I was recently diagnosed as having macular puckering in my left eye. If I go ahead with surgery, what should I except during recovery and how long does it take for recovery? After surgery, are there visible signs of having had surgery (i.e. droppy eyelids, etc) What can be done for this? If anyone has had this surgery recently, please let me know how you feel about it now.
I have had this surgery twice to remove the same epiretinal membrane (aka macular pucker). Your recovery will be much quicker if your surgeon uses modern, 25-gauge (sutureless) vitrectomy instruments (rather than the older instruments which require sutures.) The day after "sutureless" surgery your eye will probably be somewhat red and swollen, although this is barely noticeable in some cases. A minority of patients get bruising from the local anethesia injection. (Any redness or bruising will disappear without treatment.) This is not painful surgery, and you probably won't even need an ordinary Tylenol post-surgery. The retina is nerve tissue and heals slowly, so full visual recovery generally takes 3 months or longer. Outcomes (in terms of acuity and elimination of distortion) are generally better when surgery is performed within 10 months of symptom development.
Your choice of surgeon is very important. You will want a surgeon who is very experienced with this procedure.
I've never heard of anyone ending up with a droopy eyelid as the result of surgery to peel a macular pucker. It would have to be a very rare event. My eyelid was a little swollen right after surgery, but the swelling disappeared completely in a couple of weeks or so. Do you know what caused your friend's droopy lid? S/he should probably consult an ophthalmologist specializing in plastic surgery to find out about repairing it.
If your macular pucker affects your vision in a significant way, you would likely benefit from surgery in terms of improved acuity and reduced distortion.
I've read that the chances for retinal detachment are from less than 1% to about 5%, partially depending on who is doing the surgery. I don't know the statistics for macular edema--usually peeling the pucker reduces macular edema.
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