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Dr. Dan B.
Dr. Dan B., Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 3343
Experience:  Eye surgeon experienced in cataracts, glaucoma, retina & neuro-ophthalmology
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My wife, age 58, has been diagnosed yesterday with a detached

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My wife, age 58, has been diagnosed yesterday with a detached retina. she was given the choice of pneumatic retinopexy surgery or a victrectomy. she chose victrectomy, scheduled for today, but is having second thoughts that perhaps she should have chosen the less invasive procedure. Her condition does not appear to be severe as her symptoms have subsided overnight, vision is normal this morning. At this point, how does she decide which procedure? what are the plusses and minuses of each ?
Hugh Havrey

Doctor DanB : Hello and thanks for your question. Are you available to chat?


Doctor DanB : A choice between the two options differs somewhat in risk and reward. A pneumatic retinopexy can usually be done in the office and it is a less involved procedure, meaning that the eyes has undergone somewhat less trauma from the event. However, in the goal of a retinal detachment repair, it is desirable to have traction removed from the retina and this procedure, while helping to afix the retina back into place, does not relieve the traction on the retina as a vitrectomy would. That being said...

Will I be getting a phone call?

Doctor DanB : A vitrectomy is a more involved procedure, is done in an operating room environment, and carries with it more risk. However, it is a more definitive procedure in that it resolves the traction on the retina and can more directly treat the problem. Does that make sense?
Doctor DanB : Do you have any other questions about this?

Which would you have done?

Doctor DanB : In the end, your wife has made the decision to treat the problem more definitively. I think there is some wisdom in this treatment decision. There are some people that have pneumatic retinopexy's that go on to need the vitrectomy regardless. But if the surgeon gave her the choice, I suspect it is because he thought it was safe to try the pneumatic retinopexy first. Unfortunately I don't know all the details of her detachment, but I probably would choose the vitrectomy.

Hi -I am the patient- I have already had two cataract surgeries in the eye. I am worried that my vision will be worse than it currently is. I know I need to have one or the other surgery.Do you have a feel of if I had the less invasive surgery (first) and if it didn't work , would I be jepoardizing my chances of a successful second surgery?

Doctor DanB : No, I do not believe you would be jeopardizing your chances of a successful vitrectomy if it did not work. You would just need close follow-up and a little good luck to assure that, if it did not work and the retina detached further, that it could be caught in time and a vitrectomy done before it worsens to the point of the center (macula) of the retina detaches. Does that make sense?

Yes, that makes sense and thank you. Could you give me an idea of the difference in the recovery time between the two?

Doctor DanB : The recovery time for the pneumatic retinopexy would be less than for the vitrectomy. As far as an exact number of days, that is difficult to tell as I do not know the details of the detachment. But generally a pneumatic retinopexy is quicker to recover from than a vitrectomy. That being said, I still would expect a relatively straightforward recovery from a vitrectomy as well.
Doctor DanB : I hope this has been helpful. Unfortunately though, I'm sorry but I do have to step away from my desk for about 5-10 minutes. If you have further questions, please let me know what they are and I will be happy to address them when I return. If you are satisfied with your answers then...Your feedback is important to me and will help me improve my encounter with future customers. Please rate your encounter with me by providing positive feedback (by pressing the smiley face); any positive feedback and/or bonus you may feel prompted to provide would be welcomed and is appreciated. If you feel like your concerns are not resolved or you have a problem or issue with anything I have said or haven’t said, please don’t issue a negative feedback rating—My goal is your satisfaction and I would rather work together to solve your concerns, until you are satisfied, than have you leave our encounter unhappy and unsatisfied. My opinion is solely informative and does not constitute a formal medical opinion or recommendation. For a formal medical opinion and/or recommendation you must see an eye doctor. Thanks for your inquiry!
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