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Br J Ophthalmol. 2001 Nov;85(11):1324-7.

Outcome after silicone oil removal.

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The Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Retinology and Biomicroscopic Lasersurgery, Department of Ophthalmology, Rudolf Foundation Clinic, Juchgasse 25, A 1030 Vienna, Austria.



Combined with vitreoretinal surgery, silicone oil injection has become a standard technique and improves the prognosis of complex retinal detachment. As silicone oil leads to long term complications, removal of silicone oil from the eye is recommended. To evaluate the outcome after silicone oil removal, retinal redetachment, visual acuity, and complications were analysed.


The authors analysed 115 consecutive cases of silicone oil removal (115 eyes), all operated by one surgeon. The series consisted of retinal detachments associated with proliferative vitreoretinopathy (103 eyes), proliferative diabetic retinopathy (six eyes), or ocular trauma (six eyes). The mean duration of intraocular silicone oil tamponade was 13.3 months, with a mean postoperative follow up of 1.8 years.


Anatomic success after silicone oil removal, defined as a complete retinal attachment, was achieved in 95 of 115 eyes (82.6%). Redetachment occurred in 20 eyes (17.4%), mostly within the first 6 months after silicone oil removal. Including the successfully reoperated eyes, the authors present a final anatomic success rate of 108 eyes (93.9%). Visual acuity improved or remained unchanged in 93 eyes (80.9%).


While reattachment and complication rates were quite similar to other studies, a better visual outcome was achieved in these cases. The duration of the silicone oil tamponade had no significant effect on the reattachment rate. The authors recommend not to apply standard criteria for the timing of silicone oil removal, but to decide individually, considering the underlying disease, as well as the previous operations.

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