Scleral Buckle, Vitrectomy, or Combined Surgery for Inferior Break Retinal Detachment: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

IRB-RRD Study Group

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Topic: To compare outcomes of scleral buckle (SB), pars plana vitrectomy (PPV), and combined PPV-SB to treat rhegmatogenous retinal detachments (RRDs) with inferior retinal breaks (IRBs). Clinical Relevance: Rhegmatogenous retinal detachments with IRBs are not uncommon; their management is challenging with higher risk of failure. There is no consensus about their treatment, specifically whether SB, PPV, or PPV-SB should be performed. Methods: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Randomized controlled trials, case-control, and prospective/retrospective series (if n > 50) in English were eligible. Medline, Embase, and Cochrane databases were searched up to January 23, 2023. Standard systematic review methods were followed. The following outcomes at 3 (± 1) and 12 (± 3) months were evaluated: number of eyes with retinal reattachment after ≥ 1 surgeries, change in best-corrected visual acuity from preoperative to postoperative levels, and number of eyes with improvement of > 10 and > 15 ETDRS letters after surgery. Authors of eligible studies were asked for individual participant data (IPD) and IPD meta-analysis was undertaken. Risk of bias was assessed using National Institutes of Health study quality assessment tools. This study was registered prospectively in PROSPERO (CRD42019145626). Results: A total of 542 studies were identified: 15 were eligible and included and 60% were retrospective. Individual participant data was obtained from 8 studies (1017 eyes). Given that only 26 patients had received SB alone, these data were not considered in the analysis. There was no evidence for differences between treatment groups (PPV versus PPV-SB) in the probability of having a flat retina at 3 or 12 months postoperatively after 1 (P = 0.067; odds ratio [OR], 0.47; P = 0.408; OR 2.55; respectively) or > 1 (OR, 0.54; P = 0.21; OR, 0.89; P = 0.926; respectively) surgery. Pars plana vitrectomy-SB showed less improvement in vision postoperatively at 3 months (estimate, 0.18; 95% confidence interval, 0.01–0.35; P = 0.044), but this difference was no longer observed at 12 months (estimate, –0.07; 95% confidence interval, –0.27, 0.13; P = 0.479). Conclusion: Available evidence suggests a lack of benefit of adding SB to PPV to treat RRDs with IRBs. Evidence, however, comes mainly from retrospective series and, thus, despite the large number of eyes included, should be interpreted with caution. Further research is needed. Financial Disclosure(s): The author(s) have no proprietary or commercial interest in any materials discussed in this article.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)837-847
Number of pages11
JournalOphthalmology Retina
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2023


  • Inferior retinal tears
  • Retinal detachment
  • Scleral buckle
  • Vitrectomy


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