In a study of 194 re-operations for retinal detachment in which one-third of the cases were managed without drainage of subretinal fluid, it was found that a number of failures occurred after non-drainage. Analysis of these failures shows that more than half could have been avoided if the correct choice of cases suitable for management without drainage of subretinal fluid had been made. It is felt that with careful attention to the criteria which are used to decide on the choice of surgical technique, the results obtained by the non-drainage method should be as good in the more complicated case as they have already been shown to be in the primary case. Because the drainage of subretinal fluid carries with it a risk of surgical complications and these complications may contribute to the development of massive preretinal retraction, management of the re-operation should be carried out without drainage of subretinal fluid whenever possible.
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