February 24, 2017
1 min read

Temporary scleral buckling may offer several advantages for retinal detachment repair

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Temporary scleral buckling surgery for retinal detachments offers fewer complications than permanent scleral buckling, is less costly and has a lower 90-day reoperation rate than vitrectomy, according to a speaker here.

“A temporary scleral buckle, a buckle that you remove after a few weeks, obviates all these problems [complications of a permanent scleral buckle],” Paul E. Tornambe, MD, FACS, said at the inaugural Retina World Congress. “Why even consider temporary scleral buckling? It’s less costly than vitrectomy. It has a lower 90-day reoperation rate, especially the way we design the buckle to be removed in the office. It does not cause cataract progression, and if you look at the new fee schedule, there’s virtually no difference that the government is going to pay us for a vitrectomy or a scleral buckle.”

Paul E. Tornambe

Paul E. Tornambe

The goal of temporary scleral buckling surgery for retinal detachment is to restore pre-detachment vision, Tornambe said. It is important, he noted, to attempt to preserve the lens in young patients, preserve the refractive state and avoid permanent field loss in all patients.

Patients with phakic dialysis, phakic subclinical retinal detachment and inferior retinal detachment are candidates who would benefit from a temporary scleral buckle compared with a vitrectomy, Tornambe said.

The buckle can typically be removed 3 to 4 weeks after the procedure, he noted. – by Robert Linnehan


Tornambe PE. Temporary scleral buckling surgery — back to the future? Presented at: Retina World Congress; Feb. 23-26, 2017; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Disclosure: Tornambe reports he is the founder of and a patent holder with Poway Retinal Technologies.