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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 10768
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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I had emergency surgery to perform a Vitrectomy with a long

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I had emergency surgery to perform a Vitrectomy with a long lasting gas bubble for a detected Retina 7 days ago. After 24 plus hours on my belly, my doctor told me sit up in a normal position. At night, I sleep on my side. My vision is very blurry. I can see colors in bright lights. If I stretch out arm and move it, I can see the shadow but no details. If I'm outside with a bright sun, and I hold my hand inches from my eye, I am able to see the color and a very blurry hand with finger movements when I move them. When can I expect the gas bubble to start to dissipate? At what rate? How much does the bubble effect the Macula and central vision? Thank You, Toby

Dr. Rick :

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

Dr. Rick :

I am a retina surgeon and can help you with your concerns.

Dr. Rick :

there are 4 types of gases used in retina surgery today: Air, SF6, C2F6 and C3F8.

Dr. Rick :

The above gasses are listed in how long they usually stay in the eye, when used at common dilutions, staying anywhere from 7 days to 8 weeks

Dr. Rick :

From what you are saying, I do not believe he used air or SF6. Depending on the extent of your detachment, the size of the hole(s) and any traction that might have been present I would venture a guess that he used C3F8, which will remain in your eye for 6 to 8 weeks.

Customer:

Is my current vision normal as I describe in my questions?

Dr. Rick :

Yes. You are only a week out so, not only is your eye full of gas, but your retina is still healing.

Dr. Rick :

To answer your question, your vision is going to be horrible as long as the bubble is present. The gas bubble itself does not damage your macula, but as long as there is gas in front of your macula your central vision will be real bad...

Dr. Rick :

No need to panic yet. I tell patients with a large retinal detachment that they can continue to see some improvement in vision up to a year after successful reattachment of their retina.

Dr. Rick :

You do know, however, that you will end up with a cataract in the near future which will require a second surgery (phaco) to remove, right?

Customer:

I have the 8 week gas. When will the bubble start to dissipate?

Dr. Rick :

This is nothing to be concerned about as it is a known complication of intraviteral gas.

Dr. Rick :

It will get slowly smaller at a steady rate. When it fills about half your eye or so you will start to notice it moving around.

Dr. Rick :

So don't worry about this.

Customer:

Yes, I was informed about the cataract.

Dr. Rick :

did your surgeon say if your macula was detached or not?

Dr. Rick :

Ok. Just making sure.

Dr. Rick :

I would think if you had emergency surgery, your macula was still attached. This is one of the reasons that I do emergency retina repair myself.

Customer:

The surgeon didn't tell me about a macula off. But this happen so fast. I saw him on Tuesday and had surgery on Wesnaday morning. I will ask him tomorrow when I see him.

Dr. Rick :

Being able to see your fingers through a complete gas fill is actually pretty good at this point.....

Dr. Rick :

Ok. Is there anything else you would like to ask me today?

Dr. Rick :

Also, if you got a copy of your clinical note and/or operative note, I would be happy to go over it in detail so you fully understand what went on and how things are going up to this point.

Customer:

Thank you for your time. Toby

Dr. Rick :

Just ask for Dr Rick

Dr. Rick :

My pleasure. Have a good day.

Dr. Rick :

I hope this information was helpful for you. But I do work for tips so I want to make sure you are happy with me before rating me. If you have another question on this or a related issue feel free to fire away. You may also receive an email survey after our chat, if you don’t feel that I have earned a “10” rating in all areas, please let me know what I can do to meet your expectations.

Thanks in advance,

Dr. Rick MD FACS

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