Retinal tears

Through cracks and holes in the retina, fluid from inside the eye can get under the retina and cause retinal detachment (amotio retinae). Signs of retinal detachment may include the following symptoms: Sudden "flashes" in one eye, sooty rain or flying mosquitoes, and in advanced stages a shadow/curtain in the peripheral field of vision or a deterioration in vision.

In the event of one or more of these signs, an ophthalmological examination should be carried out as soon as possible. On the one hand, early detection can prevent a retinal detachment by laser therapy or cryotherapy (LINK retinal tear). On the other hand, the prognosis for the preservation of visual acuity is better the earlier a (beginning) retinal detachment is detected and treated. Highly short-sighted persons or patients after eye operations (cataracts) or accidents have an increased risk of suffering a retinal detachment.

As a rule, a retinal detachment can be successfully treated by surgery. However, if there has been a detachment of the centre of the retina (macula), vision often remains reduced despite surgery. The operation of a retinal surgery is successful in most cases. The operation is usually performed by removing the vitreous body (vitrectomy) and sealing the retinal tear by means of laser or cryotherapy and gas filling of the eye. In special cases, the success rate for retinal reattachment can be increased by a supporting denting band (cerclage) around the eye. Depending on the location of the retinal tear and in cases of retinal tears caused by an accident, a reattachment of the retina can be achieved by a denting operation alone (cerclage or seal). Due to the complexity of the procedure and in order to monitor possible complications, the procedure is performed as an in-patient. If a new retinal detachment occurs, in most cases the retina can be reattached by a reoperation. Usually silicone oil must then be used instead of gas to prevent further detachment of the retina. The silicone oil must usually be removed in a second operation, often in combination with a cataract operation (LINK). 

With specialized and internationally trained retinal surgeons, the University Clinic for Ophthalmology has state-of-the-art equipment for the optimal treatment of retinal detachments.