Is it ever the case that the doctor is unable to reattach a detached retina?

It is uncommon. In a small percentage of cases, such as long-standing retinal detachments, excessive scarring, or in eyes that have had multiple surgeries, it may not be possible to reattach a detached retina. In most cases, the surgery is successful.
Sometimes. Most retinal detachments, unless neglected or unrecognized, can be re-attached. If the central portion, the macula, comes off, then the vision recovery is much less certain even if the reattachment is successful. But a few reach the point where the surgery cannot help.
Yes. Soemtimes, if you have a severe traumatic injury, the entire retina may not be able to be saved. More often, the retina can be repaired anatomically, but the patient does not see well. See your eye doctor for more info.

Related Questions

If I had a detached retina, would an eye doctor see it?

Yes. An ophthalmologist can diagnose a retinal detachment on exam.
Yes. Symptoms of retinal detachment can include flashing lights, new floaters, and/or a dark curtain coming over your vision from any direction. Near-sighted people are more prone to get retinal detachments. Eye trauma is a common cause. Most specialist eye mds (ophthalmologists) will see a possible retinal detachment the same day you call, but don't wait. If the retina stays detached, blindness can occur.
Dilated exam. Yes, a dilated exam of the retina by a qualified ophthalmologist can diagnose the condition. If there is any question, see a retina specialist.

Lost my peripheral vision and then I had a very painful migraine behind my eyes. Went 2 the I doc 2 mos. Ago he said I might have a detached retina.?

Is it or isn't it? Did your physician do a dilated exam of your retina? If not you need to see a board certified opthalmologist asap to determine this. Your treatment hinges off of this...

I've been getting regular check ups with my eye doctor and my eyes seem fine. Can reading or studying a lot cause a detached retina?

No. Using your eyes to read and study does not increase your chance for retinal detachment. Generic disorders, severe myopia, injury, eye surgery, and probably smoking are among some of the risk factors.

How does an eye doctor treat and diagnose someone with cataracts, glaucoma, or detached retina?

Various. A very general question. An eye doc can diagnose with a dilated eye exam using lenses and equipment in the office for checking vision, pressure, optic nerves, and the retina. Treatment depends on what is found, but can involve observation, medications, laser, or surgery.
Exam By eyemd. A complete eye exam by an experienced ophthalmologist will uncover these problems. Treatment varies with each condition.
Diagnose by exam. All of these problems can be detected by a careful examination by an eye care professional. Treatment will vary.
Different ways. The 3 conditions you mention are diagnosed and treated in very different ways. The first step is a comprehensive dilated eye exam by your eye md to identify if these issues exist, and further testing and treatment would be determined from that point.
Diagnosed by exam. Each of these need extensive exam, follow-up and treatment. Books are written on each subject.