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John C Hagan III, MD, FACS, FAAO  
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Kansas City, MO

Specialties: Ophthalmology

Interests: Eye-Medical Blog
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Activity after Retinal Detachment Surgery

Dec 13, 2009 - 21 comments

Retinal holes/tears are very common and depending on size, location, personal and family history and the presence or abscense of vitreous traction may not need treatment. If treatment is done additional tears or a retinal detachment could occur but it is much more likely to not occur. It is important for him to follow up regularly with his ophthalmologist for a dilated retina and peripheral retina exam. He should see the Eye MD immediately with sudden increase of floaters, flashes or loss of peripheral vision.

You need to ask he surgeon specifically about activity. As a generalization return to golf and tennis would be allowed by most surgeons after 7-10 days. There is a major risk of eye injury in racquet sports and your husband MUST wear safety sports glasses for his tennis game. (I have seen eyes blinded from tennis injuries).

Quite some time back a survey was taken of retina surgeons about letting their patients return to full activities after retinal detachment surgery (much more extensive than what your husband had). Almost all retina surgeons allowed full activity after a variable period of time (with the more extensive surgery generally several months).

In my practice I tell patients with retinal tears, retinal detachment, high myopia or other risk factors for retinal detachment to avoid amusement park rides (roller coasters and other thrill rides, bumper cars, etc.), boxing, yoga movements where they stand on their heads, gravity boots, and activities that jerk the head violently back and fourth.

Thanks for posting, I hope this answered your question.

JCH MD


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by karmentrout, Jan 05, 2010
Thank you for this blog.  I am recovering my from third retina surgery in three months.  With the first two detachments I had the gas bubble placed in my eye.  For the last surgery I went to the Duke University Eye Center and had the buckle and oil placed in the eye.  I have been told that within a week, I can assume my normal activity level; however, it has almost been a week, and I am still in pain and have no desire to return to my normal level of activity.

Prior to my retina detachment, I was a long-distance runner who ran at least one marathon a year.  In total, I have run 16 marathons.  The doctors here tell me that there is no association between long-distance running and detached retinas.  I am wondering if you have had any experience treating long-distance runners for retinal detachments and your thoughts on running.

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by calborz, Feb 23, 2011
I too have a similar question. My mother had retina detachment and she too had a gas bubble then had oil in there for 6 months and now she is having catarac surgery. She wants to do hot yoga again. How long does she have to wait till she can?

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by Neha1988, Feb 21, 2013


I had a retina detachment due to high myopia and I underwent vitreo retinal silicon oil surgery in my left eye on 18th Sept'12. In Nov last week my doctor realized that the oil inside my eye had emulsified, so he decided to perform the oil removal surgery on 7th Dec (not even 3 months) . During this surgery, oil was replaced by a gas bubble and the bubble gradually went away in 7 weeks. But still I havent gained the vision clarity...I have been asking my doctor regarding the same and he says taht the vision will become clearer..but still no success ! IT feels as if I am using glasses of lower power. really dont know what to do !! The doctor shall be performing cataract surgery in the operated eye some time in Mar'13. I hope this surgery brings back my vision clarity !! Does anyone of you have a similar experience ?  

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by browneyesz, Mar 15, 2013
Neha1988, I had sergury for retinal detachment almost 3 years ago and I never got back my full vision. Doctor said I didn't get enough blood flow. I permanently lost all my vision on half of my eye, the rest of my vision just got worse than before.

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by rn_running, Jul 22, 2015
What do the above surgeries accomplish if these people come away with so many complications and surgeries?


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by John C Hagan III, MD, FACS, FAAOBlank, Jul 22, 2015
Before this type of surgery 100% ended up blind and sometimes painful. The surgery enables 90+ % to prevent going blind and retain some vision. If the macula is not pulled off by the RD them sometimes can recover full vision.

JCH MD

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by JOHNMATHEWS, Sep 10, 2015
sir i have one doubt...i have three retinal hole in both eyes and im not myopic... i had barrage laser done...and my doctor told  to do any activity except for heavy weight lifting ...but i hav seen from previous comments u have told dont jerk ur head violently back and forth bcoz it may lead to retinal detachment...im afraid even to move my head while doing any activity

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by JohnHaganMD, Sep 10, 2015
That is overly-protective and normal "activities of daily living" are not likely to hurt your retina. Your retina surgeon agreed with this.  The things I tell my patients to avoid are violent head jerking such as you might have riding amusement rides, contact sports like football or rugby,  yoga exercises where you stand on your head.  If you have specific sports or activities in mind ask your retina surgeon but the things you normally do in a day even jogging are not likely to create a problem
JCH MD

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by JOHNMATHEWS, Sep 11, 2015
thanks  sir....why violent jerking leads to retinal detachment?..it has anything to do with eye..i dance so i move my head..does moving the head have any effect on retina..my retina surgeon told it has nothing to do with..but i want to clarify with u sir

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by JohnHaganMD, Sep 11, 2015
Dancing is generally okay. I'm talking about roller coasters, and other thrill rides.    Confirm with your surgeon.

JCH MD

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by JOHNMATHEWS, Sep 11, 2015
wat jerking the head violently means sir.. I couldn't understand

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by JohnHaganMD, Sep 11, 2015
NOUN OR VERB    JERK



1.a quick, sharp, sudden movement:
"he gave a sudden jerk of his head"

synonyms: yank · tug · pull · wrench · tweak · twitch · jolt · lurch · bump ·
[more]


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by JOHNMATHEWS, Sep 11, 2015
even while dancing I move by head.. so I am vulnerable sir?

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by JohnHaganMD, Sep 11, 2015
Last comment: I have never heard of a retina detaching during "dancing" Ask your retina MD

JCH MD

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by JohnHaganMD, Sep 12, 2015
=

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by JohnHaganMD, Sep 12, 2015



by JohnHaganMD, 22 hours .

Last comment: I have never heard of a retina detaching during "dancing" Ask your retina MD

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by JohnHaganMD, Sep 14, 2015
I am not going to continue this dialog after this post.

1. A PubMed search showed not papers on retinal detachment after dancing. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=retinal+detachment+after+dancing
2. The treating retina surgeon will have to make the final recommendations.

That's all I can say.
JCH MD

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by thecat63, Dec 11, 2015
I had a severe eye injury in June '15. A bungee cord snapped and struck my left eye. Although my iris was damaged, I recovered some vision after the blood cleared from my eye. My doctor said that the eye could not focus because my iris would not open and close as a normal iris does. He was very concerned that my retina might detach because the trauma left a slight bulge in the back of the eye. After two months, the swelling went down in the back of my eye.My doctor was encouraged by the healing and he thought the danger of retina detachment was greatly reduced. He did not recommend surgery and I still think the recommendation was right. However, I was still taking glaucoma medicine because my eye pressure increased after the injury. The eye pressure was well under control and my doctor was reducing the amount of glaucoma medicine. And tests indicated that my vision might be restored to 20/40 with the aid of a special contact lens. The contact lens would have an outer, opaque ring matching the color of my right eye with an inner, transparent circle with a lens. After three and a half months, my eye had healed sufficiently to travel again and resume my normal activities. I was a very active retiree before my injury: surfing 100 +/- days per year, 100+ rounds of golf per year, and intermediate yoga, bicycle riding and light weight lifting. I was slowly resuming my activities after three months and I traveled about 5 months after my injury.

While I was traveling in Central America, my retina started to detach. I rushed home and I had immediate eye surgery on 24 Nov '15. The surgeon told me that there was scar tissue under the retina, apparently from my previous injury. My eye is still healing and the gas bubble is nearly gone. The reattachment was successful and I have vision throughout my entire eye. The vision is a cloudy or blurred, but I can make out objects and colors fine. I am hoping that my vision returns to where it was prior to the detachment. I realize that the healing process will take some time. I hope that after a month I will be able to take daily 20-30 minute walks. And I hope that after 2 months I will be able to resume light yoga along with the walks. At some point in the future, I hope to begin golfing and surfing small waves. However, do you think that I will ever be able to resume my high activity level? In a year? I understand that I can not participate in activities that will jerk my head violently or increase my blood pressure(large wave surfing or heavy weight lifting).  

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by JohnHaganMD, Dec 11, 2015
To answer this question it would be necessary to look into both your eyes and evaluate your risk factors and have you ask about every activity. Your best and only source of this information is your retina surgeon. Golfing, walking, swimming will likely not be a problem. Bicycle risks of fall are high (I've had two serious bike accidents) even with helmet is risky. Consider spinning or stationary bike.

JCH MD

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by thecat63, Dec 14, 2015
Thanks for your advice.

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by JohnHaganMD, Dec 14, 2015
You are welcome

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