Time course of silicone oil emulsification

Retina. 2012 Nov-Dec;32(10):2039-44. doi: 10.1097/IAE.0b013e3182561f98.


Purpose: To investigate the natural course of silicone oil emulsification after silicone oil tamponade usage in retinal detachment surgery. The presence of a group of patients whose silicone oil tamponades we preferred to keep as long as possible because of high risk of redetachment enabled us to investigate the course of in vivo silicone oil emulsification.

Methods: Thirty-two cases that were considered to have a high risk of redetachment after silicone oil removal were closely monitored, and it was preferred to keep the silicon oil as long as possible until first signs of silicone oil emulsification were observed. Any ocular complication directly related to the silicone oil tamponade did not arise in any of these cases, and the only indication for silicone oil removal was the signs of emulsification.

Results: The silicone oil emulsification time ranges from 5 months to 24 months with a mean of 13.2 ± 4.8 months. In most cases, it occurs within the first year. However, there are also 2 cases where emulsification is not observed until the 24th month.

Conclusion: It could be possible to extend the silicone oil removal time up to 1 year to achieve a stable retinal status in cases with a high risk of redetachment.

MeSH terms

  • Emulsions*
  • Endotamponade
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Recurrence
  • Retinal Detachment / etiology*
  • Retinal Detachment / surgery
  • Risk Factors
  • Silicone Oils*
  • Time Factors
  • Visual Acuity / physiology


  • Emulsions
  • Silicone Oils