Scleral buckle surgery is a procedure in which a piece of soft silicone band is sewn against the eye wall, sclera. During scleral buckle surgery the lining of the eye, conjunctiva, is incised. The buckle is placed behind the eye muscles and sewn permanently into position.
This creates an indentation and helps close the retinal tear which has caused the retina to detach. The fluid beneath the retina is usually drained as well. Laser or freezing therapy is then used to permanently seal the retina to the indented eye wall.
Following scleral buckle surgery the eye will be swollen, with bloody tears. Pain is usually mild to moderate. Increased nearsightedness may develop because the eye becomes longer. Double vision may occur, but usually is temporary.
Scleral buckling surgery was developed over seventy years ago. Modern techniques, such as vitrectomy, have replaced it in most cases. Scleral buckling remains useful in selected patients.