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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 11267
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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Hi Dr Rick. Follow up - I saw the cataract surgeon, feel good

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Hi Dr Rick. Follow up - I saw the cataract surgeon, feel good about him and scheduled cataract surgery July 23. He says my chance of a re-RD aree 1%. Next question: Due to my CSR and hx of neovascularization in the macula (had argon laser, was before anti VEG-F) and occasional RBC in that macula which dissipate, I am never sure about taking long commercial flights. Here's my thinking. I used a pulse oximeter and it seems that at 35,000 feet, the plane is pressurized to around 7000 feet and the O2 sat decreases from 99% to 87% (on me and my co-travelers, it just seems taht is what happens when we fly). If the O2 sat is low, is there an increased chance of the retinal vessles seeking more O2, causing leakage? I know, it is just your best guess. Thanks, Rich


I'm Camille, and I’m a moderator for this topic. I sent your requested professional a message to follow up with you here, when they are back online.

If I can help further, please let me know. Thank you for your continued patience.



Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks Camille. No Rush - Dr. Rick has been good to me. Hopefully, he's lying on a beach for a week or two somewhere and will respond when he returns. Thanks for checking though !

You are very welcome, thank you for your continued patience :-)
Thanks for making me smile :)

While I'm not lying on a beach I am spending time with my oldest son, traveling around having fun, before he runs off to College. :)


First of all, I think you are going to do just fine with cataract surgery. I agree with what your surgeon said about the retina risk, although I don't think it is as high as 1% :)

That is a very well thought out question :) That being said, the decreased Oh sat that you will experience during the few hours you are in the airplane will not, in my opinion, cause any problems, increased leakage etc.

When it comes to the formation of abnormal blood vessels and leakage this occurs slowly over many weeks, months and even years of exposure to extreme hypoxia in the retina. There is nothing to worry about from the decreased O2 sats you would experience during flight.

Does this make sense to you?

Once again, thank you for requesting me and for your patience while I spend some time with my oldest boy. :)

Did I ever mention how much fun the feedback button labeled "excellent" is to push ;-)

Let me know how the surgery turns out....
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Glad that you are spending some quality time with your son - how much of you is jealous that it is not you re-starting college?


Two items: 1. The fact that I had the successful buckle 16 years ago leaves me with at most a 1% risk of re-detachment? Tell me thst's so ! I figured higher.

2. THe neo-vascularization in my other eye happened 13 years ago and had the argon laser. Occasionally, upon retinal exam (which is every 3-4 months) Doc will see a few RBC, have me back in a month and they are gone. Those cannot be from new vessel growth, but - well, I'm not the doc, and that's what I was referring to regarding flying. ANy opinion. (Earn your 'excellent' button !)

After 18 years of college, I'm not really interested in starting over lol!

Actually, with the history of SB etc I would put your risk of re-detachment with cataract surgery at less then 1%, maybe one in a thousand or less.....

A few RBC's.....hmmm....Weird. If not seen by an well trained general ophthalmologist or a retina doc, I would not believe they are there....I sure wouldn't trust an optometrists opinion on this.

That being said, if they are confirmed to be present, then there has to be some leaking blood vessel somewhere....If after an extensive search by, once again, a well trained eye doc, I would just keep looking....but not worry about it too much. I've had this happen in my practice and usually, with time and a lot of hard work, a small abnormal vessel or small tear is found and treated....

But, once again, not to worry. It sounds like you are in good hands.

Whew! That was a lot of work ;)

Keep in touch.

Dr Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 11267
Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
Dr. Rick and other Eye Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes, it is only the retina doc (no optometrist) who sees a few RBC from OCT and then verifies upon visual examination - but they disappear by the following month. My guess is that is the general area where the neo-vasc was and maybe there is an occasional leak. OK. You more than earned your Excellent. 1/1000 % risk ?? You made my day !! Thanks again so much and I will keep you updated

The RBCs are very weird......but, with a retina doc on top of things you will be fine.

Good luck next month :)

Heading out to spend the day at a waterpark. Hopefully I won't get fried!

Take care. And thanks for the are too kind :)