Historical, Current and Future Approaches to Surgery for Rhegmatogenous Retinal Detachment
Kunikata, H.; Abe, T.; Nakazawa, T.
Tohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine 248(3): 159-168
Rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RRD) is a serious condition that can cause blindness without surgical treatment. RRD occurs when a retinal tear or hole allows fluid to accumulate below the retinal surface, causing the retina to separate from the underlying layers. RRD is difficult to treat because each case is unique, varying with the location, size, and duration of the detachment, as well as patient age. The first successful methods to reattach the retina in RRD used thermocautery to repair the detachment. Many renowned ophthalmologists continued to study RRD and developed many new surgical approaches, notably: scleral buckling (SB), in which a silicone band is placed around the eye to reduce traction on the retina caused by the vitreous humor that fills the eye; pars plana vitrectomy (PPV), which eliminates traction on the retina by removing the vitreous; and pneumatic retinopexy (PR), in which the retina is reattached by pushing it back into place with an expanding gas bubble injected into the eye. However, no consensus has been reached on which approach is ideal. Furthermore, recent surgical and non-surgical breakthroughs, such as artificial vitreous substitutes and neuroprotective drugs, must also be considered. Thus, this review provides a guide for ocular specialists and non-specialists on the historical background of RRD, summarizes the three current main techniques (SB, PR and PPV) compares these three techniques, and provides an overview of new technologies that promise to greatly improve outcomes after RRD surgery.