Before getting started, read our Retina 101 page.
What is a scleral buckle?
A scleral buckle is a piece of silicone or semi-hard plastic that your retina specialist places around the outside of the eye.
When is a scleral buckle used?
Scleral buckles are typically used to help repair retinal detachments. Scleral buckles can be used alone or in combination with a vitrectomy procedure to repair a retinal detachment.
How is a scleral buckle placed?
Treatment with a scleral buckle needs to be performed in the operating room. The scleral buckle is placed deep behind the eyelids under the muscles that control eye movement. When placed on the outside of the eye, the scleral buckle creates a slight indentation in the eyewall that moves the eyewall closer to the detached retina. A freezing treatment is usually used to seal the retinal tears. Sometimes the fluid under the detached retina is drained, which allows the retina to fall into its normal position.
How successful is surgery to reattach a retina with a scleral buckle?
Over 98% of retinal detachments can be repaired, 90% of those after a single operation with modern surgical techniques. Ten percent of patients may require a second operation to completely repair the detached retina. After the retinal detachment is fixed, the vision can take months or years to improve.