To evaluate the visual and potential economic impact of primary internal limiting membrane (ILM) peeling in primary treatment of rhegmatogenous retinal detachment.
A PubMed search was performed to extract data regarding the rate of epiretinal membrane formation and the rate of secondary pars plana vitrectomy with membrane peel after repair of rhegmatogenous retinal detachment with or without ILM peeling. Data were aggregated and analyzed in a meta-analysis. This information was used to perform a cost analysis to determine the economic ramifications of primary ILM peeling.
Six included studies compared the outcomes of eyes receiving pars plana vitrectomy for rhegmatogenous retinal detachment repair with and without primary ILM peel. The cumulative rate of epiretinal membrane formation was 29% (86/295) in the eyes without ILM peel and 3% (8/289) in the eyes with ILM peel. The cumulative rate of secondary pars plana vitrectomy/membrane peel was 16% (22/141) in the eyes without ILM peel and 0% (0/158) in the eyes with ILM peel. The weighted summary point estimate odds ratio was 0.083 (95% confidence interval 0.042–0.164), indicating a statistically significant protective effect across the 6 studies of ILM peeling and the development of epiretinal membrane. Based on published data, the average dollars saved by conducting a primary ILM peel was $615 in a facility setting and $364 in an ambulatory surgical center.
Published, mainly retrospective, data suggest that primary ILM peel in rhegmatogenous retinal detachment repair may have a significant reduction in the rate of postoperative epiretinal membrane and may lessen the need for secondary pars plana vitrectomy/membrane peel. Furthermore, from an economic perspective, the reduction in the need for secondary surgery may justify the higher cost with primary ILM peel.
Cost analysis of primary internal limiting membrane peel for retinal detachment discloses that it may be associated with reduced cost.
Department of Ophthalmology, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida.
Reprint requests: William E. Smiddy, MD, Department of Ophthalmology, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, 900 NW 17th Street, Miami, FL 33136; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
None of the authors has any financial/conflicting interests to disclose.