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Fluid behind the eye after surgery
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Fluid behind the eye after surgery

I am a week and a half post-op from a scleral buckle surgery done on 5/24.  I am recovering very well.  I've got almost all my vision back in my left eye.  It is still a little blurry, but I can already read letters and numbers.  My eye is still pretty red, but the swelling has gone down alot.

At my last appointment, the dr said everything looks good, but I still have fluid behind my eye.  She said that if I have fluid next week, then we might have to discuss surgery again because the retina cannot reattach completely with fluid and it would only be a matter of time before a detachment happens again.  Have you heard of this happening before?  What kind of surgery CAN they do after a scleral buckle surgery?  I've had this eye lasered twice prior to having the scleral buckle surgery.  

My question is...is there a way for the fluid to drain out on it's own?  I'm still doing two of the eye drops 4 times a day.  I hope the fluid does go away because I really do not want to have to go through this again.
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There are several types of operation for retinal detachment. In some of them the surgeon actually cuts a small hole into the eye to drain the fuid under the retina, in others the fluid is left to re-absorb on its own--especially if the amount of fluid is small.

During the post operative period the retina surgeon monitors the absorption of the fluid and the settling of the retina. If the fluid does not reabsorb properly it interfers with the repair of the detachment. Rough figures from large studies might show about 85% of all retinal detachment cases are anatomically reattached after one surgery, increasing to 95% with a second procedure. Thus perhaps 15 % of retinal detachment cases may need a second procedure, 5% may need three or more. Perhaps 1-3% of cases depending upon the complexity and other factors cannot re-reattached. The fluid may need to be removed through a small incision or sometime the buckle is moved to aid the reabsorption.

Bottom line--- re-operations are a common and standard part of retinal detachment surgery.  

Good Luck

JCH MD
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