The pneumatic retinopexy procedure can be done in the office to treat some retinal detachments.
How It Works
A medical-grade gas is injected into the eye, in the vitreous cavity (intravitreal). The gas will float to the top of the inside of the eye. With certain head positioning, the gas will float in the correct position to support the retinal defect that caused the retinal detachment. This procedure is combined with cryoretinopexy, transslceral diode laser, or laser retinopexy to seal the retinal tear or defect. Over one to two weeks, this can often allow the detachment to resolve without further interventions.
The gas disappears slowly over the course of several weeks. During this time, a patient cannot fly in an airplane or be up in a high altitude, otherwise the gas can expand in an unsafe fashion.
Intraocular gas is also sometimes used during scleral buckle or vitrectomy surgeries in the operating room.