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Proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR) is a common cause of blindness after buckling procedures and after primary vitrectomy.1 PVR occurs in 10% of eyes after rhegmatogenous retinal detachment.2 Re-detachment is seen mostly within the first 6–8 weeks after surgery. Efforts to reduce the risk of PVR include trying to reduce the surgical trauma, early surgery, and lower thresholds to use silicone oil or retinotomies, pharmaceutical adjuncts, as well as improvements in surgical technique during recent years.3
Surgeons are under the impression that the burden of PVR has lessened over recent decades. This is hypothetically attributable to a change in the surgical technique (for example, more primary vitrectomy instead of scleral buckling). To test this hypothesis, we have retrospectively analysed all patients who underwent primary surgery for rhegmatogenous retinal detachment in 1988 at the University of Cologne and compared the results to the patients operated on in 2003 in the same location. The follow up for eventual re-operations was 1 year in both instances.
In a second step, …