Detached Retina: Another Vitrectomy Treating My PVR

I’ve just returned to the hospital for another surgery on my right eye. My retina condition has a name — proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR) — which basically means that, so far, my retina keeps detaching. When I last reported on my detached retina issues, I explained how oil was placed into my eye to hold the retina in place.

epiretinal-bdy

Click to read about epiretinal membranes @ the Mayo Clinic.

The oil went in four months ago, and since that surgery I’ve been reporting to my retina specialist on a regular basis, and he has been monitoring my condition. He is watching the development of epiretinal membranes (read about them at the Mayo Clinic site — 4th paragraph down), studying them through the oil at each visit. These membranes needed to be removed, because extra tissue puts pressure on my retina.

So today my surgeon performed a vitrectomy, going in through the oil and removing the scar tissue but leaving the oil in place. The plan is to watch the retina for another two or three months, let it continue to heal, and then remove the oil and see how my retina fares (yes, I’m crossing my fingers and toes, just in case it helps).             

unnamed

The latest drawing of my retina. Look closely and you can see the shading, representing the oil, inside the circle.

This is the first time, after five surgeries on this eye, that I did not know what the recovery drill would be after the operation. I think the doctor wanted to check my eye’s condition before he decided on a post vitrectomy protocol.

After surgery he spoke with my husband. I will need to sleep on my left or right sides, but I do not have to spend the entire day in that position. I will need to spend several hours (2-3 movies worth) per day looking down. And while I still cannot sleep on my back, a least this time I don’t have to sit hunched over with my head tucked down, staring at the floor for days and days. I am thankful for this small comfort and even more grateful for a patient and skilled surgeon.

With the uncertainty of whether my retina will really heal or not, the coming months will be challenging.

This post is not a substitute for talking with your physician.

3 thoughts on “Detached Retina: Another Vitrectomy Treating My PVR

  1. Hey Marti, firstly I’d like to thank ou for your posts, specifically about PVR as there seems to be so little about it on the internet.

    How is your affected eye now? I have just been diagnosed with it myself in my left eye and have quite poor vision already in my right eye so it’s quite scary! Any thing else you could share in reference to your PVR would be very helpful and comforting. Thanks.

    • Hi Adam,
      I’ve been thinking that it’s time for another PVR post, and I’ll get to it fairly soon.

      Right now my affected eye is stable, but I worry quite a bit about it. Yes, it is frustrating that there is so little out there about this condition. I can certainly find scholarly articles in Pub Med, but it would be really great to discover other people and find out how they are coping/adjusting. I started writing because I wanted others to have a a series of descriptive pieces that tell what is happening. The two best adjustments that have happened to me (other than having really good surgeons) were going to a low vision optometrist and discovering really good quality (and decent looking) magnification glasses at the Peepers website (peeperspecs.com).

      I hope you reach the stability stage fairly soon!
      Marti

  2. I am just 3 weeks out after surgery to reattach my retina. The gas bubble now covers about 50% of my eye and is best described like having my eyeball half full of water. As my head moves, the gas bubble sloshes around like water in a glass. I am starting to see above the bubble and everything looks so bright and clear. It makes me wonder if this is vision similar to what a young child experiences before aging pulls it’s dirty tricks on us. I followed dr orders to the T. Head facing the floor at least 55 minutes out if every hour and many days spending several hours without lifting my head. Not a painful surgery or recovery, but more of a frustration because not being able to get back to normal as soon as I’d like. Make sure you are seeing a retinal specialist with impeccable reputation before your surgery to repair. Since I’ve had the surgery I’ve heard several horror stories about this surgery…black eyes, having to sit on their hands during surgery, extreme pain. Shocking to hear. if you live anywhere Lincoln NE, run to Sutton Eye Clinic….my surgery was done by Dr. David Pan. He was awesome and had great bedside manner. Very happy and would send my kids there if ever necessary.

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