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A population-based analysis of long-term costs and adverse events after pneumatic retinopexy and pars plana vitrectomy


Purpose — To comprehensively examine the cost effectiveness, reattachment rate, and complications of pneumatic retinopexy (PnR) compared with pars plana vitrectomy (PPV) for rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RRD) within a universal healthcare system.

Design — Population-based, multicenter, consecutive, retrospective longitudinal cohort analysis.

Subjects — We identified consecutive adults aged ≥ 50 years requiring surgery for primary RRD over a 20-year interval between April 1, 2002, and March 31, 2022. Initial surgery was considered the index date for analyses.

Intervention — Pneumatic retinopexy was compared with PPV in all analyses.

Main Outcome Measures — The primary analysis investigated the mean annualized healthcare costs comparing PnR to PPV over the 2 years after initial surgery. Secondary analyses examined the primary reattachment rate and complications.

Results — In total, 25 665 eligible patients were identified, with 8794 undergoing PnR and 16 871 undergoing PPV. The mean patient age was 65 years and 39% were women. The mean annualized cost after PnR was $8924 and $11 937 after PPV (mean difference, $3,013; 95% confidence interval, $2533–$3493; P < 0.001). The primary reattachment rate at 90 days after PnR was 83% and after PPV was 93% (P < 0.001). The risk of cataract or glaucoma surgery was lower after PnR, and the frequency of ophthalmology clinic visits, intravitreal injections, and anxiety was higher after PnR. Hospitalizations and long-term disability were less frequent after PnR.

Conclusions — Pneumatic retinopexy, when compared with PPV, was associated with lower long-term healthcare costs. Pneumatic retinopexy appeared to be effective, safe, and inexpensive, thus offering a viable option for improving access to RRD repair in appropriately selected cases.



Popovic MM, Muni RH, Kertes PJ, Thiruchelvam D, Chaban YV, Qian J, Hillier R, Redelmeier DA. Ophthalmol Retina. 2023; Jun 5 [Epub ahead of print].

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