Purpose: The aim of this study is to establish if air can be considered as a safe substitute for long-lasting tamponade agents for primary rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RRD) treatment, regardless of the position or the number of retinal breaks. Methods: In this study, 230 consecutive patients (236 eyes) who underwent a pars plana vitrectomy (PPV) for primary RRD with air or SF6 tamponade from January 2014 till March 2020 were analyzed. The main outcome measure was the rate of an anatomically attached retina without the presence of any tamponade agent for at least 3 months postoperatively. Results: Our overall success rate in treating RRD with PPV in cases involving superior, inferior, and also multiple breaks is 88.5% (146/165 eyes) with air tamponade and 80.3% (57/71 eyes) with SF6 20% tamponade. Preoperative characteristics were almost similar between the two groups. Conclusion: Our study shows encouraging results for RRD treated with air tamponade, not only for superior breaks but also for inferior and multiple breaks. Thorough removal of vitreous traction, aspiration of subretinal fluid, and sealing of all the retinal breaks are mandatory elements to treat RRD. After this is accomplished, air tamponade seems to be a safe and effective agent for primary RRD. In order to clarify the use of intravitreal gases or air in the treatment of primary RRD with PPV, a randomized controlled prospective study should be realized in the future.

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