Can a Torn Retina be Repaired?

The retina is the layer of specialized nerve tissue lining the back of the eye that allows you to see. The inside of the eye is filled with a gel-like substance called the vitreous. A retinal tear occurs when there is an abnormal attachment between the vitreous gel and the retina. In this case the vitreous gel can tug on the retina causing it to tear. If there are retinal blood vessels at the location of the retinal tear, bleeding will occur inside the eye.

Repairing a Torn Retina

Small retinal tears are usually treated with laser surgery. The procedure is performed in the office using local anesthesia. In Phoenix, our doctors use a laser to create tiny burns around the retinal tear. The laser essentially seals or “spot-welds” the retina down and prevents the tear from causing a retinal detachment.

Occasionally laser treatment is not possible. In this case a freezing procedure called cryopexy is used to treat the retinal tear instead.

Repair Recovery

Because it can take up to a week for the laser treatment to seal the retinal tear, a period of decreased activity for about 10-14 days is recommended. It is normal for flashing lights or floaters to continue after the laser surgery. Since most retinal tears occur in the setting of a PVD, it is possible to develop another retinal tear or detachment within a few weeks or months after the first tear. It is very important that if you notice any big increase in floaters, flashes or a loss of the peripheral or side vision that you return promptly for another evaluation.It is very important to see your eye doctor regularly to maintain optimal vision health. If you are due for an eye exam or would like more information about retinal tears please contact Associated Retina Consultants at 602-242-4928 or website today.