Temporary scleral buckling performed with a removable external device provides the benefits of scleral buckling while addressing its downsides as surgery for a detached retina.
For about six years, Paul E. Tornambe, MD, and colleagues have been working to develop a temporary scleral buckle that is inserted and removed in an office-based “clean room.” The idea is based on the premise that retina reattachment only requires a temporary plombage and recognizes the advantages and disadvantages of scleral buckling along with other surgical alternatives.
Dr. Tornambe noted that pars plana vitrectomy (PPV) has seen growing in popularity for the repair of retinal detachments (RDs), but there are many reasons to consider scleral buckling instead.
“Scleral buckling has an equal or possibly higher single operation success rate than PPV and is less invasive, especially if subretinal fluid is not drained,” said Dr. Tornambe, Retina Consultants of San Diego, Poway, CA. “In addition, scleral buckling is much less costly because scleral buckling does not require expensive equipment or single-use packs. It results in fewer return trips to the operating room for failed reattachment or inevitable surgery-induced cataract progression.”
Side effects of scleral buckling with a permanent device include discomfort, myopia, astigmatism, muscle imbalance, chronic macular edema, and risks of buckle infection and extrusion.