Purpose: To evaluate the efficiency of treating selected cases of inferior retinal detachment in silicone oil-filled eyes using a supplemental scleral buckling with external drainage of subretinal fluid, versus performing a second vitreoretinal surgery and silicone oil endotamponade.
Methods: A prospective interventional pilot study that was performed on silicone oil-filled eyes with inferior retinal detachment. Twenty-three eyes of 23 consecutive patients were alternatively distributed between 2 groups: Group A included 12 eyes treated with supplemental scleral buckling with drainage of subretinal fluid and without the removal of silicone oil, and Group B included 11 eyes treated with silicone oil removal, vitreoretinal surgery, and reinjection of silicone oil. The preoperative data included indications and details of primary vitreoretinal surgery, cause of retinal redetachment, subretinal fluid, grade of proliferative vitreoretinopathy, lens status, and the duration between primary vitreoretinal surgery and reoperation. The postoperative examination included the best-corrected visual acuity, retina status, proliferative vitreoretinopathy, silicone oil, and any reported complication. Follow-up examinations were scheduled at Day 1, weekly for 1 month, and monthly thereafter till the end of the follow-up period which extended for at least 2 months after silicone oil removal.
Results: The average number of detached clock hours per eye was 2.7 in Group A and 2.4 in Group B, caused by a mean of 1.58 ± 0.80 break per eye in Group A and 1.48 ± 0.66 break per eye in Group B. The mean interval between the primary vitreoretinal surgery and the scleral buckling procedure in Group A patients was 2.83 ± 1.22 months (range, 1–5 months), while in Group B, the mean interval between the primary and the secondary vitreoretinal surgeries was 3.00 ± 1.61 months (range, 1–6 months). The mean operative time was statistically significantly (P < 0.05) shorter in Group A (38.7 ± 11.2 minutes) than in Group B (65.3 ± 15.1 minutes). The mean follow-up duration was 15.00 ± 3.22 months in Group A and 14.18 ± 2.99 months in Group B. After silicone oil removal, the retina was attached in 10 of the 12 eyes (83.3%) and redetached in 2 eyes (16.7%) in Group A, while in Group B, the retina was attached in 9 of the 11 eyes (81.8%) and redetached in 2 eyes (18.2%) after silicone oil removal. The mean logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution best-corrected visual acuity has improved from 1.82 ± 0.72 to 1.36 ± 0.52 in Group A patients (P > 0.05) and from 1.93 ± 0.74 to 1.55 ± 0.63 in Group B patients (P > 0.05) at the end of the follow-up duration.
Conclusion: For selected cases of inferior retinal detachment in silicone oil-filled eyes, supplemental scleral buckling could be as effective as a second vitreoretinal surgery. Scleral buckling could offer a faster, less invasive, and better economic alternative to repeated vitreoretinal surgery for treatment of such cases.