Detached, Retinally-Speaking

Detached, Retinally-Speaking, originally uploaded by Epiclectic.

Noticing more floaters in the right eye than usual, went to the ophthalmologist today to have him check things out. Well, it seems the old epiclectic has a detached retina, and will be going under the laser-knife tonight. I’m not too concerned, but wanted to give you guys a heads-up if you see me go pirate on you.

UPDATE – 2/16/11

Surgery took about an hour last night, and I have no pain – now. But not having a general and using a local anesthetic – and being somewhat awake – made me keenly aware of the needles poking and prodding into the back of the eye. I have had more pleasant experiences in my life. ;-)

You can tell from what follows, this isn’t a DIY home operation you take care of in front of the mirror. For those that love the technical descriptions of this sort of thing, I had two retinal tears caused by shrinking vitreous (attributed to aging, in my case), allowing vitrious fluid to pool beneath the sensory retina and lift if off the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) layer.

This is the most common type of detachment. So after knocking me out briefly, numbing the eyeball, they used cryotherapy (freezing) where the instrument is placed on the outside of the eye at the tear, bonding the tissue together. This was followed by a pneumatic retinoplexy where the eye is filled with a gas bubble, which expands and pushes the retina back into place. Lastly, a scleral buckle (a silicon rubber band) was placed around the eye and tightened to press the eye wall against the retina. Top this off with a patch over the eye which is to remain for a few days. Over time the gas bubble is absorbed by the body.

Eye still bandaged so don’t know how it works, yet. But you can tell from my posting, I still am able to operate with the left one.

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