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Ask Dr. Rick Your Own Question

Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 7822
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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I was diagnosed with a retinal tear since December, and while

Customer Question

I was diagnosed with a retinal tear since December, and while i do have floaters and some loss of peripheral vision, I still haven't lost my vision. I haven't had surgery since it is painfully expensive, any hope to recover my vision?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 2 years ago.

Dr. Rick :

Hi. I'm online and happy to answer your question today. I am a retina surgeon.

Dr. Rick :

Do you have a curtain across part of your vision?

Customer:

yes i do

Dr. Rick :

Do you know where (using a clock face as if you were looking at your own eye) your tear was located?

Customer:

upper right on my right eye, if you were looking at my eye

Dr. Rick :

Ok. Well, a superior tear is a bad spot to have one.....What part of your visual field is missing/affected right now? Also, has this area been getting larger?

Customer:

from my point of view, its the top left, i can see the bottom half. and its very gradually getting worse

Dr. Rick :

Ok. Have you tried everything possible to get funding or charity care for your detaching retina? Over the course of two decades as a retina surgery I have done a number of retina detachment repairs at no cost......any chance of you getting such a deal?

Customer:

well, i haven't tried doing such a thing. How would I go about doing this?

Dr. Rick :

The first thing I would do is go to the hospital and ask to meet with their patient representative. There may be monies available to help you. This person will also help you with finding a retina surgeon. Would you like me to tell you what is going to happen with your eye if you continue on this course or do you already know?

Customer:

Ill try my very best, XXXXX XXXXX not, ill see if there are financing options available for this surgery, and i would like to know yes.

Dr. Rick :

OK.

Customer:

i forgot to mention i do not have insurance, would i still be eligible for charity care?

Dr. Rick :

From what you have posted you currently have an inferior retinal detachment that has not yet involved the center of your vision, the macula. Once your macula rips off --and it will --then your chances of having better then 20/200 vision (legally blind), even with the best of treatment and outcome, would be greatly reduced.

Dr. Rick :

yes. You would still be able to get charity care, medicaid etc

Dr. Rick :

To continue.....

Dr. Rick :

If you continue to allow this detachment to progress you will become lights-out blind in that eye. After a time you have a high chance of getting a blind and painful eye that may have to be removed and thrown in a bucket.

Dr. Rick :

Not a pretty picture.

Dr. Rick :

I would see if you can get some funding before your macula becomes detached......

Dr. Rick :

Does this make sense to you?

Customer:

God, thats... pretty awful. how long do i have until it reaches the macula? and i will try to get funding ASAP.

Dr. Rick :

Your macula could rip off in the next few seconds or not for weeks.....but left untreated your retinal detachment will involve your macula. Usually, in my practice a "macula on retinal detachment" is a surgical emergency. I've been known to operate in the middle of the night on patients like yourself....at least when I was younger ;)

Dr. Rick :

Didn't anyone tell you what you were facing when they found your tear and you elected not to laser it?

Customer:

I know, but the specialist i was referred to was asking for a ridiculously high down payment and my father passed away soon after, so all the savings we had went towards his funeral services, etc.

Dr. Rick :

I'm very sorry to hear about your fathers passing. I am sure you can find some way to get assistance with surgery to fix your retina. First thing tomorrow morning hit the pavement and get to work on it!

Customer:

thanks for your condolences. And i will, thank you doctor. I assume no doctors would be available right now on account of 4th of July?

Dr. Rick :

If you were to go to an ER, in a big city, a retina surgeon might be found but, at this point since this has been going on for almost 6 months, I think starting to find a surgeon and finances can wait 11 hours....... I am very glad we have had a chance to talk :-)

Dr. Rick :

Please remember the top 3 ratings are positives [Excellent service is my goal] and this is how we are compensated. Rate my answer when you are satisfied. If you feel the need to rate low, please stop and reply to me via the REPLY TO EXPERT button with the issue you have. I will be happy to continue further and do everything I can to provide you with the service you seek.


Otherwise, a high positive rating is very much appreciated, bonuses are great, and find me anytime for follow up.


 


Let me know if you have further questions.

Customer:

thank you doctor. Well despite the bad news, i still have hope.

Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 7822
Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
Dr. Rick and other Eye Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 2 years ago.
Hey Jesse,

I was just thinking about you and wondering how you were doing on getting yourself into the operating room to fix your retina. Let me know how things are going :)
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you doctor for actually showing interest in my case. Well, i have a retina appointment on the 13th, hopefully they could do the surgery that same night. Still working on that loan though, i hope i qualify for enough to cover the hefty down payment (3,000 in cash). My vision continues the same, i honestly feel that its kind of a miracle that I can still see (partially) with all those reports that a detached retina causes complete vision loss within a matter of days.
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 2 years ago.
It is good to hear that you are on the correct tract.

One thing to note when you get the bill from the hospital ask them to give you the same rate that they give medicare patients....so often they try to "gouge" private pay patients.

I am very glad and, like you, pretty amazed, that you vision is still OK....although I have seen this a few times with an inferior detachment over the years.

Let me know how things turn out -- Best of luck!

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