Environmental effect of air versus gas tamponade in the management of rhegmatogenous retinal detachment VR surgery: A multicentre study of 3,239 patients

George Moussa, Walter Andreatta, Soon Wai Ch’ng, Hadi Ziaei, Assad Jalil, Niall Patton, Tsveta Ivanova, Kim Son Lett, Dong Young Park

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Abstract

Purpose

To report the potential reduction of carbon emissions by utilising air-tamponade (AT), where possible, instead of fluorinated gases in the management of rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RRD). We compared the carbon CO2 emissions produced at two large tertiary referral vitreoretinal (VR) centres where RRD are exclusively repaired using fluorinated gases to a tertiary VR mass of each gas used according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Materials and methods

Retrospective, continuous, comparative multicentre study of all procedures using fluorinated gases between 01/01/17-31/12/20 at the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital (MREH) and Birmingham and Midland Eye Centre (BMEC), and between 01/01/19-31/12/2020 at the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW).
Results

We report on 3,239 (SF6:1,415 [43.7%], C2F6:1,235 [38.1%], C3F8:541 [16.7%], Air:48 [1.5%]) procedures. UHCW and BMEC utilise single use 30ml and 75ml cannisters, respectively and MREH use multi-use gas cylinders. UHCW used AT in 48 (70%) of RRD repairs. Mean equivalent mass CO2/patient was MREH:115.9kg, BMEC:7.9kg and UHCW:1.9kg. If assuming all centres used 30ml cannisters, the mean equivalent mass CO2/patient was MREH:3.5 kg, BMEC:3.1kg and UHCW:1.9kg. AT enabled UHCW to greatly reduce the need for the most environmentally damaging SF6 gas, leading to lower CO2 emissions by 47.0% and 41.1% compared to MREH and BMEC, respectively.
Conclusion

We demonstrate how AT vs. the fluorinated gases can reduce in carbon footprint in the management of RRD. Further studies are required to determine the most ‘environment-friendly’ intraocular tamponade without compromising patient outcomes centre that also routinely employs AT in selected RRD cases.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0263009
Number of pages10
JournalPLOS One
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jan 2022

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