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Retinal Detachment

Retinal detachment is a condition where the retina lining the inside of the eye becomes detached from the underlying tissue.  It is a very serious disease.

Normally, the retina is firmly attached to the inside of your eyeball; it is the light-sensitive tissue that converts light from the environment into electrical signals that our brains turn into our visual experience.  It is critically important for normal vision that the retina remains attached to the underlying tissue.

Typically, retinal detachment is caused by a tear or hole in the retina that occurs when the vitreous separates from the retina as a consequence of ageing (posterior vitreous detachment).  This usually has a pretty dramatic presentation, with visual disturbance occurring over a few days to weeks.

However, some detachments (especially in young people) can be completely symptom-free, and the patient only becomes aware of it when they close one eye for some reason. Other detachments occur after blunt trauma, and others occur in the context of very bad diabetes.

Retinal detachment is a blinding condition without surgery, but with surgery 80-90% of patients will require only one operation to successfully reattach the retina.

Surgery for retinal detachment involves one of two options (or sometimes both together):

  • an operation called a vitrectomy where instruments are inserted inside the eye and the vitreous is surgically removed and the retina reattached; or
  • an operation outside the eye called a scleral buckle, where pieces of specially constructed silicone plastic are placed on the outside of the eyeball, and the eye is indented to close the hole in the retina that is causing the retinal detachment.

Surgery for retinal detachment is a complex set of choices, and Dr Reddie will select an individualised treatment plan for you based on your particular circumstances including your age, occupation, and the nature of the detachment.

However, the fundamental underlying principle is to reattach the retina, and Dr Reddie will make his surgical decisions based on what is best for your eye and vision in the longer term – so you can reattain as much vision as possible.


Telephone07 4775 6686

Facsimile07 4775 6550


Suite 1, 132-134 Ross River Road, Mundingburra Qld 4812

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