4 Things You Need To Know About Scleral Buckling Surgery


The retina is a structure in the back of your eye that is responsible for transmitting images to your brain. Without your retina, you can't see, which is why retinal detachment is such a big problem. Retinal detachment happens in about 1 out of every 10,000 people every year, and if this happens to you, your optometrist will recommend scleral buckling surgery. 

What is scleral buckling surgery?

A scleral buckle is a belt that is attached to the outside of your eye. This belt is made of silicone or rubber and is tightened against the outside of your eye. This pushes the white of your eye inwards and counteracts the pressure that is pulling your retina forwards and causing the detachment.  Once your retina isn't being pulled forward, it can settle against the back of your eye where it is supposed to be.

The buckle will be left on your eye permanently. If the buckle is removed, your retina will once again be pulled forward and may detach again. 

Will you be awake during the procedure?

You might be awake, but maybe not. This depends on your individual circumstances and your surgeon's preferences. Sometimes, this surgery is done under local anesthesia, so your eye will be numb, but you'll still be awake and alert. Other times, this surgery is done under general anesthesia, so you will be completely asleep. Your surgeon will be able to tell you for sure if you will be awake or not. 

Is it painful?

You won't feel any pain during the procedure, but you will experience pain during the healing period. The pain will be worst in the first few days after the surgery, but it will remain painful and red for several weeks. Your surgeon may ask you to wear an eye patch while your eye is healing. 

What is your prognosis after the surgery?

Scleral buckling is a very successful procedure. Surgeons can successfully reattach the retina about 80% of the time, though if additional surgeries are performed, success rates can exceed 90%. However, reattaching the retina doesn't always restore your vision. Your vision will probably improve after the procedure, but it might not return to the way it was before.

If your retina is partially or fully detached, your optometrist will refer you to an eye surgeon who will perform scleral buckling surgery. This surgery sounds scary, but it is worth it since it is very effective.

For more information, contact California Eye Specialists Medical Group Inc. or a similar organization.


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