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Retinal Detachment: Treatment, Cost and Side Effects

Last Updated: Jun 15, 2024

What is the Retinal Detachment?

Retinal detachment is a serious eye problem which can cause permanent blindness if not treated immediately. This condition occurs when your retina, which is a layer of tissue that processes light, gets pulled away. If the retina of your eye gets torn, the fluid of the eye can leak from underneath and cause the retina to separate from the underlying tissue. People who are severely nearsighted or have an eye injury are prone to having the condition. Other than that, people who have high levels of myopia in their eyes, have had cataract surgery or have a family history of retinal detachment are also likely to have the condition.

In order to get the condition fixed, the doctor may perform an eye exam and use an eye drop to expand the pupil to look for the problem. Early diagnosis is the key to preventing a complete vision loss. A simple laser surgery can be helpful if the problem is detected early. A serious surgery can be required if the condition becomes severe. Another exam called ultrasound imaging can be performed in case of bleeding which makes it difficult to see the retina.

How is the Retinal Detachment treatment done?

Retinal detachment is diagnosed when you see flashes of light abruptly, without any former indication towards a problem. Doctors may use eye drops to dilate your pupil and clearly examine the retina. In case of bleeding in the eyes which clouds the retina, an ultrasound imaging may be suggested by the doctors. Several options are available for treating the condition before any permanent damage. Thermal or cryopexy which is a freezing treatment can both be used to repair the tear when the condition is detected early. This simple procedure can be carried out in the doctor’s office itself. In case of a small tear which is easy to close, pneumatic retinopexy is selected. This procedure allows the doctors to inject a tiny gas bubble in the vitreous which rises and presses against the retina thereby closing the tear.

Scleral buckle is another procedure which lets the doctor to sew a silicone band around the white of the eye. The band pushes it towards the towards until it completely heals. The band cannot be taken out as it is invisible and permanently attached. Vitrectomy can also be used to treat larger tears. The doctor replaces the vitreous with a saline solution. Depending on the size of the tear, the doctor may use a combination of buckle, laser, gas bubble and vitrectomy to repair the retina.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

Individuals who show symptoms of seeing flashes of light, darkening of the peripheral vision and seeing lots of new floaters or threads should get themselves checked for retinal detachment instantly. This condition can become severe is no time as the condition develops abruptly without any warning signs. Other people who are at a risk of developing the condition are ones who have gone through a cataract surgery, are severely nearsighted and have a family history of retinal detachment.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

Any individual who does not have problems with nearsightedness, has gone through a cataract surgery or any kind of eye injury are not under the threat of having the condition. Any individual who does not show symptoms of having vision problems is not eligible for the treatment.


Are there any side effects?

For surgeries like pneumatic retinopexy complications like inadvertent scleral perforation can emerge. For other surgeries like sclera buckle, other complications might develop. Problems like detachment of the eye layer beneath the retina, risk of developing cataracts and increased nearsightedness are some of the complications which come along with this surgical procedure.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

Doctors will suggest the patients to wear sunglasses during the day after the surgery. You might even have to wear an eye patch for a few days. You will be advised to keep your hand on the operated eye for a week to three after the operation if the doctor did use a gas bubble to hold the retina in place.

How long does it take to recover?

The patients need at least a month to recover from the surgery. You need to take extensive care of your eyes after the surgery. Taking the eye drops and medications as prescribed by the doctors for a certain period is also mandatory to be completely cured.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

A surgery for retinal detachment can cost up to Rs 50,000 to Rs 70,000. The price depends on the medical facility and the complexity of the surgery.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

Once the patient gets the retinal detachment surgery, the results are mostly permanent. However, in certain cases, the patients might need a second operation as well.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

The best way to treat the problem of retinal detachment is through the aforementioned surgeries. However certain herbs and nutrient are also suggested as alternative treatment. You can use herbs like pycnogenol, bilberry and chamomile can help as alternative treatment to the condition.

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Written ByDr. Ruchi MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery,DOMS,MBBSOphthalmology
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