A Population-Based Analysis of Long-Term Costs and Adverse Events after Pneumatic Retinopexy and Pars Plana Vitrectomy

Ophthalmol Retina. 2023 Sep;7(9):794-803. doi: 10.1016/j.oret.2023.05.021. Epub 2023 Jun 5.


Purpose: To comprehensively examine the cost effectiveness, reattachment rate, and complications of pneumatic retinopexy (PnR) compared with pars plana vitrectomy (PPV) for rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RRD) within a universal health care system.

Design: Population-based, multicenter, consecutive, retrospective longitudinal cohort analysis.

Subjects: We identified consecutive adults aged ≥ 50 years requiring surgery for primary RRD over a 20-year interval between April 1, 2002, and March 31, 2022. Initial surgery was considered the index date for analyses.

Intervention: Pneumatic retinopexy was compared with PPV in all analyses.

Main outcome measures: The primary analysis investigated the mean annualized health care costs comparing PnR to PPV over the 2 years after initial surgery. Secondary analyses examined the primary reattachment rate and complications.

Results: In total, 25 665 eligible patients were identified, with 8794 undergoing PnR and 16 871 undergoing PPV. The mean patient age was 65 years and 39% were women. The mean annualized cost after PnR was $8924 and $11 937 after PPV (mean difference, $3013; 95% confidence interval, $2533-$3493; P < 0.001). The primary reattachment rate at 90 days after PnR was 83% and after PPV was 93% (P < 0.001). The risk of cataract or glaucoma surgery was lower after PnR, and the frequency of ophthalmology clinic visits, intravitreal injections, and anxiety was higher after PnR. Hospitalizations and long-term disability were less frequent after PnR.

Conclusions: Pneumatic retinopexy, when compared with PPV, was associated with lower long-term health care costs. Pneumatic retinopexy appeared to be effective, safe, and inexpensive, thus offering a viable option for improving access to RRD repair in appropriately selected cases.

Financial disclosure(s): Proprietary or commercial disclosure may be found in the Footnotes and Disclosures at the end of this article.

Keywords: Cohort studies; Cost effectiveness; Epidemiologic studies; Pars plana vitrectomy; Retinal detachment; Vitreoretinal surgery.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cryotherapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Light Coagulation
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Pars Planitis* / surgery
  • Retinal Detachment* / surgery
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Vitrectomy