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.
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