Outpatient Retina Surgical Procedures


Outpatient Retina Surgical Procedures

Vitreous Surgery & Scleral Buckle

At The Retina Group of Washington our specialists provide advanced surgical procedures for many retina diseases, conditions and problems.

Pars Plans Vitrectomy

Vitreous surgery is performed by retina surgeons to treat a number of disorders including retinal detachment, vitreous hemorrhage, macular hole, macular pucker, intraocular infection (endophthalmitis), trauma, and complications from previous eye surgery. It is an outpatient procedure done in the operating room most often under local (“twilight”) anesthesia, but occasionally under general anesthesia.  As part of the procedure, the vitreous can be safely removed and thus it is called a Vitrectomy.

During a Vitrectomy, three microscopic instruments are passed through the white part of the eye, the sclera, into the vitreous cavity. The openings are small-about the size of a needle used when you have a blood test. The surgeon inserts a fiber optic light to illuminate the inside of the eye while working. A small cutting instrument is used to remove the vitreous and any blood, cataract fragments, or scar tissue that may be present.  Other instruments such as small forceps and laser probes are also used for certain tasks.  Sometimes a suture is needed to close the incisions, but recent developments have made it possible for most vitrectomies to be performed through tiny openings that close on their own.

The vitreous is replaced with a saline solution that is compatible with the eye.  Within a day, the eye makes its own fluid to replace the saline.  In some cases, a gas bubble is placed instead.  The gas is absorbed by the body and replaced with the eye’s fluid gradually during the weeks following surgery. In other cases, silicone oil is used which cannot be absorbed by the body.  A second surgery to remove the silicone oil is usually needed once the retina is completely healed.  When gas or silicone oil are used, the patient is asked to maintain a certain position-often face-down or on one side-so that the gas or oil bubble can float up against the retina for proper healing.

Our Retina Specialists May Use Vitrectomy to Treat:

Vitreous Hemorrhage
Retinal Detachment
Diabetic Retinopathy
Macular Hole
Macular Pucker
Complications of Cataract Surgery
Complications of Glaucoma Surgery
Eye Infections

Scleral Buckle

Scleral buckle is a surgical procedure used to repair a retinal detachment. Retinal detachments are usually caused by retinal tears, and a scleral buckle can be used to close the retinal break, both for acute and chronic retinal detachments. The sclera, or the white of the eye, is the outer supporting layer of the eyeball. In this surgery, your retina surgeon attaches a piece of silicone or a sponge onto the white of the eye at the spot of a retinal tear. The buckle is designed to repair retinal detachment by pushing the sclera toward the retinal tear or break. Sometimes, the retina doesn’t completely detach from the eye, but instead forms a tear. Scleral buckling can sometimes be used to repair retinal tears, which can prevent retinal detachment. Scleral buckling is used to treat different types of retinal detachments. Retinal detachment surgery usually also involves the use of cryotherapy or laser photocoagulation. The laser or cryotherapy forms a permanent adhesion around the retinal break and prevents further accumulation of fluid and re-detachment.  Retinal detachment is a medical emergency requiring immediate medical care. If left untreated, retinal detachment can cause permanent loss of vision.

Our Retina Specialists May Use Scleral Buckle to Treat:
Retinal Detachment

Surgery Locations

Our surgeons have privileges at all of the major hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers where retinal procedures are performed on a regular basis. This makes it more likely that you can schedule your surgery at a convenient location covered by your insurance. The Retina Group of Washington performs surgery at the following hospitals and facilities:

Washington, D.C.

  • Georgetown University Hospital
  • Sibley Memorial Hospital
  • Washington Hospital Center


  • Inova Fair Oaks Hospital
  • Inova Fairfax Hospital
  • Virginia Hospital Center


  • Anne Arundel Medical Center
  • Friendship Ambulatory Surgery Center
  • Silver Spring Ophthalmology Surgery Center
  • Suburban Hospital
  • Montgomery Surgery Center
  • University of Maryland Capital Region Surgery Center
  • Lakeview Surgery Center

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