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To determine the anatomical and functional outcomes and possible complications after pars plana vitrectomy (PPV) with silicone oil (SO) tamponade in primary uncomplicated rhegmatogenous retinal detachments.


This is a prospective observational study. Overall, 62 consecutive patients who underwent surgical repair by PPV and SO injection for primary uncomplicated rhegmatogenous retinal detachment between January 01, 2006 and April 30, 2012 were followed. In general, PPV was chosen over scleral buckling when a significant cataract or a vitreous hemorrhage prevented adequate fundus visualization. Silicone oil was chosen over gas tamponade in patients living at 1,000 meters above the sea level, where SF6 or C3F8 tamponade could not be performed because of the risk of acute increase of intraocular pressure (IOP). One thousand centistokes SO was used in all eyes. At all visits, patients had a detailed ocular history and thorough bilateral evaluation, including best-corrected visual acuity, anterior segment examination, and IOP measurements by aplanation and fundus examination. Outcomes were assessed at 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, and every 6 months thereafter. Increased IOP was defined as an IOP of more than 21 mmHg.


Anatomical success rate, final best-corrected visual acuity, IOP elevation, cataract formation, and other complications were the main outcome measures. This study included 62 eyes of 62 patients (41 men and 21 women) that underwent retinal detachment repair by PPV and SO injection. The age at the time of intervention was 57.6 ± 10.5 years (mean ± standard deviation; range, 34–79 years). All patients were whites. Mean follow-up was 24.5 ± 17.3 months (range, 6–70 months). Anatomical success rate defined as retinal reattachment 6 months after SO removal was 93.5%. Final BCVA was improved in 55 eyes (88.7%), with a mean of 4 Snellen lines, unchanged in 5 (8.1%), and worse in 2 eyes (3.2%), with a mean of 3 Snellen lines. Mean duration of SO tamponade was 5.12 ± 2.37 months (range, 2–12 months). From the 30 eyes that were still phakic after vitrectomy, 24 eyes (80.0%) underwent cataract surgery within a period of 7.37 ± 3.00 months (range, 2–13 months). Thirty-five eyes (56.5%) had an increase in IOP during the follow-up period. Thirty-one patients had transient ocular hypertension requiring topical treatment during the immediate postoperative period (one month). Only 1 eye (2.9%) required filtrating drainage surgery for IOP control. No eyes developed optic neuropathy secondary to IOP elevation.


Pars plana vitrectomy with SO injection seems to be a safe and efficient surgical approach in the treatment of primary uncomplicated rhegmatogenous retinal detachment in patients living in high altitude (>1,000 m). Also, PPV and SO injection are associated with good anatomical and functional outcomes in our series. Reattachment rates are high, and rates of proliferative vitreoretinopathy are low. Cataract formation and elevated IOP represent frequent but successfully controlled complications.

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