Retinal Detachment - Surgery

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What are complications of surgery for a retinal detachment, and what is recovery like after retinal detachment surgery?

Discomfort, watering, redness, swelling, and itching of the affected eye are all common and may persist for some time after the operation. These symptoms are usually treated with eyedrops. Blurred vision may last for many months, and new glasses may need to be prescribed, because the scleral buckle changes the shape of the eye. The scleral buckle also can cause double vision (diplopia) by affecting one of the muscles that controls the movements of the eye. Other possible complications are elevated pressure in the eye (glaucoma), bleeding into the vitreous -- within the retina -- or behind the retina, clouding of the lens of the eye (cataract), or drooping of the eyelid (ptosis). Additionally, infection can occur around the scleral buckle or even more seriously within the eye (endophthalmitis). Occasionally, the buckle may need to be removed.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: jkelly, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: March 26

I had surgery for retinal detachment, gas bubble was done. I'm not sure if I would do this again, I should have done more research. I"m four weeks into recovery and cannot see in that eye yet, hoping for the best. Before I only had dot in my vision, now I can"t see much at all. I'm still using drops and keeping my head down for another 3 weeks during the night, keeping your head down is quite hard, then I go back to the doctor's. Hoping for the best!

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Comment from: Emmie, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: January 14

I was born very premature and lost the vision in my left eye early in life. I was very nearsighted in my "good" right eye. In 2013 I had successful cataract surgery in both eyes. While on holidays with my family my right retina detached. I was rushed to the hospital, diagnosed with a retinal detachment and stabilized for the trip home. I had a vitrectomy and had to lay face down or on my right side for two weeks, then another two weeks. I struggled with constant nausea due to the vision distortion the bubble created. I had more laser surgery to fix some lifting in a spot. The gas bubble took 11 weeks to totally dissipate. My central vision has healed well. The vision to the edges of my eye are gray into black. I cannot drive six months out. This has been an emotional journey. I use a cane for mobility as depth perception is lacking. Walking at night is difficult too. I am very lucky that I was operated on quickly.

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