Pneumatic retinopexy is a procedure to repair a detached retina and restore vision. Unlike other procedures to treat a detached retina, it often takes place in an office setting.
The retina is a layer of cells at the back of your eye. These cells use light to send visual information to your brain. Retinal detachment happens when part of your retina detaches from the inner wall of the eye. When that happens, your retina does not function normally. If not treated promptly, a retinal detachment can cause permanent vision loss.
The procedure starts by numbing the eye with local anesthesia. The ophthalmologist injects a tiny gas bubble into the vitreous gel (a type of gel that fills the eyeball). This bubble is pressed against the upper part of the retina, to close the tear. In the end, a freezing device seals the retina against the wall of the eye.
The pneumatic retinopexy has the additional benefits of reduced morbidity and faster postoperative recovery. Be sure to follow your eye doctor’s instructions about eye care. You may need to take eye drops with antibiotics to help prevent infection. Your eye may be a little sore after the procedure, but you should be able to take over-the-counter pain medications. You may need to wear an eye patch for a day or so.
You may need to keep a certain position for 8 hours or more after your pneumatic retinopexy. To avoid complications, you will also need to avoid air travel for a period after the procedure.