Primary vitrectomy without scleral buckling for rhegmatogenous retinal detachment

Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 1996 Sep;234(9):561-8. doi: 10.1007/BF00448800.


Background: Pars planta vitrectomy has evolved as an alternative method in the treatment of more complicated rhegmatogenous retinal detachments. We report a series of patients who underwent primary vitrectomy with gas tamponade without the use of additional scleral buckling.

Methods: A retrospective study of 53 patients with a follow-up of 6-45 months (mean 17.8 months) was carried out. Preoperative findings included unusual, multiple or large breaks, vitreous haemorrhage, proliferative vitreoretinopathy and bullous retinal detachment. Preoperative visual acuity was between light perception and 1.0, with 30% (16/53) of patients with 0.4 or better.

Results: Retinal reattachment was achieved in 64% of cases (34/53) with one and in 92% (49/53) with one or more operations. Final visual acuity was between light perception and 1.0, with 41% (22/53) of patients with 0.4 or better. Cataract formation occurred in 86% (37/43) of all patients with a clear lens preoperatively. Macular pucker was noted in 11% (6/53) and postoperative proliferative vitreoretinopathy causing redetachment in 6% (3/53).

Conclusion: With primary vitrectomy, a high final anatomical success rate with few intraoperative complications can be achieved in more complicated forms of rhegmatogenous retinal detachment. The major drawback of the procedure is the high incidence of post-operative cataract formation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Intraoperative Complications
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Reoperation
  • Retinal Detachment / etiology
  • Retinal Detachment / physiopathology
  • Retinal Detachment / surgery*
  • Retinal Perforations / complications
  • Retinal Perforations / physiopathology
  • Retinal Perforations / surgery*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Scleral Buckling
  • Visual Acuity
  • Vitrectomy*