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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 7750
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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I recently had surgery to repair a retinal tear/detachment

Resolved Question:

I recently had surgery to repair a retinal tear/detachment - (I have had 6 detachments altogether shared between both eyes, so am fairly familiar with the process lol!). With the most recent surgery silicone oil has been used as a tamponade, this is yet (if ever) to be removed. My question is that I have a dark ring encirling my vision in that eye - a bit like a frame - which is more prominent to the left and bottom of my vision. If I enter a darker room it glows a reddish/orange colour and I occasionally get little flickers of light along it.

As this is where the detachment was I have assumed that this is either a) a residual distortion/shadow left over by repairing the retina with cryo or b) the outline of the silicone bubble........

Am I anywhere near the mark?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 3 years ago.

Dr. Rick :

Hi. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.

Dr. Rick :

are you available to chat?

Dr. Rick :

Sorry to hear that you are so familiar with RD surgery :(

Dr. Rick :

It is possible that you are seeing the edge of the silicone bubble if you don't have a complete fill of oil. I would expect that, after all you have been through, you no longer have your natural lens in your eye.......

Dr. Rick :

Has this dark, glowing ring thing with the occasional flashes recently started? Has it changed since you first noticed it and how long ago was your eye filled with oil?

Dr. Rick :

Hi. Greeting from Wisconsin where the Green Bay Packers are going to win the superbowl of American Football shortly ;o)

Customer :

Hi! Thanks for reponding.

Dr. Rick :

my pleasure. My specialty is retina....

Customer :

Superbowl - not so much mine!!! The glowing/flashes have been there pretty much since I had the surgery which was beginning of November.....

Dr. Rick :

The only thing that concerns me about what you have said is the flashes. It is possible, even with the silicone oil in your eye that you could have PVR, which is when cells released during your retinal detachment start to grow on the surface of the retina, cause traction and, with time, cause the RD to recur.

Customer :

The surgery I had previously was for a tractional detachment which was something to do with scarring (?) from detachment surgery ten years ago. That was fixed with a membrane peel and gas which dispersed after two weeks. It was the day after my two week post -op check that I had a further shadow in that eye which resulted in the follow up op, would that have any bearing on it?

Dr. Rick :

Yes. With multiple retinal detachments you would be at higher risk for PVR. In the last part of your statement, do you mean that you had the symptoms you have mentioned to me: "dark ring encirling my vision in that eye - a bit like a frame - which is more prominent to the left and bottom of my vision. If I enter a darker room it glows a reddish/orange colour and I occasionally get little flickers of light along it. " is new since you were examined?

Dr. Rick :

Or has your surgeon already seen you since you had this issue?

Dr. Rick :

also, have you had a scleral buckle placed?

Customer :

I don't think its new, just not sure how long it's been there. I've been meaning to ask my surgeon the last couple of times I've been to see him but he keeps distracting me with other pesky complications (high pressure) so I don't like to trouble him with too many questions at once!!!

Customer :

I had a buckle placed 10 years ago

Dr. Rick :

Ya, pressure can become an issue in an eye full of silicone oil.

Dr. Rick :

Well, First off. I wouldn't panic about this, nor would I be willing to just brush off your symptoms to seeing the edge of your oil bubble. In patients with superiorly placed pathology it is important to make sure you get a complete oil fill so I doubt you are noticing the edge of the oil.

Dr. Rick :

I'd call you surgeon Monday and see if he could take a look at your eye just to make sure the retina is behaving itself. Do you have a IOL in your eye?

Customer :

Not sure what an IOL is so probably not :) I am due to speak to him anyway as need to update him on my pressure check so will remember to mention it this time!

Dr. Rick :

artificial lens after taking out the cataract you must have had already....although 29 is too young to have gone through all that you have so far....

Dr. Rick :

here is a link to a good article on PVR:

Dr. Rick :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proliferative_Vitreo_retinopathy

Customer :

Ah yes, had the cataract but don't think I got proper lenses as I'm now ridiculously long sighted (even before the oil) where previously I was highly myopic. I also never had a lense in the other eye as that has no useful vision due to detachments x 2 when I was 15. I have had 10 ops so far - finally made it to double figures ;0)

Customer :

I have stickler syndrome

Dr. Rick :

That's just a little fact your forgot to mention :o)

Dr. Rick :

I've got 4 stickler syndrome patients in my practice

Customer :

It's actually quite refreshing to find someone who has actually heard of it....!

Dr. Rick :

Well, I've been doing retina for almost 2 decades so couple of you guys were bound to walk through my office door LOL. Glad to see that you have useful vision at this point....or is someone else typing/reading for you?

Customer :

oh no it's me, I just have to tilt my laptop to a really funny angle to force the oil to focus a bit - but its manageable. Its amazing how you find ways to adjust - though I'm thinking of wearing cushions strapped to my legs for when I keep bumping into things at work lol!

Dr. Rick :

That's the way to go....anything to make it work.

Customer :

Well, thanks so much for your advice, I will speak to my doc (he will only scold me if I don't) and I hope your team win the ball throwy/kicky game thing (I'm the wrong side of the pond to appreciate American Football and at this point feel like I should make some kind of disparaging remark about rugby - but will resist the temptation) ;0)

Dr. Rick :

LOL!!!

Dr. Rick :

Ya, I would do the same to any of my stickler syndrome friends/patients.

Dr. Rick :

Take care and best of luck to you. It has been a real, real, pleasure to chat with you.

Customer :

No worries - thanks again!

Dr. Rick :

And, now, the obligatory word from our sponsors: :o)


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Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 7750
Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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