Scleral buckle is a procedure done in the operating room to repair certain kinds of retinal detachment. This can be done under local anesthesia with sedation (where the patient is awake but relaxed and pain-free) or under general anesthesia (where the patient is asleep). Patients generally go home the same day.
How It Works
First, the retinal tears or defects that caused the retinal detachment are sealed by cryoretinopexy or laser treatment. Then, depending on the type, location, or amount of fluid under the retinal detachment, fluid may be drained through the eye wall through a very small incision. This allows the detachment to become smaller.
Then, soft silicone material is sutured to the eye wall in order to indent it slightly. This supports the retinal defects so that they can adequately remain closed. This indentation can change one’s refractive prescription needs in that eye. This silicone material is left around the eye permanently, but is not visible when looking at the patient or in a mirror.
Intraocular gas is also sometimes used, as in a pneumatic retinopexy.
Scleral buckle may sometimes be used in conjunction with pars plana vitrectomy.