Collage of Museum Artifacts


Retinal Tacks for Vitreoretinal Surgery

Retinal tacks were first described in the mid-1980s prior to the availability of perfluorocarbon liquids for the repair of giant retinal tears. Retinal tacks were used as an intraoperative tool to provide stability of the retina prior to endolaser photocoagulation and fluid gas exchange.

Retinal tacks were made of a variety of materials including plastic, titanium, gold, and stainless steel.  The image showing embedded tacks illustrates stainless steel tacks made from hypodermic needles. These tacks were inserted with an intraocular forceps to properly hold and place the tack in position. The patient in this photograph had 21 years of follow-up after surgery. At last follow-up, the patient had a visual acuity of 20/30 and the retina remained attached. 

Tack with blue background: Image donated by Kirk H. Packo, MD, FASRS