Recurrent hemolacria: A sign of scleral buckle infection

Krishna Mukkamala, Ronald C. Gentile, Llewelyn Rao, Paul A. Sidoti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to report recurrent hemolacria, or "bloody tears," as a sign of scleral buckle (SB) infection. Methods: This is an interventional case series of three eyes of three patients with hemolacria after SB placement. Results: Two men and one woman were treated for recurrent hemolacria after SB placement for a rhegmatogenous retinal detachment. Two patients had an encircling silicone sponge placed, one 6 years and the other 3 years before presentation. The third patient had a segmental solid silicone element placed 3 months before presentation. Two of the patients reported between 6 to 10 episodes of hemolacria occurring for "years" before referral and diagnosis. In all three patients, hemolacria originated from an occult conjunctival fistula overlying or adjacent to an exposed SB. Microbiological cultures grew Staphylococcus aureus in two eyes and polymicrobial growth in the other. Hemolacria resolved with explantation of the SB in two patients and with long-term continuous topical antibiotics in the other patient. Conclusion: Hemolacria can be a sign of a SB infection and should raise a high level of suspicion for the presence of an occult conjunctival fistula with exposure of the underlying scleral buckling element when frank exposure is not seen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1250-1253
Number of pages4
Issue number8
StatePublished - Sep 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • bloody tears
  • conjunctival fistula
  • exposure
  • hemolacria
  • infection
  • retinal detachment
  • scleral buckle


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