sulfur Hexafluoride