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.


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).             


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.

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