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Between 1982 and 1984, the temporary balloon buckle, as described by Lincoff and Kreissig in 1978, was successfully used in 52 eyes. The indications were retinal detachments with only one break or with closely grouped breaks together not exceeding one clock hour of the fundus. No consideration was given to the duration and extent of retinal detachment and macular involvement, or to the degree of myopia and recent vitreous hemorrhage. Excluded were cases with incipient proliferative vitreoretinopathy. The operation was successful in 50 of the 52 eyes. It was unsuccessful in one eye, in which, despite several subsequent conventional interventions, proliferative vitreoretinopathy developed, and in a second eye, in which a circumscribed retinal elevation around a large flap tear persists. In 17% of cases (9 of 52 eyes) fresh retinal defects were discovered 1 week to 6 months postoperatively. All were successfully treated with laser therapy. As a result, we considertemporary balloon buckling a simple and curative technique for a selected group of patients presenting retinal detachments.

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