Although the ophthalmologist plays the leading role in the treatment of retinal detachment, the family physician may have to make important decisions. He may have to decide whether an elderly patient can endure long general anesthesia and confinement to bed with a minimum of movement. He may have to evaluate the emotional reserve in a patient already apprehensive and depressed by sudden blindness. He may have to participate in long-term postoperative care. He will be better able to cooperate if he has a general idea of the complex problems involved. Robert Fink's1 recent explanation provides a brief synopsis of the pathogenesis and current treatment. About 50% of all detachments occur in nearsighted people; another 20% develop within three years after cataract extraction, not as a result of poor surgical technique or complications but because the changes in the lens are part of a dystrophic eye condition. Clinically, 10% of
RETINAL DETACHMENT. JAMA. 1960;173(7):813–814. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03020250069013
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