Pneumatic Treatment

Pneumatic Retinopexy

Pneumatic Retinopexy is an effective procedure for certain types of retinal detachments. During pneumatic retinopexy, the eye doctor (ophthalmologist) injects a gas bubble into the middle of the eye under local anaesthetic. When the patients head is positioned so that the gas bubble floats to the detached area, the bubble pushes the detached retina back onto the wall of the eye from the inside by squeezing out the underlying fluid.

Ocular Cryotherapy or thermal laser is then used to seal the hole or tear in the retina which causes adhesion of the retina, sealing and attaching it back to the wall of the eye.

The bubble remains for about 1 to 3 weeks as the eye gradually absorbs the bubble and the extra fluid.

The location and size of a tear in the retina determines whether pneumatic retinopexy can be used. Pneumatic retinopexy can be useful when:

  • A single break or tear caused the detachment.
  • Multiple breaks are small and close to each other.
  • The break is in the upper part of the retina.

Pneumatic Displacement

Pneumatic Displacement is a procedure where a bubble of gas is injected into the eye to push blood away from the important central part of the retina (macula) to a more peripheral part of the retina where it is absorbed by the eye. This is usually used for patients with large bleeds under the macula area in conditions such as wet macular degeneration, polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy and retinal arterial macroaneurysms. Pneumatic displacement is sometimes combined with a medication called TPA (tissue plasminogen activator) which can further help dissolve blood clots. By shifting the blood away from the central macula, pneumatic displacement can help speed up visual recovery and prevent damage to the macula which may result in permanent loss of vision.