Enhanced internal search for iatrogenic retinal breaks in 20-gauge macular surgery

H. Stevie Tan, Sarit Y.Lesnik Oberstein, Marco Mura, Marc D. De Smet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Purpose: To evaluate the incidence and characteristics of iatrogenic retinal breaks in 20-gauge macular surgery with an intensified search strategy. Design: Retrospective, non-comparative interventional case series. Participants: 218 consecutive operations in 209 patients who underwent 20-gauge vitrectomy vitrectomy for idiopathic macular pucker or idiopathic macular hole. Methods: Retrospective review of patient records undergoing 20-gauge vitrectomy with intensified peripheral search for retinal defects. Main outcome measures: Incidence of breaks related to the sclerotomies, the incidence of breaks occurring elsewhere, the incidence of lesions suspicious for traction, the location of identified breaks and intraoperative induction of posterior vitreous detachment. Results: Retinal breaks occurred in 24.3% of operations. In 17.4% breaks were related to the sclerotomies and in 9.6% of breaks were found elsewhere. In 6.4% of eyes, only lesions suspicious for traction were detected. Retinal detachment occurred in 1.8% of cases. The occurrence of breaks was significantly related to induction of PVD. Conclusions: With intensified intraoperative search, a much higher incidence of retinal breaks was found than previously reported in the literature. Despite the high incidence of breaks, the incidence of postoperative rhegmatogenous retinal detachment was low. These findings support the rationale that intensive intraoperative search for iatrogenic breaks is crucial for the prevention of postoperative retinal detachments in macular surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1490-1492
Number of pages3
JournalBritish Journal of Ophthalmology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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