Chronic macular detachment following pneumatic retinopexy

Retina. 1990;10(2):125-30. doi: 10.1097/00006982-199004000-00007.


In a consecutive series of 73 retinal detachments managed with pneumatic retinopexy, three (4.1%) of 73 eyes sustained chronic detachment of the posterior retina involving the macula even though all retinal breaks were closed. This shallow subretinal fluid persisted for 12 to 21 months but reabsorbed spontaneously. Two cases presented with a detached macula, one of which had pre-existing macular degeneration. The other case presented with an attached macula but it became detached immediately after pneumatic retinopexy. The visual acuities in the two patients who did not have macular pathology before the development of retinal detachment were 20/50 and 20/40 even with persistent subretinal fluid under the macula. In both cases the visual acuity improved to 20/30 after resolution of the subretinal fluid. Patients with a longstanding component to the retinal detachment and small retinal breaks may be at risk of developing chronic macular detachment following pneumatic retinopexy. Pockets of subretinal fluid can persist following scleral buckling, with or without drainage of subretinal fluid. However, it is unknown whether scleral buckling has a lower incidence of this complication than pneumatic retinopexy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Chronic Disease
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Macula Lutea*
  • Male
  • Postoperative Complications*
  • Reoperation
  • Retinal Detachment / etiology*
  • Retinal Detachment / surgery
  • Visual Acuity