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

Specialties: Ophthalmology

Interests: Eye-Medical Blog

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Activity after Retinal Detachment Surgery

Dec 13, 2009 - 6 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.


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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.

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?

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 ?  

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.

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

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.


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