Pneumatic retinopexy is a procedure done in the office for repair of certain retinal detachments. It is an effective treatment for retinal detachments that are isolated in the upper portion of the retina and caused by tears localized to one area. The patient must be able to maintain strict head positioning for 1-2 weeks after the procedure. Before the procedure, the eye is cleaned with an antiseptic solution and a small amount of fluid is removed from the eye. A gas bubble is then injected directly into the eye and will remain for 3-8 weeks depending on the gas that is used.
The gas slowly dissipates on its own. During this time, the patient will be instructed about specific head positioning. During the next couple of days, the patient will then return for either laser photocoagulation or cryotherapy to treat the retinal tear. With the gas bubble in the eye, the patient will be restricted from flying in an airplane and should notify the anesthesiologist if any anesthesia will be needed for procedures.