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Scleral buckle experience...
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Scleral buckle experience...

Before I had my surgery and after, I was online looking for positive experiences of the scleral buckle. Instead, I was freaked out because of all the complications people had and wrote about. So here is my story.
On August 11, 2014, I underwent a scleral buckle surgery for a detached retina in my right eye. I noticed a curtain/shadow in the top corner of my peripheral vision and after a quick google search about a week later, I knew I should get it checked out. I was diagnosed and operated on within 5 days. I was very scared for the surgery, especially when they tell you what the complications could be. I'm 28 years old and I don't fall into the demographic of who this happens to. It was a spontaneous detachment. The procedure took about 40-45 minutes. I was heavily sedated during it; I would knock out and then come to every so often. I couldn't see what they were doing but I could hear them. After it was over, they sent me home about 30 minutes later and instructed me to lay on my left for 5 days so the gas bubble could go to work and flatten the retina. I wasn't in too much pain following the procedure. I was prescribed tylenol 3 for the pain but I only took 2 and continued with extra strength tylenol when I needed it. The next morning, I went back to the surgeon so he could remove the cover. My eye was very swollen and blurry but I was relieved to actually see whatever I could. The next few days were tough having to stay on my left. I was very dependent on my family during this time. I needed help to even put in the series of eye drops. About a week later, the swelling started to lift a little everyday. The gas bubble was very present still and covered about 50% of my vision. Another follow-up at the doctors and he confirmed the retina had healed and flattened. I kept my eye closed a lot because it was just easier, especially with the brightness during the day. I was able to watch tv though which was great! 3 weeks later, I was allowed to start driving and wearing makeup, but no contacts since the bubble was still there. I went back to work at the 4 week mark. The computer screen was a little difficult to get used to again and the depth perception to read or see the keyboard was also challenging because of the gas bubble. My eye was still a little swollen and smaller and not as white as my left eye. At my 2 month follow-up, everything looked good and he told me the gas bubble would be gone in the next week or 2. It started to break up into many small bubbles and then merge back and split again. Unfortunately, it took my exactly 13 weeks to lose the bubble. The day I noticed it was gone, I made an appointment with my optometrist to get a new prescription and went and got new contacts! My prescription changed but not by too much. The astigmatism changed because the shape of my eye has changed with the buckle. I just needed a prescription to sharpen my vision.
All in all, it was a long recovery but with a successful outcome. I plan on having check ups every 6 months for peace of mind. It's an invasive surgery and it ***** to have to go through; but with patience and support, you will be fine...and you will continue to have the gift of sight.
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