A scleral buckle is a surgical procedure that may be used to repair a retinal detachment. A retinal detachment occurs when the two layers of the retina become separated from each other and from the wall of the eye, causing shadows and vision loss. This condition requires prompt and thorough medical treatment to prevent permanent vision loss.
The Scleral Buckle Procedure
During this outpatient procedure, the patient is anesthetized with either a general or local anesthetic. The scleral buckle, which looks like a belt, is a thin strip of silicone that is secured around the eyeball under the conjunctiva, creating an indentation on the wall of the eye. This device is attached to the posterior portion of the eye, on the sclera, or white of the eye, and is not externally visible. The scleral buckle is usually left on the eye permanently but can be removed.
The scleral buckle will push in, or “buckle,” the sclera towards the middle of the eye, relieving the pull on the retina. This allows the fluid that has collected under the retina to drain and the retina to re-attach.
After the Scleral Buckle Procedure
After the placement of the retinal buckle, patients may experience post-operative pain, swelling and redness for a few days. Prescription eye drops may be prescribed to treat these symptoms and prevent infection.
The scleral buckle procedure usually takes one to two hours to perform.
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