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Avatar universal

Three eye surgeries. What next?

I've been wearing glasses since I was 6. At the beginning it was around -1, however, maybe because of my life style and love for studies, it was getting worse and worse and reached -7 for the left eye and -9.5 for the right eye three xplained me that retina detached again. I need one more surgery. Strange, but they didn't contact my first surgeon and even dind't do it when I asked them to do it. New doctor removed scleral buckle (according to him detachment was on the bottom of the eye, so it wasn't necessary to put the scleral buckle) and fixed  the rest (I don't remember how). However, it detached again after two months and he arranged one more urgent surgery, the third one. That time, he explained, because retina kept detaching he was going to fix holes with the laser and also put some oil into the eye to keep retina attached .
14 Responses
233488 tn?1310696703
It is often exasperating to patients when MDs are not able to tell them "what's going to happen" the fact is MDs don't know what will happen in the future more than anyone else. We can say what sometimes or usually happens but not with certainity for everyone.

Your risk of a RD in the other eye is probably about 2-6%. You can do nothing to change that so see an Eye MD at least every 6-12 months and go in immediately if you have flashes, floaters or loss of field of vision.

Please consider see a psychologist or psychiatrist to discuss your anxiety, depression and fixation on your eyes.

Good luck

Avatar universal
So, I'm 21 and I already had three eye surgeries. Its been about ten months since my last surgery. I had couple appointments, however I asked doctor to keep oil in my eye as long as he thinks it's necessary, because I would rather wait with oil in my eye than have some more surgeries...
'm very afraid that the same can happen with the left eye. In such case, its almost the same as being blind. I'm very shortsighted with both eyes, so it can happen. Also, I'm very afraid that eye problems can destroy my future career (i study finance) and my life. All my hobbies and all my dreams need eyesight. I couldn't be who I am and what I do everyday without my eyesight, because I'm very active person, like active sports and spend most of my time outside. Sometimes I think, I could even kill myself, If I got blind. What would I do, what life would I live, who would take care of me, who would love me, what friend would I have...
Avatar universal
Doctors look like if they were indifferent. They even do not bother to tell me what I can expect from the future. Each time I see my doctor, hes so positive about everything, however results reflect it. How can I think about normal job and career, if need surgery every year?

Also, I question myself very often if private hospital surgery would be any better, but because I'm student I couldn't afford it now.
Sometimes I dream about new technology innovations, how great it would be, if they could simply change my eye and put just a brand new one with zooming and snap-shotting and video taking features.
This may sound sad, however in real life I'm completely different person and nobody really knows that I'm stressing so much about my eyes. Some people maybe even don't know that I have such problems. Because I have soooo much now and everything is soooo good (personal life, studies, career prospects, friends, hobbies, boyfriend) I'm so afraid to loose this all.
Anyone with similar experience (I doubt there will be any...) or anyone who could give an advice are welcome.
Avatar universal
sorry, for the first post. I was about first scleral buckle surgery. However, because I moved to different town, I had to change hospital and last two times I was operated by new doctor.
Avatar universal
and in the second surgery he actually didnt remoce scleral buckle, but put on the bottom of the eye which is not so noticible
Avatar universal
Hi, I have the same problems. Mostly, the question is, if we were blind, who would love us? This is the heartbreak, I think, to be separated from love. It is hard enough for a sighted person to maintain healthy relationships.

I have had glasses since I was 6, too. I probably needed them sooner. I also think of killing myself even now, but I could never hurt myself, or anyone else.

Since this has happened to me I am thinking of changing careers. I have been an advocate for immigrants and refugees, but I think that losing vision is by far a more jolting experience that losing the ability to use one's native language. It MUST be. I am thinking of becoming an advocate for those who lost vision. But my first love has always been language. When I learned in my thirties that I had finally become a polished writer, I knew that no one could ever take this awya from me. Even if I lost sight, I could still write, even if I lost my sight. But I know that my live would be much more difficult. So we at least need to know, as much as possible, the likelihood, that we might lose our sight, so that we can prepare..

Once I taught English to a deaf teen from Viet Nam. Like all Vietnames people, she was incredibly ambitious and bright. She mastered the language very quickly, because of her youth.

I have more empathy for people who are sight impaired, I have always felt this way, because I learned early on that I could lose my sight. I never forgot it, one minute of my life, It was like a big neon sign, in front of my face, that traveled with me everywhere. I was so busy reading this neon sign that I did not realize that my daughter was vulnerable, too. No one ever thought to tell me. Her retinas detached before mine. Thankfully, she lost no vision. The whole matter has been like the movie Jaws. I felt somehow I could live again after my daughter recovered, but then it was me with the detached retina, and the vulnerable good eye.

The doctor is right. When something as disturbing as vision loss occurs, it is more important than ever to guard our mental health. We can need help from professionals  who take care of the might. I have a therapist and a psychiatrist (for medication). They are both irreplaceable. I still cry every day and I feel that I am separated from reality, and from others. But I have some support in living in what I feel is my damaged world.

I believe that eye surgeons should have at least psychiatric nurses right there in the office ,to give people suppost when they are given bad news. The surgeons must concentrate on the technical matters, it seems, so they need a professional to offer aid with the accompanying psychological trauma. I hope that eye surgeons, oncologists, etc., recognize this soon. I believe that they feel that everyone has family support, but that is not always true.

I want to be more helpful to you. What country are you in?  I would certainly like to see you with a private surgeon, and I wonder if there is any way for this to happen.  What is the condition that led to your surgery? Was it lattice? Are you having your good eye examined every few months?

I wish the best of circumstances and treatment for you.
Avatar universal
I study in England and I'm thinking to settle down here after my studies. I see my doctor every quarter and he checks both eyes every time. Appointments are short and there is always a lot of people waiting which makes me think that NHS doesn't have enough ophthalmology consultants.

I'm not sure about the question you asked: what is the condition that led to my surgery. When I had my first surgery I thought it's simply retinal detachment. I was only 19 years old. However, as far as I understand, the purpose of second surgery was not only retinal detachment, but also some holes or splits in the retina.

To give more accurate info, i will paste some fragments from my hospital letters:

From Someone to my First doctor before first surgery

'She is high myope with signs with sighns of inferior shallow retinal detachment in wall in the macula with retinal hole at 7 o'clock.I have also noted cystic degeneration in the left peripheral retina.

As discussed I would be happy if you consider seeing her and doing futher management i terms of surgery for the right eye and cyo tretment for the left eye.'

From GP to new doctor

'She had a scleral buckle without drainage of fliud in March 2006. Although I have no access to all her past letters, when I was discussing this case with one of your collegues, I have since found that the latest one 25th September, 2006 from her ophthalmic surgeon to her GP at that time, said: ,although macular is now reattached and her acuity is improved to 6/36, there remains a residual undrained fluid inferiorly and I'm concerned that there may be a futher break with persistent leakage which was not identified at the initial operation. I have arrange therefore to come her for revision of her scleral buckle and will keep you informed of her progress'

Before my first surgery, I took some photos of my operation history file (where they keep all doctor comments and letters). There is even a picture of my eye drawn by doctor, however I don't understand it.
Avatar universal
Thank you for advice. I found some photos of hospital letters that are in my file and one of them says (From Someone to my First doctor before first surgery):

'She is high myope with signs of inferior shallow retinal detachment in wall in the macula with retinal hole at 7 o'clock.I have also noted cystic degeneration in the left peripheral retina.

As discussed I would be happy if you consider seeing her and doing futher management i terms of surgery for the right eye and cyo treatment for the left eye.'

What does cystic degeneration mean? As far as I understand they did  surgery on my right eye and treatment for my left eye on first surgery. I remember Doctor said he had a look on my left eye, when I was asleep under general anaesthetic. However, after surgery left eye looked as it hadn't been touched. What is cryo treatment and does the fact that there is a cystic degeneration on my left eye increase probability of RD in the left eye?
233488 tn?1310696703
You know what a cyst is thin walled sac of tissue, you know what degeneration is (loss of function and physical structure).  HOWEVER peripheral retinal cystic degeneration is kind of normal (like wrinkles in skin) as we age and does NOT threaten vision.  It does not increase risk of RD.  Cryo therapy creates scars (adhesions) to hold the retina to the back of the eye and prevent detachment.

Avatar universal
What I meant by your condition is that my condition that is the source of my problem is is myopia, of course, but the myopia has caused lattice degeneration. Lattice is a result of the retina's stretching from being myopic. The evidence of this stretch are "lattice" type areas of weakness. It is important to know when one has new lattice. It can be lasered in your good eye to prevent a detachment there. My good eye has been lasered 3-4 times in the last year by a retinal specialist.

I think you need a retinal specialist, if possible. I think the doctor here agrees that your current doctors are doing a good job, but a retina specialist is called for in cases like ours.

I suspect you have lattice,and here are some precautions that can be taken with your good eye. Watch for an increase in floaters. This can mean new lattice. See your docton for an increase in floaters or flashes, also a curtain of large floater. Periodically, cup your hand over your other eye and watch your good eye for increased floaters. I used to do it every day. Now once a month. Also look right, left, up, and down to check for a curtain in the opposite periphery. If you have a sudden large, dramatic,  increase in black floaters, or flashes, see a doctor immediately.

So you are not a citizen of the UK? In any regard, I believe there must be help available for you to find a private doctor. Maybe not, but you could start with asking at your school. Ask your doctors, search the Internet. Also communicate with the UK counterpart of Foundation Blindness, the Lions' Club, etc. Research these ideas in the US, and ask the people there is they know of a UK organization that is similar.

In the meantime, no need for panic. Again, seems like you have good doctors.

I forgot to comment on your good life now, that you are afraid of losing. I am so happy your life is good, and your youth is a factor in keeping it good, no matter what. You have energy and ambition, others will help you learn how to maintain good relationships. Your can see a counselor also, if your like. Keep the best of company, avoid negative people if you should find them.

I can imagine your boyfriend. friends standing by you. If you have support now, I do not think you will lose it. I certainly hope not.

I am mush older than you. Nine years ago, I was prevented by sudden bad health from finishing my doctorate. I will now finish it and I plan to resume my work, as much as I can, because my health is still a bit restrictive of my activities. I have always been tremendously ambitious, but my responsibilities to my child were foremost, and they limited the progress of my career when I was younger. Now, one of the reasons why I will resume my career again is to make her future more secure. Even though she is independent, I figure a parent can never do too much.

Ask your professors if your sight should affect your ambitions in finance. The doctor here says that you have a risk of the other eye causing problems, but you and your doctors will be watching it, and the doctor's figures are low..

I wish you an immeasurely good life, Write again.
233488 tn?1310696703
Avatar universal
Although I'm not UK citizen, I'm from EU, so It really helps, because I don't need to pay any fees for health services. I trust my Doctor (by the way, I checked his website, he is also a member of American Academy of Ophthalmology), however I would like to have more appointments a year which is not possible because usually all appointments for three months in advance are fully booked. So, when I start graduate job and will have more money I think I will think about private doctor. I know that even my current doctor has his own clinic, so if I had money, I could book a private appointment.

Thank you very much for explanation and advice. You are really helpful. I will have my next appointment in August, so I will discuss with my doctor condition of my good eye and make sure he's aware how worried I am about it.

Also, it's good to know that it's possible to prevent right eye retina detachment by lazering lattice.

And one more last question about retinal specialist. I see only one doctor every time I have appointment and he is my ophthalmology consultant/surgeon. So, is he not a retinal specialist? What retinal specialist can do what ophthalmology consultant can not? I believe If I needed any other specialist my doctor would let me know. Or is it retinal specialist some kind private health service?

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