Complications associated with the use of silicone oil in 150 eyes after retina-vitreous surgery

Ophthalmology. 1988 Jul;95(7):870-6. doi: 10.1016/s0161-6420(88)33080-0.


Complicated retinal detachments (RDs) were successfully managed in 150 eyes of 170 consecutive patients by one surgeon (JLF) using silicone oil in conjunction with modern pars plana vitrectomy. Long-term postoperative complications were observed between 6 months and 5 years of follow-up. Cataracts developed in all phakic eyes and all corneas with oil-endothelial touch showed band keratopathy within 6 months. Recurrent detachments were noted in 22% of eyes during silicone oil tamponade and occurred in 13% of eyes after the oil had been removed. Other complications associated with the use of oil for vitreous surgery included pupillary block glaucoma (3%), closure of the inferior iridectomy (14%), fibrous epiretinal and subretinal proliferations (15%), pain (5%), and subconjunctival deposits of oil (3%). Without exception, within a period of 1 year the intraocular silicone oil showed some degree of emulsification, suggesting that the physicochemical characteristics of the oil injected may be an important variable in long-term complications.

MeSH terms

  • Cataract / chemically induced
  • Chronic Disease
  • Corneal Diseases / chemically induced
  • Emulsions / adverse effects
  • Eye Diseases / etiology
  • Glaucoma / etiology
  • Humans
  • Iris / surgery
  • Pain / chemically induced
  • Pigmentation
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Retina / surgery*
  • Retinal Detachment / etiology
  • Silicone Oils / adverse effects*
  • Uveitis / etiology
  • Vision, Ocular
  • Vitreous Body / surgery*


  • Emulsions
  • Silicone Oils