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.
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:
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)
© 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!