what are the risks of having silicone oil removed after five months of operation for retinal detachment and also removal o f cataract in the same eye which has grown with silicone oil? when will my vision return to normal again and when can I fly after removal of oil?
I have had silicone oil in my eye for 2 and a half years since my retina re-attachment operation. I was told it can be left in the eye indefinitely. The risk of removing it, is that the retina could detach again after you remove the silicone, but I was told this did not happen too frequently. I don't know about flying after the removal of oil, I guess what you have to be concerned with is the re-detachment of the retina, I am not sure if the different air pressure in the airplane would cause such a thing. I know for sure though, that when I had a gas bubble put into the eye for the detachment, I was told that I could not fly with the gas bubble in the eye as the pressure in the airplane could make the bubble bust. The vision with the eye is distorted from the silicone oil, also make sure you didn't get a macular pucker after your operation, as that also distorts the vision. That is what happened to me after my retinal re-attachment - I got a macular pucker - straight lines are seen as wavy and blurry. I need to have another operation soon, to remove the macular pucker and take out the silicone oil. Ask your retinal specialist about your particular situation.
Removal of silicone oil is done only when your doctor feels that the retina has completely stabilized, generally this is about three months after it is first inserted. However, complications can arise that necessitate the removal of the silicone oil sooner then desired. Also, in some cases if the surgeon feels that removal of silicone oil jeopardizes the stability of the eye it may be left in indefintely.
Be aware that complete removal of the silicone oil is not possible. You will have a few very small bubbles of silicone oil left in the eye. They will generally not effect your vision unless you look down w/ your face parallel to the ground.
The retina can detach after the oil has been removed. The riskiest time period is in the immediate weeks following removal. The likely-hood of detachment following removal decreases after 3-6 months. Improvement of vision also takes time from many months and up to a year after surgery, it also depends on the severity of your detachment and overall eye health.
The removal of cataract involves risks. It increases the chance of retinal detachment.
Be sure you discuss any concerns you have w/ your doctor.
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