Pneumatic Retinopexy

Pneumatic retinopexy is an office based procedure that is used for repair of a retinal detachment. A gas bubble is injected into the vitreous cavity. The patient is then positioned in such a way so that the gas bubble pushes against the retinal tear and temporarily seals the tear responsible for the retinal detachment. With the retinal tear covered by the gas bubble, the fluid that has accumulated under the retina will usually be reabsorbed by the eye within one or two days. To create a permanent seal around the retinal tear, pneumatic retinopexy is done in conjunction with either retinal cyropexy or laser photocoagulation. Sometimes the retinal cryopexy will be done prior to the injection of the gas bubble. On other occasions however, the cryopexy or laser photocoagulation will be done on a subsequent day, after there has been clearing of the subretinal fluid. Depending on which gas is used, the bubble takes from between two and six weeks to be cleared from the eye. While pneumatic retinopexy is a good option for the repair of certain types of retinal detachments, not all retinal detachments are suitable for this type of repair.