Are gas bubbles ever used without Vitrectomy?
Sometimes gas bubbles are injected in the office to repair the retinal detachment without going to the operating room. This technique is called pneumatic retinopexy and is used for less complicated retinal detachments. This technique is usually used for detachments on the upper part of the eye because bubbles float to the top. The eye is anesthetized with drops or an injection and sterilized with a special disinfectant. A small bubble is injected and then fluid is removed from the front of the eye to equalize the pressure in the eye. Often the vision dim out for a few seconds until this fluid removal step is completed, normalizing the eye pressure. Sometimes cryo (freezing) is used before the gas bubble is injected but more often laser is applied to the retinal hole, break, or tear after the gas bubble reattaches the retina.