Scleral Buckle

Scleral Buckle in Chattanooga, Knoxville, and the Tri-Cities Region

A scleral buckle, also known as scleral buckling, is a surgery performed for retinal detachment, a significant condition requiring immediate medical attention. With this procedure, a band is implanted around the impaired eye, with the intent of placing pressure on it so that the retina is secured to its normal location along the back wall of the eye. At Southeastern Retina Associates, our retinal surgeons have extensive experience in performing the scleral buckle, and we regularly perform this procedure.

The Scleral Buckle Surgery Procedure

The scleral buckle procedure is typically performed on an outpatient basis in an operating room. Your retina surgeon will embed a small segment of silicone sponge or semi-hard plastic on the afflicted eye’s exterior white part, the sclera. The implant’s purpose is to hold the eye firmly against the retina so that it maintains its normal placement along the back eye wall.

During scleral buckle surgery, your surgeons may perform other procedures to repair retinal breaks or weakened areas. These may include cryotherapy (freezing) or laser photocoagulation, involving a focused, high-energy laser. These procedures help to secure the retina, keeping the eye’s layers together until a seal has developed, while also preventing any fluid from leaking in. They may also create a tiny scleral hole to drain any fluid under the area of retina detachment.

Scleral Buckle FAQ

  • With this scleral buckle surgery, some complications may occasionally develop, including a chance of a retinal detachment returning, requiring another surgery. Depending on such factors as your age, medical conditions, and the specific retinal detachment type, this procedure’s risks may include:

    • Detachment of the layer under your retina
    • Eye hemorrhage
    • New retinal tears
    • Infection
    • Cataracts
    • Increased myopia
    • Increased pressure inside the eye
    • Double vision
  • Scleral buckling typically involves local or general anesthesia, minimizing pain during the operation. Post-surgery, patients may experience mild discomfort, but pain is usually manageable with prescribed medications.

  • Scleral buckle is extremely effective, with a success rate of over 98%. However, full vision improvement can take months or years.

  • A scleral buckle is intended to remain in place permanently. Once surgically implanted, it provides long-term support to the weakened or detached retina. Regular follow-up appointments with your retina specialist are crucial to monitor the eye's condition and ensure the ongoing effectiveness of the scleral buckle.