Retinal Tacks for Vitreoretinal Surgery

The concept of using retinal tacks dates back to the mid-1980s, a time when perfluorocarbon liquids were not yet available for repairing large retinal tears. These ingenious devices served as a valuable intraoperative tool, providing the necessary stability to the retina before the application of endolaser photocoagulation and fluid gas exchange. Retinal tacks were crafted from a range of materials, including plastic, titanium, gold, and stainless steel. The image shows stainless steel tacks fashioned from hypodermic needles.

Kirk H. Packo, MD

Skilled hands delicately inserted these tacks into their designated positions using intraocular forceps. Remarkably the patient featured in the photograph shown above underwent 21 years of post-surgery follow-up. At the latest checkup, his visual acuity remained at an impressive 20/30, and the retina remained securely attached. The picture below was taken on another patient and shows a dislocated Tack in the anterior chamber.

O. J. Lehmann, C. R. Canning, FRCOphth