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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Comment from: Melanie, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 16

In January 1983 I had detached retinas in both my eyes. The surgery was done to correct both my eyes. Thank goodness I did not go blind. At the time my surgery was done artificial parts were put in my eyes to hold the retinas in place. Recently my left eye has developed red marks on the side not in the front. My doctor seems to think that the artificial parts are rubbing tissue. In my right eye it has not reddened yet but she thinks it is happening there too.

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Comment from: C E, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 25

My retinal detachment surgery was performed on Oct 13th, 2014, on my right eye about six weeks ago. My dad was dying and one day after nearly an emotional breakdown, I all of sudden got blurred vision. I regretfully chose not to address it right away and be there for my father. The very day we buried him, I checked into the hospital and the surgery was the next day. I am blessed that my left eye has 20/50, not perfect by far, but now that this has happened, I am grateful that I have a marginally good eye that I can use for my daily livelihood. It appears my progression is in sync with my doctor's expectations. I, on the other hand am very concerned about the bubble and why it doesn't want to go away. I have clear vision above the bubble for objects only a few inches away and very cloudy otherwise. There are occasional red flashing lights and the floaters are very persistent and almost constant. The bubble just broke into three bubbles today, but it doesn't seem to affect anything else. My vision is 20/400 in that eye, but I expect continuous improvement. The absolute worst part for me has been the horrific headaches though not severe eye pain. I have another follow up in a few days and I will then learn a bit more about my progression, but right now I'm not very open to a 2nd surgery so I hope that is not a suggestion because I don't see it as an option. I am grateful that I am no longer in darkness and willing to move forward with that. If at all feasible, don't wait!

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