Surgery for a retinal detachment

Published: March, 2008

Occasionally, the vitreous gel (the egg white–like substance that fills most of the eyeball) pulls on the retina with enough force to tear it. This separation of the retina from the back of the eye allows fluid from inside the eye to enter through this tear and detach the retina from the choroid (the nutrient-rich layer underlying the retina). If this rupture is caught and treated early, a retinal detachment (see illustration) may be prevented.

Retinal detachment

If not treated, the retinal detachment may continue until the retina is nearly totally detached from the back of the eye and maintains a connection only at the optic nerve in the back of the eye and the ciliary body (a ring of tissue that encircles the lens) in the front of the eye.

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