Diplopia was not predictable and not associated with buckle position after scleral buckling surgery for retinal detachment

Retina. 2012 Sep;32(8):1514-24. doi: 10.1097/IAE.0b013e318240a4fe.


Purpose: The possibility of postoperative binocular diplopia is seen as an important drawback of conventional scleral buckling surgery for rhegmatogenous retinal detachment. The goal of this study was to evaluate the occurrence and pattern of binocular diplopia after scleral buckle procedures in patients with rhegmatogenous retinal detachment.

Methods: In a retrospective study of 1,030 patients with primary rhegmatogenous retinal detachment who were treated by scleral buckle surgery between January 2001 and July 2008, the postoperative occurrence of binocular diplopia was retrieved from the medical charts.

Results: Secondary strabismus developed in 39 subjects (3.8%) after scleral buckle surgery during a mean follow-up of 6.4 ± 6.3 months. Twenty-eight patients (2.7%) developed strabismus because of a mechanical restriction of one of the muscles. No association was found between the position of the buckle, that is, the muscle affected, and the incidence of diplopia. A moderate significant association was found when two muscles were affected with a higher incidence of diplopia. This was, however, not found for three or more muscles. In 28 of 39 patients, binocular single vision was restored at the end of the follow-up period. In the majority, this was accomplished with conventional prism treatment.

Conclusion: Strabismus caused by a restriction of the muscles in scleral buckle surgery was not predictable based upon the buckle position. Patients with a minimal restriction of the muscles after scleral buckle surgery can often be well treated with prisms.

MeSH terms

  • Diplopia / diagnosis
  • Diplopia / etiology*
  • Eyeglasses
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oculomotor Muscles / pathology*
  • Postoperative Complications*
  • Retinal Detachment / surgery*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Scleral Buckling / methods*
  • Strabismus / diagnosis
  • Strabismus / etiology*
  • Strabismus / therapy
  • Vision, Binocular
  • Visual Acuity / physiology