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Long-term results of office-based pneumatic retinopexy using pure air
  1. Kenneth M P Yee,
  2. J Sebag
  1. Doheny Eye Institute, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr J Sebag, Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology, University of Southern California, VMR Institute, a Medical Corporation, 7677 Center Avenue, suite 400, Huntington Beach, CA 92647, USA; jsebag{at}


Aims The long-term results of office-based pneumatic retinopexy (PR) using only filtered air were evaluated in a case series of rhegmatogenous retinal detachments with more than 3 years of follow-up, on average.

Methods 77 cases of primary rhegmatogenous retinal detachments arising from superior tears (mean=1.6 tears) were treated with cryopexy (n=61) or laser (next day, n=16) and intravitreal injection of pure air in an office setting. The macula was detached preoperatively in 37 eyes (48.1%). Outcome measures were single-operation success, final reattachment rates and visual acuity (VA).

Results Subjects were followed for 6–186 months (mean follow-up = 40.7 months, 46.8% ≥2 years, 25% ≥5 years). In all cases, the air bubble was gone within 5 days. Single-operation success was achieved in 62/77 (80.5%) eyes. Repeat PR was successful in four cases, increasing the PR reattachment rate to 85.7%. Scleral buckle was performed on the remaining 11 eyes (14.3%), 1 with vitrectomy. The final reattachment rate was 100%. VA improved ≥2 Snellen lines in 53.2% of patients, with 50/77 (64.9%) attaining VA ≥20/40. Following PR, 87% of subjects had the same or better VA.

Conclusions Office-based pure-air PR achieves acceptable reattachment rates with good visual outcomes and long-term efficacy. Eliminating the need for expansile gases makes this approach more widely available, decreases recovery time and lowers healthcare costs.

  • Rhegmatogenous retinal detachment
  • air
  • pneumatic retinopexy
  • long-term follow-up
  • healthcare costs, public health, retina
  • treatment surgery
  • degeneration
  • pathology
  • embryology and development
  • pharmacology
  • neovascularisation
  • imaging
  • diagnostic tests/investigation
  • anatomy
  • treatment medical
  • macula

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  • Competing interests None to declare.

  • Ethics approval This was a retrospective case series which reviewed the clinical results of one option of treating retinal detachment. Informed patient consent was obtained in each case, and strict patient confidentiality was maintained throughout the study.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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