Pneumatic Retinopexy for Retinal Tears and Detachment
Pneumatic retinopexy is the injection of a gas bubble into the eye. The purpose is to
push the retinal tear or detachment against the back of the eye so that the retina
reattaches to the back surface layers. This treatment is used with cryotherapy or laser
treatment for retinal tears.
Vision and eye pressure are
checked before the treatment. The
eye to be treated is dilated.
Numbing drops are placed in the
eye. A numbing shot may be given.
Cryotherapy (freezing treatment) to
the retina tear may be done first.
Then the doctor will insert a tiny
needle about 1/8 inch from the iris
(colored part of the eye). A small
amount of fluid is taken out of the
eye and a small amount of gas is injected. The gas always floats upward. The
doctor will tell you which position to hold your head so the bubble stays in the right
place. The bubble is supposed to push against the tear or detachment and hold it
flat against the back of the eye.
The bubble will last 2-6 weeks before it goes away. It will make vision blurry.
You should not travel by airplane during this time because lower pressure at higher
altitude allows the bubble inside the eye to expand. Ask your doctor about other
restrictions. You can use Acetaminophen if needed.
If you have any concerns or any other changes in vision please call the clinic.
University Station Eye Clinic, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday
When the clinic is closed, your call will be forwarded to the hospital paging
operator. Ask for the “Eye Resident on Call”. Give the operator your name and
phone number with area code. The doctor will call you back.
If you live out of the area, call 1-800-323-8942 and ask to be transferred to the
Please call if you have any questions or concerns.
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you have
any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This is not
medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each person’s health
needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using this information. If
you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 1/2016. University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics Authority. All
rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#5099