How Much Does Detached Retina Surgery Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 7, 2018

Detached retina surgery is a type of surgical procedure performed to correct a retinal detachment, which is an eye condition where the retina peels away from its underlying layer of support tissue.  This condition is usually caused by an eye or face injury, but surgery can usually correct this condition since the surgery has an 85 percent success rate.

Since it can occur at any time, it’s so important to see a professional immediately to address the situation.  Failing to do so can lead to poor eyesight forever.

eye by blacklord, on Flickr
eye” (CC BY 2.0) by blacklord

How much does detached retina surgery cost?

On average, the surgery alone can cost anywhere from $2,000 to around $9,000 per eye without any type of health insurance.  This total will more than likely include the hospital fees as well as the operating room expenses, but all billing policies will be vastly different.  However, before the surgery is confirmed, you will have to have an eye exam, which can cost $65 to $125, depending on who you use and where you live.  The costs will depend on the method being used, where you live, if it’s an outpatient procedure and the professional performing the surgery.

If you have a health insurance policy, most policies will cover the procedure as long as it’s deemed medically necessary.  Be sure to consult with your health insurance plan to ensure that you are familiar with your policy.  If covered, you will more than likely be responsible for the deductibles and co-pays.

According to the MayoClinic.com, the price for the surgery can range anywhere from $6,500 to $9,400, depending on the location.

The NCBI created a case study and said the weighted cost for PR ranged anywhere from $3,726 to $5,901, depending on the success rate, while it was $6,770 for SB, $7,940 for PPV, and $1,955 for laser prophylaxis

Detached retina surgery overview

As mentioned above, you will first need an eye exam to confirm the diagnosis, which will often happen during a routine eye exam.  If confirmed, you will be referred to an ophthalmologist, who will conduct a series of tests, which usually entail checking the retina using an ophthalmoscope to examine the eye.  He or she may also take an ultrasound picture to closely examine the retina as well.

The retina of the eye, which is a thin sheet that is sensitive to light, lines the back of the eye.  On occasions, this retina can be pulled away from its normal position, which can result in a loss of vision.  During the procedure, a surgeon will be able to place the retina back into its proper place, restoring vision.  While most of the vision will come back to normal levels, there may be a slight difference.  The procedure used will depend on the extent of the detachment, the location and type.

Depending on the severity, there are four common procedures used to resolve the issue:  pneumatic retinopexy, scleral buckle surgery, laser techniques or a vitrectomy.  Pneumatic retinopexy is a procedure where a bubble of gas will be injected into the affected eye to put the retina back into place.  Scleral buckle surgery will be a procedure where the silicone bands are stitched on the outside of the eye, re-attaching the retina.  Laser techniques will only be used if the detachment is caught early.  Lastly, the vitrectomy procedure will remove the vitreous gel from the eye to allow the specialist to reach the back of the eye in order to re-attach the retina.

Some of these procedures will be performed at the doctor’s office, while some complicated cases may require the hospital’s operating room.  Most of the time, patients will be able to leave the same day.  All procedures will either use a local or general anesthetic.

Once the retina is reattached, your vision should improve; however, if the center of the retina has been detached, your vision may never be restored to 100 percent.

What are the extra costs?

This treatment doesn’t always work the first time and a second treatment may be needed, effectively doubling the price.

Having the procedure done in a hospital with a general anesthesia can greatly increase the costs.

Tips to know

Common signs of a retinal detachment can include reoccurring floaters, flashes in your line of vision, a sudden loss of sight or a gap in your vision.  If you experience any of these symptoms, play it safe and talk with a specialist immediately.

How can I save money?

This type of surgery will be covered by most insurance companies. You can ask your medical provider to see how much money you can save if you undergo the surgery.  Insurance companies will deduct a considerable amount from the total cost.  If you do not have a health insurance plan, consider comparing policies through eHealthInsurance.

While this type of surgery can’t be prevented, if holes or tears are noted in the retina early on its stages, a doctor can use preventative measures to ensure that a detachment doesn’t happen.

Most hospitals and doctor’s offices may offer a cash discount if you pay your bill in full.


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Average Reported Cost: $20000

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Less Expensive $1 $1.5K $3K $5K $6.5K More Expensive $8k

How much did you spend?

Was it worth it?  

  1. Terry Gilmore (Roanoke,  Virginia) paid $20000 and said:

    Uva charged me over $20,000.00 and Ive still have a blind spot in center of my vision and I still do not have a lens in my eye. That has been the worst experience have had in my life my last doctor visit they charge for test they didnt do. The doctors office was always over booked and in surgery they had students watching surgery without my consent.The problem is not with insurance but with medical facil8.

    Was it worth it? Yes

  2. Bonnie (Panama City ,  Florida) paid $20000 and said:

    Bay Medical Center Outpatient Surgical Costs including Anesthesia Surgery and Surgeons bills will total $20,000 My insurance is not paying any of it stating that this is not Usual and Customary What can be done if you are getting overcharged by the surgical center and your insurance company wont pay? Is there a process to request where the billing dept gets their rates? Is there a state statuate that stops overbilling?

    Was it worth it? Yes

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