Scleral Buckling

In Scleral buckling surgery which is a common way to treat the retinal detachment, a buckle is inserted in the eye. It is a way of closing the breaks that are retinal rear and flattening the retina. The scleral buckle is actually a piece of silicone sponge or semi-hard plastic that your eye surgeon will place outside the eye on the white of the eye. The material is sewn to the eye to keep it in place firm. This buckling element is generally left in place permanently.

The buckle will push the sclera towards the middle of the eye. This buckling effect relieves the pull on the retina, allowing the retinal tear to settle against the wall of the eye. The buckle results in covering only the area behind the detachment or it may surround the eyeball like a ring.

After the Surgery

You may have some pain for few days after the surgery. Your eye may be inflamed, red or tender for few weeks. An eye drop may be asked to put by the doctor to prevent infection and keep pupil from opening wide or closing. You might have to wear a patch over the eye for few more days after the surgery. You must see the doctor immediately in case of following symptoms:

  • Decreasing vision
  • Pain increasing
  • Redness increasing
  • Swelling around the eye
  • Any type of discharge from the eyes
  • Any floaters, flash of light or change in field of vision is there

There are good chances of good vision after the surgery has taken place if the macula was attached before the surgery. If the detachment of the eye effected macula, good vision after the surgery is still possible but it is less likely.

Risk Associated

Scleral buckling has some short-term and long-term risk associated with it. Most of this complication does not happen very often. Risks include the following:

  • The most common cause of failure in surgery for retinal detachment is the type of scarring on the retina which is called proliferative vitreoretinopathy or PVR. This PVR causes the retina to detach again.
  • Detachment of the choroid
  • The pressure of scleral buckle can raise fluid pressure inside the eyeball
  • Bleeding in eye can impair vision
  • Eye may get infected
  • Buckle made up of rubber may rub with another part of the eye, move out of place or site may become infected. In such case buckling device may need to be removed.