Optimizing the treatment of rhegmatogenous retinal detachment

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Abstract

Surgical approaches for rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RRD) have evolved rapidly in the past century. This has resulted in an increase in the anatomical success rate from zero per cent in the beginning of the 1900s to now almost 100 per cent. Rhegmatogenous retinal detachment is regarded as an acute eye disease that needs immediate treatment. With the increasing number of cataract surgeries and an increased elderly population, the numbers of RRD occurrences are increasing. The aim of this thesis is to create knowledge on how treatment and care of RRD patients can be optimized. In the first paper, data on the incidence of RRD in Denmark are presented based on data from a nation register the National Patient Registry (NPR). It was discovered that the incidence of RRD in Denmark is similar to previous reported numbers and that the incidence has been increasing due to increasing numbers of cataract surgeries and an increased elderly population. Using data from the NPR, we estimated that the risk of a RRD occurring on the fellow eye is 100 times larger than on the first eye and that middle aged men have the highest risk. Having an increase in the incidence of RRD we need to ensure that the patients are also treated in the most optimal way. To ensure this, an indicator is needed to monitor the quality at the different centres. This indicator presented in the second paper is based in the occurrence of redetachment. We define a detachment to be caused by poor surgery if the retina detaches within one year after initial surgery with pneumatic retinopexy, scleral buckling and VTX with gas, and one and a half years after surgery with VTX with oil. Also lack of oil removal within the first year is a failed operation. It is widely accepted that RRD is an acute disease but when should surgery be performed to attain the most optimal result? In the third paper, we evaluated the progression of posterior RRD with an optical coherence tomography to make an objective assessment of the movement. We found that the risk of a macula on RRD progressing to affect the fovea is small if the patient is postured appropriately. We found that the movement of the RRD is dynamic but the detachments will ultimately approach the fovea. Having an opportunity to postpone surgery without risking the outcome for the patient allows a more optimal surgery. The results of this thesis can be used by all health care systems to establish optimal conditions in the treatment of RRD.

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