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Avatar universal

RD repaired by cryo and gas bubble?

I've been researching the procedure (which I had done on an emergency basis 5 days ago) and wondering how long the gas bubble in my eye will remain.  Can I speed up the absorption?  I run and bike. Will that help? The doctor doesn't hang around much for discussion and all this hit me so fast I couldn't think of much to ask since  my mind was in such a confused state (wondering why this happened I suppose).

The Dr. said I could resume my normal actvities as the retna has re-attached and he spot welded (with laser machine) the tear.  I went to work on the 4th day and can drive OK with RX glasses.  The bubble is very annoying since I do a lot of computer work.

It looks like I can't fly for 3 months.  How much altitude change is safe?  Can I go up 3000 or 4000 feet in the mountains (from 50 feet) without risk?
6 Responses
233488 tn?1310696703
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Use the search feature and archives to read the many discussions about gas (air or SF6) in the eye. Your activities will not speed up reabsorption. Clearance to fly or go to high altitude destination must come from the surgeon. Make a list of your questions and call them in.

JCH MD
Avatar universal
Thanks doc.  The entire procedure was a failure.  I had a Pneumatic retinopexy on October 18, 2013 and by November 13, as the gas bubble shrank, my vision got worse. On Wedesday 11/13/13, all I could see was the outline of objects; almost like you would see a shadow.  My good eye had been taking over and I never realized the affected eye had deteriorated so fast.  I last had a followup on 11/15 and the Dr thought I was progressing normally.

Yesterday I had an emergency vitrectomy performed by another surgeon who was just about to leave for a convention (the only retinal surgery specialist left in the area).

As I am researching the causes of the problem and trying to find out why the first surgery failed, I came across some medical studies and articles about a connection between use of Flowmax (tamsulosin) for BPH, and problems associated with eye surgeries. This is a big concern for me and it never came up in any discussion with the either eye surgeons.  I quit using the medication due to other undesireable effects (nearly fainting) so it was not listed on my current medications list.  What do you think?  Is there a possible connection between use of that medication and the inability of my retina to re-attach?
Avatar universal
  Correction: I last had a followup on 11/8 (Friday), not 11/15.  sorry
233488 tn?1310696703
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Flomax can cause "floppy iris syndrome" (FIS).  A small percentage of people on Flomax and a much much smaller % of people that were on Flomax in the past but not on it now have FIS.   FIS can make surgery, usually cataract, more difficult as the pupil does not stay dilated. However FIS is now widely recognized and special techniques have been devised to deal with the floppy, contracting iris.

Having been on Flomax would not have an effect on whether your retina detaches or your visual recovery. You can use the search feature and archives and read the many posts about vitrectomies and retinal detachment surgery. It is often a long, frustrating and uncomfortable recovery and vision often does not return to anywhere near normal and/or there is distortion in the vision. This must be balanced against the fact that before vitrectomy surgery was developed that these eyes usually went completely blind.

JCH MD
Avatar universal
Update:  I had a Vitrectomy on 11/14/13 and it appears I'm doing good.  As you indicated, my vision probably won't return to previous quality and I do have some distortion.  Looking at a pickett fence off the center of my eye, the boards show a curve.  I currently see double from the eye that had the surgery, especially reading signs that are 75 yards away, but I have been released to drive and work.  This has indeed been a frustrating experience, but it beats having no vision in the one eye.  I did use the search function and I see that there are many cases far worst than my own.  My detachment was on the peripherel from 11 to 5 on the outside. I still had some center vision at the time of surgery, but it was closing in prior to the emergency surgery.


Probably the most discouraging thing about the process was how the patients are handled at the eye clinic.   My insurance company steered me toward an in-network clinic (that they provide the 80% coverage), similar to the modern dental clinics. There was very little communication during the many tests and the Dr spends about 5-10 minutes with each patient, never remembering who you are or what the issue is. For the first 2 minutes he is in the room, He reads the computer to find out what the technicians tested for and he reviews the data.  My follow up was 4 days after the surgery and I was never examined by a Dr.  The PA did the initial followup. After 10 days I finally saw the Dr again, but he initially did not remember what procedure he had done to me until he reviewed the computer.

I had no guidance, minimal instruction (instill certain drops and lay on the right side for 20 hours a day for 10 days).  Never did they tell me that my digestive system would back up horribly, or what I could do for a locked neck, spine, and hip followed by muscle spasms in my legs.  After the 4 day followup, I had no vision in the eye and no expectation of what to expect in the following days.  All I can say is that these were dark days in more ways than one.  I'm glad I could get on the computer and get a little information from this board and a few others.  I'm not looking forward to the expected cataracs, but I'm beyond the panic, fear, denial, and paranoid stages. Time to move on....

Dr, thanks for hosting this board.  I got more info here than I could ever expect from my eye clinic. :)
233488 tn?1310696703
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Expect that situation to worse because the ACA law provides care 32 million more people, and while it funds 16000 new IRS agents not a penny for new physicians.  All visits with physicians are going to be rushed and hurried as there are too many patients and to few physicians to provide care.
JCH MD
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