31 May Dear Dr. Wong….
I want to share this with you. It is a testament to how valuable a medical website, using social media, can be in terms of providing value…to both patients and doctors.
If you’ve been reading here for awhile, I firmly believe in the power of social media (a blog is the purest form of social media) and how it can improve public health information.
Amy and I founded a medical marketing company to share what we have learned and lecture/teach nationally on social media and medicine.
Dear Dr Wong
I am 60 years old and live in the UK. I discovered your blog while surfing for further info on prognosis following repeated retinal detachments and the use of silicone oil to stabilize. Your pages gave me so much comfort, and I felt much better after reading them. I had an epiretinal membrane problem and early cataracts diagnosed last year. My surgeon offered me vitrectomy, membrane peel, and lens replacement. The op was successful, a textbook case, and for a few days I could see like a newborn! Then the retina detached…..A second surgery 3 weeks later, (vitrectomy, gas bubble and cryo) was carried out. During this op there was, I gather, one of those moments when “the room goes quiet”. There was unexpected bleeding and the cornea became waterlogged. I had to have the lens removed, the iris retracted and the cornea removed. Not fun. Over the following weeks the cornea degraded and shredded twice, two trips to the ER for debridement (ouch). I had a little strip of blurred vision left, which narrowed daily and eventually disappeared, leaving me totally blind, no light perception. This was due to massive proliferative vitreo-retinopathy scarring and pulling the retina off again (macula off). Because of the state of the cornea my surgeon decided to leave the third surgery for an extra week, at the moment of seeing him it was inoperable. I had the surgery to try and save some vision (vitrectomy again, silicone oil fill) in March of this year. I was prepared to be blind in that eye for ever. I now have no peripheral vision on one side, no vision above eyebrow level, and huge distortion and blurring in that eye.
But – I can see SOMETHING!
Your writings gave me massive comfort, in my case the disease is winning, but I accept this. My surgeon is an excellent man, and a really nice guy too. The disappointment on his face each time the surgeries’ outcomes were not positive was plain to see. The final surgery was “successful” in that my retina is now attached, thanks to the silicone oil, and stable for the time being. Who knows what’s ahead!
So I’m just saying thanks to you and all of you guys who go the extra mile to try and save our sight. Without your care and expertise we would ALL be blind. Disease of any kind is just bad luck, and retinal disease is such a bummer!
What Does This Mean?
This site now reaches over 15,000 new viewers every 30 days. I’ve answered over 2500 comments/questions on the 400 or so articles I’ve written about retinal disease or my personal life.
I have readers from all over the world. Many have become actual patients. Over the past 3.5 years, I’ve experienced how this blog and social media have become so pivotal in forming relationships between patients and doctors.
Here’s how it works..
Every website, medical or otherwise, must create value. Websites without value are boring and receive no traffic.
The value of this site is the information I provide, for free, regarding eye disease. Using my expertise as an eye doctor, I write articles regularly and on subjects relevant to my followers.
With value comes trust. This doesn’t happen over night, but is evidenced by the numerous comments/questions generated by the posts (aka articles).
The most compelling aspect of a blog is when the doctor chooses to respond to the comments/question, thus generating the so-called “conversation.”
The conversation is compelling. At first, it attracts other readers with similar questions/problems…they can identify. Most powerful is when the doctor responds. It reveals practice philosophy, “bed-side” manner and some of our personality.
So, in the end, it’s the articles that gain attention, but it’s the “conversation” generated by the articles that are so powerful.
Chester SeabornPosted at 12:24h, 23 June
Hello Dr. Wong
I’d like to be added to your list of email subscribers but it doesn’t seem to be working. If you can assist I’d greatly appreciate it, Sir.
Randall V. Wong, M.D.Posted at 13:32h, 26 June
Let me know if you do NOT get an email within the week.
joyce lauPosted at 04:43h, 30 June
I discovered Dr R. Wong site while going to web seeking answer to my eye problems. Cath Lamb story was touching. I have fluid behind rectina in my left in 2007. i done rect op in 2009 , putting in gas pushing rectina backwards 3 years ago and also do replacement len same time; .( I am a high myopia for both eyes. I have my right len replaced in 2004 and the right eye is stable.)
I did enjoy good eyesight like newborn for some months, then mucular hole developed , the hole getting bigger with more distortion at centre. my eye doctor suggest an operation to repair mucular hole (1 year half late after first discovering mucular hole), the surgery was successful but 5 weeks after the op, my rectina detached. An op with silicone oil is done in Dec last year; My rectina at left eye is now stable, but
My left eye vision now is much distort with floral patterns, sometimes little stars ; and my current eye doctor said these are due to the deteriotation, my vision would not be improved.
Dr R Wong stories kept me updated on storeis and happennings on others suffering from AMD, rectina detachment etc. I am grateful of these stories shared unselfishly.
God bless, rgds
Randall V. Wong, M.D.Posted at 06:30h, 10 July
Thank you so much for sharing your story. All the best to you! Thanks for following.
Linda HastingsPosted at 20:02h, 20 August
I wanted to thank you for your blog. My husband has had kind of the perfect storm for retina problems. He was born three months premature in the early 1950’s so has Retinopathy of Prematurity. He is severely myopic so has Retinoschisis. He is an insulin dependent diabetic. He just had his cataracts removed. Over the weekend he experienced a vision change and we were really concerned that he may have had a retinal detachment. We were able to contact our local ophthalmologist and get him seen right away but our retina specialist has been over 150 miles away for years requiring a long drive to get there. Fortunately for us, my husband’s vision change this weekend turned out to be a vitreous hemorrhage. I had looked online to try to find out what we might be facing and finally landed on your blog. Thank you for the blog! I am a semi-retired medical professional and often understand what the physician is telling us but to explain it again for my husband to understand exactly what is going on was difficult. Your blog makes it easier to show and explain to him what he is dealing with and the options he may have. I wish more physicians had this type of information on their websites.
Randall V. Wong, M.D.Posted at 07:54h, 28 August
Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I’m glad the blog was helpful and hope your husband is doing well.
DavidPosted at 14:41h, 29 September
Almost two week ago, mMy retina specialist treated me for a retinal detachment with a vitrectomy, laser repair, scleral buckle, and silicone oil tamponade(?). He used this multipart approach because of my risk factor even though I’m 55, not myopic, have about 20/20 vision. I had been going through a PVD for about a month, I guess, based on increased floaters, but then had a tear on 8/2/19 which I noticed because of flashes of light. My specialist did a laser repair and said I had quite a lot of lattice in that eye (right). Two weeks later, two more tears and laser fix. Then two weeks later, retinal hemorrhage. The vitreous started to clear in about two weeks but then I had a detachment a few days later. The specialist’s plan is to hopefully remove the oil bubble within 10 weeks of surgery, replace with gas bubble, and recover from there. I had a couple of followups since surgery and the specialist was pleased with progress. I am a little confused though, because I see a lot of different shadows when I lie down to sleep. Saw them before last follow up. Are these due to seeing the edges of the oil bubble? Or seeing blood pooled at the bottom of the eye?
Randall Wong, M.D.Posted at 21:09h, 20 May
Can’t comment exactly, but the oil can shift with changes in body positioning and, I guess, affect your vision. Make sure to stay in close contact with your doc.