Complex Retinal Detachment

What is Complex Retinal Detachment?

Proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR) is a condition in which retinal scar tissue, or “membranes” form; this may occur with a retinal detachment. A key risk factor for developing PVR is a giant retinal tear—a large tear that involves at least 25% of the retina. When PVR or a giant retinal tear is  present, a retinal detachment is classified as “complex.” 


The reason these membranes  form is uncertain, but it is thought  to be due to cells growing on the  retinal surface. Passage of liquefied vitreous gel through a retinal tear or hole results in an accumulation of fluid under the retina (subretinal fluid) and progression of the  retinal detachment. 


When the detachment involves the center of the retina, called the macula, central vision loss will occur.
Some patients experience no symptoms, particularly:

  • Younger patients
  • Cases where the macula is not involved
  • Patients whose detachment has progressed slowly

But, most often, patients will have some visual symptoms.