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How are Retinal Implants Used?
 
The use of Silicone Retinal Implants for Retinal reattachment surgery is very specialized in nature. This following information can only serve as a brief overview of this interesting procedure.

Retinal Detachment

To understand what a Retinal Detachment is, imagine a room that has been wallpapered with a watertight paper then filled with water. The outer wall is equivalent to the sclera, (the white part of the eye); and the wallpaper is equivalent to the retina (the inner layer of the eye). If a break develops in the paper, water will seep through the hole and push the paper off the wall. The paper becomes detached like in a retinal detachment. A detached retina can lead to permanent visual loss unless retinal reattachment surgery is undertaken.

Causes

1) High myopia (short sightedness)
2) Advanced diabetic retinopathy
3) Trauma
4) Idiopathic (unknown cause)
5) Age related vitreous changes

Treatment Options

Laser Therapy

If there is a retinal hole or tear but the retina has not yet detached, it can be treated by applying argon laser burns to the retina. This creates an inflammatory reaction and leads to firm adhesion of the retina to the sclera.

Cryotherapy

Similarly the repair can also be carried out by applying cryotherapy (localized freezing) to the outside of the sclera onto the retina, leading to a firm adhesion due to the inflammatory reaction.

Surgery

If the retina is detached then surgery is often mandatory. Buckling or indentation of the sclera is carried out using special silicone implants or explants such as those made by Labtician. These implants are fabricated from solid silicone or silicone sponge and are formed into a variety of shapes and sizes. Depending on a variety of factors, the surgeon may choose one or several of these products for implantation.








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