Modified external needle drainage procedure for rhegmatogenous retinal detachment.
PURPOSE: To describe the results of a modified external needle subretinal fluid drainage technique to treat eyes with a rhegmatogenous retinal detachment. METHODS: One hundred eighty-seven consecutive patients with a rhegmatogenous retinal detachment who underwent scleral buckle and modified external needle drainage at Duke Eye Center or Vistar Eye Associates were included in this study. Subretinal fluid was drained by a technique whereby the intraocular pressure was raised to a supranormal level by tightening an encircling scleral buckle and then the subretinal space was entered by a needle introduced externally while the retina was directly viewed with an indirect ophthalmoscope. Subretinal fluid drainage success rate, one-operation reattachment rate, final retinal reattachment rate, intraoperative and postoperative complication rates, and final visual acuity were the main outcome measures. RESULTS: Subretinal fluid was successfully drained in all eyes. The one-operation reattachment rate was 91%, and the final reattachment rate was 98%. Intraoperatively, 15% of eyes required corneal debridement to obtain an adequate view for safe subretinal fluid drainage. Subretinal hemorrhage of no more than one clock hour occurred in 4.2% of eyes. A total of 2.6% of eyes developed an epiretinal membrane postoperatively that required a vitrectomy to improve the visual acuity. The postoperative visual acuity, 0.54 by logMAR (20/69 by Snellen), was significantly better than the preoperative visual acuity, 1.1 logMAR (20/250 by Snellen) (P < 0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: The modified external needle drainage technique is a flexible, effective method to drain subretinal fluid in eyes with a rhegmatogenous retinal detachment. The retinal reattachment rate and complication rate compare favorably to alternative subretinal fluid drainage techniques.
Jaffe, GJ; Brownlow, R; Hines, J
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