This simple procedure is done in-office, on an outpatient basis. It is the form of repair for many retinal detachments because it is minimally invasive and usually results in quicker visual recovery than the alternative techniques. A local anesthetic is given and a gas bubble is then injected into the eye. The retinal tear is treated with either laser or cryopexy. The bubble then increases in size and presses the retina back against the wall of the eye (fig. 6). The laser or cryopexy therapy holds the retina in place. The bubble usually lasts one to two weeks. During this time, proper head positioning is important for the success of the surgery.
Visual recovery using this method begins within days and is often complete within two weeks. While this is the least invasive method of reattaching the retina and results in the best visual recovery, its success rate is lower than either scleral buckling or vitrectomy. The most common complication is a recurrence of the detachment. If this does occur it can usually be corrected using one or both of the previously mentioned procedures.