Category Archives: Macular Hole

Cataract Surgery Left Eye

Friday, December 12, 2014, I arrived at the surgery center for my left eye cataract removal. My doctor was Dr. Brian Firestone of the Dean McGee Eye Institute. I was so pleased with every step of the procedure from admitting to final check-up, everything ran like clockwork.

Each medical staff verbally reviewed and confirmed any of my allergies and what procedure would be performed. The actual surgery was absolutely painless, unlike my previous cataract surgery when I could feel a sensation of tugging and was in pain on the drive home. Not this time. I was in no pain until the next morning when the extent of pain in my eye was limited to a sensation of being sore.

DbleVisionMy vision was cloudy for the first day and at my post-op visit, five hours after surgery, I was still under the influence of the relaxing “anesthesia” and my left eye was out of alignment with my right eye. I instantly became nauseated when the nurse removed the bandage and I opened my eye. A short while later, when my doctor came in to assess my condition and pressure, I told him of my concern and he explained that my eye was not only numbed prior to surgery, but paralyzed – the cause of dis-alignment and double-vision.

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© Swoosieque
Example of central vision distortion after macular hole recovery

By Sunday, my vision was all clear and in alignment with my right eye, the blurriness I experienced from the cataract is gone and my vision, at least in my left eye, is back to its wonderful 20/20 status. My right eye however, will forever have the central vision distortion from the macular hole. The image above is an example of the central vision distortion through that eye. As my eye moves, so does the distortion, making it difficult to read. I am not complaining though, I am intensely thankful to Dr. Lance Scott for saving me from complete blindness in that eye.

Life is good!

BAR_LINE2

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Two weeks Vitrectomy Post-op Visit

July 23rd was the two-week post-op visit with my surgeon. The visit was unproductive since the doctor could not see past the gas bubble in my eye to evaluate how well the hole was healing. He told me that it would probably take another week to ten days for the gas bubble to dissipate enough for him to view the area of the hole and told me to come back in ten days.

“Do I have to stay face-down for another ten days?” The horrific expression on my face definitely conveyed the pain I was in just ‘thinking’ about any more time spent face-down.

“Well, yes,” he answered, explaining that I should continue the face-down positioning for the next five days and beyond that, “..as much as possible.”

I hung my head in dismay while feeling the constant pain in my head and neck. I cannot do this anymore, I thought to myself.

Through the minimal vision that was returning to my eye, I thought I saw the familiar distortion of the hole – the hole which was supposed to have closed via surgery, but I did not mention this to the doctor during my visit since he could not see into my eye to verify my claim. Besides, if the hole truly was there, it would still be there in ten days. The doctor surely would not propose another course of action before he could verify what I already knew.

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Sample of eyesight with Macular Hole

Here is an example of what my eyesight was prior to surgery – my Macular Hole at Stage IV with unremarkable floaters:

ladyMacularPostOp

20 days post-op
Sample of eyesight after
Macular Hole Vitrectomy

After surgery, as the healing progresses, this is what my eyesight looks like twenty days post-op – Macular Hole is smaller than original, but still present, floaters have increased in number and saturation.

The dark half-circle at the lower portion of the photo is the gas bubble, which is very visible to my brain. It will eventually disappear as the bubble dissipates. I do not know if the floaters will subside, I doubt it. From what I have read, floaters don’t go away on their own, the only way to get rid of them is through surgery.

The ten-day office visit with my surgeon is three days away. I will inform him that I can still see the macular hole, although it is somewhat smaller. These are some of the questions I will ask my surgeon:

  • Will the macular hole deteriorate to its previous Stage IV state if I do not have another surgery? If so…
  • Will the Stage IV macular hole deteriorate to eventual blindness in that eye? If so…
  • Will it be complete blindness, white or black only, or will there be unidentifiable blurriness?
  • Can he perform the surgery as described in the 2011 article from Retina Today:
  • ***Note: the aforementioned article is very interesting if it is true that  100% of the doctor’s patients’ macular holes were healed without any face-down positioning!

I trust my doctor and his competency, and I would agree to another surgery if the recovery period did not require face-down positioning, but, for some reason, non-face-down positioning does not seem to be popularly practiced.

There is no one to blame for the hole not healing. There are no guarantees with any surgery. For whatever reason, this surgery did not work for me and I need to quit being grouchy and childlike. I need to be like Dilios from the movie 300:(quote courtesy IMDB)

Dilios

© Warner Bros.

[Dilios is putting a patch over his eye]
King Leonidas: Dilios, I trust that “scratch” hasn’t made you useless.

Dilios: Hardly, my lord, it’s just an eye. The gods saw fit to grace me with a spare.

Life is good! Now, to make an eye patch like Dilios wore. Kinda chic, don’t ya think? I could be ready for Halloween year-round!

BAR_LINE2