When there is a tear or hole in the retina, cells that normally reside under the retina can go through the hole and settle on top of the retina. These cells tend to form sheets of a scar tissue on the surface of (and sometimes underneath) the retina. The scar tissue then contracts, which folds and pulls on the retina. In cases after retinal detachment surgery, this causes a second or repeat retinal detachment. In cases before retinal detachment surgery, this contraction of the scar tissue makes it more difficult to reattach the retina during surgery, and reduces the success rate of surgery.
Retinal detachment with proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR)
Risk factors include large, multiple or giant retinal tears, or retinal detachments that are not treated early. Bleeding within the eye, increased inflammation in the eye, trauma, and having had multiple previous retinal detachment operations also increase the risk. Cigarette smoking is also a risk factor for PVR.
Early detection and treatment of retinal detachment can reduce the risk of PVR, and so regular eye examinations may be important.
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