Background: A retrospective study was conducted to evaluate the risk of increased intraocular pressure (IOP) following a temporary silicone oil (SO) tamponade and to study some parameters possibly involved in this hypertension.
Methods: Forty-four patients with retinal detachment complicated by proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR) were treated by vitreoretinal surgery and SO tamponade. One to 11 years after SO removal, they underwent full ophthalmic examination. All these patients had a healthy, non-operated, normotensive fellow eye.
Results: Six (14%) of 44 eyes had IOP higher than 20 mmHg. Five other eyes (11%) had their IOP controlled by beta blockers. Phakic and pseudophakic eyes had a very limited tendency to develop ocular hypertension and anyway responded well to beta blockers. Residual SO droplets in the eye after removal of the big bubble of SO disappeared exponentially with a mean disappearance time of three years. Eyes with residual SO were no more prone to ocular hypertension than those without (p > 0.50). No association was found between IOP and duration of SO tamponade (r = 0.13) or between IOP and flare (r = 0.14).
Conclusion: This study suggests that the risk of developing ocular hypertension after a temporary SO tamponade is moderate. No satisfactory explanation could be found for this increase of IOP.