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Scleral Buckle


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Scleral buckling surgery is a common way for treating the retinal detachment. It is a method of closing breaks & flattening the retina.
A scleral buckle is a piece of the silicone sponge, rubber, or semi-hard plastic which is placed on the outside of the eye (the sclera, or the white of the eye)by your eye doctor (ophthalmologist). This material is sewn to the eye to keep it in the place. The buckling element is generally left in place permanently.

The element will pushes in, or "buckles," the sclera near the middle of the eye. This buckling effect on the sclera will relieve the pull (traction) on the retina, which will allow the retinal tear to settle oppose to the wall of eye. The buckle effect can cover only the area which is behind the detachment, or it will encircle the eyeball like a ring.

By itself, the buckle won’t prevent a retinal break from opening again. Generally extreme cold (cryopexy) or less commonly, heat (diathermy) or light (laser photocoagulation) is used to scar the retina & hold it in the place till a seal forms in between the retina & the layer under it. This seal will hold the layers of the eye together & keeps fluid from getting in between them.

  • The surgery will be performed in the operating room, generally on an outpatient basis.
  • Local or general anesthesia will be performed before the surgery.
  • Before the operation, your eye doctor will patch both of the eyes & have to stay in the bed to keep the detachment from the spreading. Right before operation, he or she may use the eye drops to dilate your pupils & will trim your eyelashes to keep them way.
  • A first-time operation will generally lasts 1 - 2 hours. Repeated surgeries or more complex detachments will take too longer.

You will have some pain for some days after the surgery was performed. Your eye may become swollen, red, or tender for some weeks. Your eye doctor will put drops in the eye that will prevent from the infection & keep the pupil from opening wide (dilating) or closing (constricting). You should have to wear a patch over the eye for a day or more.

Authored by Dr.S Tony Fernandez

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