Pars plana vitrectomy versus scleral buckle: A comprehensive meta-analysis of 15,947 eyes

Arjan S. Dhoot, Marko M. Popovic, Prem A.H. Nichani, Arshia Eshtiaghi, Andrew Mihalache, Aman P. Sayal, Hannah Yu, Charles C. Wykoff, Peter J. Kertes, Rajeev H. Muni

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Pars plana vitrectomy (PPV) and scleral buckling (SB) are two of the most common surgical treatments for rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RRD). This meta-analysis compares the efficacy and safety of PPV and SB for RRD. A systematic literature review was performed using Ovid MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane CENTRAL from 2000 to June, 2021. Comparative studies, randomized controlled trials and observational studies investigating PPV and SB for RRD repair were included. The primary endpoint was final best- corrected visual acuity (BCVA). Secondary endpoints were reattachment rates, total operation time, and incidence of adverse events. Subgroup analyses including phakic status, presence of PVR-C or greater at baseline, and macular attachment status were conducted. Across 41 studies (8 RCTs, 33 observational studies), 5,401 SB and 10,546 PPV eyes were included. SB achieved a statistically significant, but likely not clinically significant, better final BCVA than PPV (0.38 ± 0.53 vs. 0.33 ± 0.53 logMAR (20/48 vs. 20/43 Snellen); weighted mean difference [WMD]: 0.07; 95% confidence interval: [0.02-0.11]; P = 0.005). SB had a better final BCVA compared to PPV in observational studies (P = 0.007) but not in RCTs (P = 0.21). SB had a lower incidence of post-operative cataract formation (P < 0.00001) and iatrogenic breaks (P < 0.00001), but a higher incidence of choroidal/subretinal hemorrhage (P = 0.007), choroidal detachment (P = 0.004), and residual subretinal fluid (RSRF) (P < 0.00001). Primary (86.5% vs. 84.8%; P = 0.13) and final (96.7% vs. 97.7%; P = 0.12) reattachment rates were similar between PPV and SB. PPV had a significantly higher primary reattachment rate in RCTs (P = 0.02) but not in observational studies (P = 0.30). SB was associated with a better final BCVA than PPV; however, this result was primarily driven by observational studies and phakic patients who developed cataracts. Primary and final reattachment rates were similar between the comparators. SB was associated with a significantly lower incidence of iatrogenic breaks and cataracts, while PPV was associated with a reduced risk of choroidal detachment, subretinal hemorrhage, and RSRF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)932-949
Number of pages18
JournalSurvey of Ophthalmology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2022


  • meta-analysis
  • pars plana vitrectomy
  • retinal detachment
  • rhegmatogenous retinal detachment
  • scleral buckling
  • vitrectomy
  • Retinal Detachment/etiology
  • Humans
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Scleral Buckling/adverse effects
  • Choroidal Effusions
  • Vitrectomy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Cataract/complications
  • Iatrogenic Disease
  • Hemorrhage/complications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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