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Ask Dr. Rick Your Own Question

Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 7956
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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what is the recovery time for a simple vitrectomy

Resolved Question:

what is the recovery time for a simple vitrectomy
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 :

Why, may I ask, are you having a vitrectomy?

Customer:

macular pucker scar tissue invitreous

Dr. Rick :

I only ask as the "recovery" time depends upon the underlying condition the vitrectomy was done for. I am a retina specialist and do this procedure frequently.

Dr. Rick :

As long as no hole is torn in your retina requiring face down positioning, and depending upon the gas placed in your eye after the surgery (C3F8 or SF6) you should be able to be back to your normal activities in 3 or 4 weeks....but it could be longer.

Dr. Rick :

You will also get a secondary catartact in the near future that will have to be removed with a second surgery.

Customer:

i was told i would need eye drops to keep eye dialated after the fact so it wont spazm...is this the only way to handle it

Dr. Rick :

Yes. You will also be using steroid eye drops and antibiotic eye drops. Expect to be using some form of drops for at least 6 to 8 weeks, maybe longer.

Customer:

why keep eye dialated 2 control spazm?

Dr. Rick :

A vitrectomy is considered major eye surgery but you should be ok

Customer:

again why keep eye dilated..no other way 2 manage spazm?

Dr. Rick :

The dilating drops keep your ciliary body relaxed. It also helps to keep the inflammation inside your eye from sticking your iris down to your lens as well as helping with pain/photophobia etc.

Dr. Rick :

What is it that bothers you so much about having your pupil dilated, if I may gently ask?

Customer:

oh i had 2 go back today from lazer procedure & get "undilating" drops because the afflicted eye was hurting me

Dr. Rick :

The dilating drops you use after vitrectomy will not cause you any eye pain at all.....I promise :)

Customer:

are they not the same drops i had today? Dr. indirectly said would be the same drops

Dr. Rick :

He will most likely use atropine after the surgery. The drop he used during the laser treatment are different.....

Dr. Rick :

so you will be ok.

Dr. Rick :

Atropine is very mild on the eye and lasts for an extended time.

Customer:

well he was concerned with my reaction to using dilating drops on me after surgery cause i had such a headache today

Dr. Rick :

He might have been concerned that your eye pressure was going up. I bet he checked that. And I also bet it was OK.

Dr. Rick :

I've never had anyone get a headache/browache from using atropine and I've been doing retina for almost two decades now.....

Dr. Rick :

Although I don't understand how that can be true since I still feel like I'm 21

Dr. Rick :

lol!

Customer:

yes it was...and "undilating drops" worked very well. what type of sedation in normally used?

Dr. Rick :

I like general anesthesia for my vitrectomy patients. It is very, very important that they don't move when I'm peeling the membrane off the macula and being completely paralyzed is the best way to make sure of this......and, of course, telling the anesthesiologist that she best not bump the table.......

Customer:

well he said in my case he would use sedation & local anesthesia & im very nervous

Dr. Rick :

That is nice of him. General anesthesia is just my preference....remember I'm old. These young whippersnappers are doing things all their newfangled ways......

Dr. Rick :

Sounds like you are in good hands!

Customer:

well i like your way better...what is normally used for iv sedation?

Dr. Rick :

Usually fentenyl, propofol, and valium-like drug dejour

Dr. Rick :

You will be in lala land....not to worry.

Customer:

so it normally would be a "cocktail"?

Dr. Rick :

yup. A magic mix from the gas passers......

Customer:

how long is your eye all messed up looking?

Dr. Rick :

It shouldn't look all that bad from the outside. Only three small holes are made in your eye for the surgery.. Your vision will be almost nothing until the gas bubble goes away.

Customer:

he claims i wont have gas bubble

Customer:

how much discomfort is involved after the fact

Dr. Rick :

I've never had any discomfort after a vitrectomy.

Dr. Rick :

Oh, you men the patient?

Customer:

hahaha

Dr. Rick :

not much. Usually no need for Rx pain meds

Customer:

im a wimpy wimpy person

Dr. Rick :

oh.....ok. no gas bubble.....

Dr. Rick :

that is good.

Dr. Rick :

me too.......I couldn't go through half of the things I do to my patients on a daily basis.....

Customer:

what would script likely be if i needed it?

Dr. Rick :

I like to start with darvocet N100

Customer:

darvocet was taken off the market several months ago

Dr. Rick :

Shows you how often I hand out prescription Rx's :)

Customer:

next idea?

Dr. Rick :

You really won't need much if anything. Guess the old standby tylenol #3.....of course you could always go down to the local High School and score some Oxycotin

Customer:

hahaha...so will i have a black eye

Dr. Rick :

why did they take darvocet off the market?

Dr. Rick :

maybe not.

Customer:

because there too many heart conditions linked to it

Dr. Rick :

oh....took 'em long enough to figure that out

Customer:

yes...i get aggravated when someone is really in pain & they give you 2 stupid tylenol...like putting a 1" bandaid on a 7" gash!

Dr. Rick :

truth. Dilauded works great for pain.......the nuclear weapon of PO narcotics.

Customer:

ok thank you for your help...the whole thing sounds gross!

Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 7956
Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
Dr. Rick and other Eye Specialists are ready to help you

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