Knowledge concerning the etiology of idiopathic detachment of the retina, also called spontaneous retinal detachment, has increased during the last few years to such an extent that it may be asked today whether it is possible to prevent the outbreak of the disease or at least to stop its progress after it has begun and thus assure a good prognosis for operation.
To explain these problems, one must first know how spontaneous retinal detachment originates. Then only may one discuss the prevention of this disease.
The significance of the retinal tear as the immediate cause of spontaneous retinal detachment can hardly be questioned. If one succeeds in closing the communication between the vitreous cavity and the subretinal space by any kind of operation, the detachment disappears entirely within a few days. Besides this clinical fact, experiments on models have shown that a displaceable retina with a flap-hole