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This article is the author’s final published version in BMC Ophthalmology, Volume 20, Issue 1, December 2020, Article number 427.

The published version is available at Copyright © Takahashi et al.


BACKGROUND: Perfluorocarbon liquid (PFCL) is an effective surgical adjuvant in performing vitrectomy for severe vitreoretinal pathologies such as proliferative vitreoretinopathy and giant retinal tears. However, subretinal retention of PFCL can occur postoperatively and retained PFCL causes severe visual disorders, particularly when PFCL was retained under the fovea. Although several procedures have been proposed for subfoveal PFCL removal, such as direct aspiration or submacular injection of balanced salt solution (BSS) to dislodge the subfoveal PFCL, the retinal damage associated with these procedures has been a major problem. Here, we report a case of subfoveal retention of PFCL for which we performed a novel surgical technique that attempts to minimize retinal damage.

CASE PRESENTATION: A 69-year-old man presented with subfoveal retained PFCL after surgery for retinal detachment. To remove the retained PFCL, the internal limiting membrane overlying the subretinal injection site is first peeled to allow low-pressure (8 psi) transretinal BSS infusion, using a 41-gauge cannula, to slowly detach the macula. A small drainage retinotomy is created with the diathermy tip at the inferior position of the macular bleb, sized to be slightly wider than that of the PFCL droplet. The head of the bed is then raised, and the surgeon gently vibrates the patient's head to release the PFCL droplet to allow it to migrate inferiorly towards the drainage retinotomy. The bed is returned to the horizontal position, and the PFCL, now on the retinal surface, can be aspirated. The subfoveal PFCL is removed while minimizing iatrogenic foveal and macular damage. One month after PFCL removal, the foveal structure showed partial recovery on optical coherence tomography, and BCVA improved to 20/40.

CONCLUSION: Creating a macular bleb with low infusion pressure and using vibrational forces and gravity to migrate the PFCL towards a retinotomy can be considered as a relatively atraumatic technique to remove subfoveal retained PFCL.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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