Retinal Detachment Repair

This procedure is done to repair a detached retina in the eye. The retina is a thin sheet, made of light-sensitive nerve tissue and blood vessels that lines the back of the eye. The sensory layer of the retina receives images and sends them to the brain. This layer can be pulled away (detached) from its normal position. This will result in a loss of vision. The retina often detaches from the back of the eye in a manner similar to wallpaper peeling off a wall. The detachment is usually preceded by a hole or tears in the retina.

  • Call Your Doctor


    After you leave the hospital, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:


    • Any change in vision
    • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
    • Redness, swelling, increasing pain, bleeding, or excessive discharge from your eye
    • Cough
    • Any new symptoms

    In case of an emergency, call for medical help right away.

  • Definition


    This procedure is done to repair a
    detached retina
    in the eye. The retina is a thin sheet, made of light-sensitive nerve tissue and blood vessels that lines the back of the eye. The sensory layer of the retina receives images and sends them to the brain. This layer can be pulled away (detached) from its normal position. This will result in a loss of vision. The retina often detaches from the back of the eye in a manner similar to wallpaper peeling off a wall. The detachment is usually preceded by a hole or tears in the retina.

    Detached Retina
    Nucleus factsheet image
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

  • What to Expect

  • Reasons for Procedure

    This procedure is done to place the retina back into its proper position. It is used to try to restore vision.

    If your vision was good before the detachment, a successful operation usually restores vision to good levels. If vision was poor before the detachment, final visual return may be slow and remain incomplete after surgery. A peripheral retinal detachment will likely heal quicker than one that involves the macula (central retina) or a total detachment.

    The longer the retina has been detached, the less likely it is that vision will be restored.

  • Possible Complications


    Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have this repair, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:

    • Redetachment of the retina—Sometimes, the retina detaches again following surgery. More surgery would be needed. In severe cases, this complication may be irreversible.
    • Endophthalmitis—A serious infection can occur inside the eye.
    • Proliferative vitreoretinopathy—This condition causes progressive contraction and scarring of the retina after a repair. This may require surgery. In severe cases, this complication may be irreversible.


    Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

    • Poor general health
    • Degree of retinal damage
    • Cataracts

    • Glaucoma