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Visual recovery after retinal detachment with macula-off: is surgery within the first 72 h better than after?


Aims To investigate the influence of lag time between the onset of central visual acuity loss and surgical intervention of macula-off retinal detachment.

Methods This retrospective case series examined all consecutively treated eyes with primary macula-off retinal detachment at the University Hospital Hamburg (Germany) from February 2010 to February 2015. Records of 1727 patients operated by six surgeons were reviewed. Eighty-nine eyes (5.2%) from 89 patients met the inclusion and exclusion criteria. The main outcome measure studied was final visual acuity as a function of symptom duration of macula-off detachment. Secondary outcome measures studied were influence of age and surgical technique. Symptom duration was defined as the time from the onset of loss of central vision to surgical intervention.

Results After 10 days no clinically relevant difference was seen in final visual acuity. Eyes with symptom duration of 3 days or less achieved best final visual acuity (p<0.001). Age and preoperative visual acuity had no influence while vitrectomised eyes had better outcome compared with those with scleral buckling.

Conclusions Our study suggests that 1. After 10 days of central visual acuity loss, the final visual outcome is clinically comparable and independent of further delay of surgery up to 30 days. 2. Eyes treated up to 3 days after onset of loss of central vision have better final visual acuity than eyes with longer lag time. However, we did not find statistically significant differences within the first 3 days. 3. Surgery for macula-off retinal detachment may therefore most likely not be postponed without compromising the patient's visual prognosis.

  • Treatment Surgery
  • Retina
  • Rehabilitation
  • Vision

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