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retinal tear repair
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retinal tear repair

I recently had (5 days ago) had laser surgery to repair a retinal tear. I am still seeing black spots, floaters. How long will they last? Also, should I limit my physical activity? I am afraid of tearing the repair open and wondering how will I know if I have another tear since I already have the floaters? Thank you for answering these questions. I seem to be having alot of trouble with my right eye lately, as you can tell from my previous question about the eye twitch.
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Avatar_n_tn
well the twitching and the surgery are probably related.

dont know how long you will see spots.  depends on the size/number/placement of the floaters.  more/bigger floaters = more time (up to say 9 mo or so), less/smaller floaters = less time.

dont know if you should limit physical activity or not.  depends on the severity of the tear.  in cases of severe/large tears...YES you should limit your physical activity.  if the laser was more 'preventative' for lattice degen or something, then no, you really dont have to limit anything.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Anna, last Oct. 2006, I had 2 tears at 10 and 11 pm of my right retina.  (Tears in the upper half are more dangerous because of the pull of gravity.)  Also 1 hole.  I initially had a bunch of floaters, flashes, cobwebs, lots of dots, and a veil like a sheer curtain to peer through, all appearing over 2 hours.  The next morning, My opthalmalogist said, "Wow. there's a bunch of junk in there," which he then contributed to a lot of bleeding.  I did see wavy lines like drops of ink into water.  I guess that was the blood.  I attributed it to my taking vitamin E (which thins the blood) and also Ibuprofen (which is notorious for blood-thinning).  So I quite these for the next few months in case I had additional tearing, I wanted to minimize the bleeding.  

This opthalmalogist administered 128 laser pulses around the two tears.  2 days later, I had lots of bright flashes for a couple of days, but I then had a migraine which kept me in bed for 3 days (which I think was a blessing that may have allowed the laser scarring to take hold a little better before I was up and around).

4 days after first treatment, when I opened my eye, it seemed to struggle to focus and it was jiggling and uncomfortable.  I kept it covered closed with gauze which was more comfortable.  This stopped after 2 more days.
After 12 days, the sheer curtain veil was gone, dots were cut by 90%, and the big mass of cobwebs cut by 50%.  After another week, cobwebs were cut to about 30% less.  Seemed like a miracle.  My sight was VERY impaired and after a few more days, cobwebs were almost gone, no veil, a handful of small floaters ( but still some flashes, which is just the tugging on the vitreous).  I pray to God.  Do you pray for his hand on your doctor and your healing?

By the time a month had passed, I though I saw a tiny bit more cobwebbing, so I went in to get checked.  My doc said one of the tears (like a horseshoe-shaped flap) had torn a little bit more toward the circle he had made around it.  Also the circular wall he had made looked like it had eroded a little.  So he did 57 more pulses to thicken the "wall of the dam," which made me feel much more secure.  The white of my eye was then bright red, as he had hit a blood vessel and broken it, but it cleared up although it was dry and irritated for a couple of days.  Flashes have continued when I look to the right, so I actually minimize my looking in this direction.  It makes me feel safer.

Six months later, just yesterday, May 1, 2007, I went to a retina specialist, because I wanted someone to be familiar with me in case I had a black drape come over my eye at some point.  He said the former work looked excellent and very stable/secure.  But I had a new tear at 7 pm, which was smaller than the larger of the other two, yet larger than the smaller.  He did 148 laser pulses around it.  He also found a hole on the left retina, which he said, "I could treat it or not treat it.  It's not necessarily helpful."  He also found "Lattice Degeneration," which I am only now studying.  I think he said this should be treated, so I'm going to call back and probably set another appointment.  I just didn't feel up to doing both of them in one day.

Oh, I guess the main reason I'm writing is to say that we probably should get checked by a specialist every several months, because I had no noticeable symptoms from this third tear.  But if you do think you might be seeing a few more floaters or anything at all, it is a good reason to go in.  I'm going to go in every 3-5 months for the next year or two I think.  It'll depend on feedback and what I learn along the way.  Also what happens. ha.

He told me that laser treatments only save 3-5 out of 100 detachments.  So, I guess if we don't detach, we're one of the lucky (or blessed) ones.  I feel hopeful and in good hands.  But I'm also researching the different surgery options, as he said there were several, so that I'm prepared to make the right decision when and if the time comes.  He also said if I have a drape, to call right away, set up a time to come in (before probable hospitalization for surgery) and that to stay in a horizontal position is helpful.  I hope some of this was helpful to you, Debby

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