Scleral buckle surgery is one of the surgeries done to reattach a detached retina . (apart from vitrectomy ). In this surgery the sclera is made to buckle up /infold to bring it in apposition to a detached retina and facilitate retinal reattachment .
Retinal detachment occurs when there is a tear / hole in the retina through which the liquified vitreous gel seeps through ,cleaving the retina form the underlying layers/ coats of the eyeball. The retain can surgically be opposed to these layers by two procedures . Scleral buckle where the outer layers and brought towards the retina or vitrectomy wherein the retina is brought towards the outer layers . Untreated, a retinal detachment can lead to permanent blindness.
The conjunctiva (outer transparent covering of the eyeball ) is incised and the causative tear/ hole in the retina is identified and marked. Cryotherapy is done over this area to cause scarring and thereby promote adhesion of the detached retina to the choroid. A scleral band/tyre (scleral buckle element) is sutured on to the sclera in the area of the tear/ hole .As the sutures are tightened the sclera folds inward and is brought closer to the retina .In some cases the fluid between the retina and choroid may be drained or gas/ air injected into the eyeball ensuring faster attachment.
Written by: Dr. Jyothsna Rajagopalan – Consultant Ophthalmologist, Coles Road
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