Thank you in advance for considering my question and concerns.
My 70 year old mother just had the surgery 2 days ago. She was diagnosed with a macular hole about 1 year ago & had probably had the problem for a few months prior to that. She's diabetic & has a number of health problems (takes coumadin, etc.) The first doctor that diagnosed the hole explained that since the hole was present for several months, that chances of success rate was slim to none. He also explained the recovery process of lying face down for 2-3 weeks. The decision was somewhat obvious, as my mother would not be able to be in that position for any amount of time (arthritis).
Then a couple of months ago, she was referred to this new specialist, who upon examining her, said he could operate and fix the hole. I was very doubtful & told him that she would NOT be able to lay in the "facing down" position. He assured me that she would just have to avoid laying back, but if she could be in a sitting position (ie. recliner), she would be fine. That the "face down recovery" surgical procedure was antiquated & he would be doing a "new" method. I also asked if the amount of time elapsed since first symptom of the hole was a problem & he said it wasn't. So we went ahead with the surgery.
He's not one to talk much, giving short answers & this bothers me tremendously, but of course, my mom doesn't want to deal with getting a new dr (etc). So I've been doing a lot of research online, but cannot find any other persons that can just be in a seated position to recover from this surgery! I did find that the "silicone oil" procedure does not require face down recovery, but will require another surgery to remove the oil. He NEVER mentioned that that was what he was doing to her and on the id bracelet and paperwork info. it says she has a "gas" bubble.
Is there really a new procedure that does NOT require face down recovery? Will the time elapsed (since onset of hole) be a problem?
Although I'm not a retina expert, I have read in some fairly recent literature that prolonged face down positioning after macular hole repair is not as essential as we used to believe. Since it is so difficult for many elderly patients to sustain this position, we figured it out by having the surgery work on patients who basically spent only 1 or 2 days face down. So your surgeon may not be totally off mark there. The size of the hole and the visual acuity before surgery are also predictors of improved vision after surgery. Unless your mom was just too sick to go through the whole process, I think it is reasonable to make ONE attempt at macular hole repair.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. MedHelp is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.