Decreased Vision Following Retinal Detachment

Decreased Vision Following Retinal Detachment

Updated by Mike Rosco, MD 3/4/23 2:14PM PST

There are many reasons why your sight may be poor following retinal detachment surgery.  Obviously, it is possible that the disease actually led to loss of vision as retinal detachments can lead to blindness.   There are, however, other less serious reasons for loss of vision following retinal detachment surgery.

Scleral Buckle for Retinal Detachment Repair

A scleral buckle is a common method to fix a detached retina.  In most cases, a band is passed around the circumference of the eye.  This is similar to donning a corset around your midsection, except in the case of the eye, the eye elongates.

The lengthening of the eye causes a change in your refraction, or, the strength of glasses needed to correct your vision.  A scleral buckle causes an increase in nearsightedness.

Other surgeons may elect to place a buckle on only a small portion of the eye, but the result is the same; a scleral buckle changes the refraction of the eye.

Swelling of the Retina

After surgery, some patients may experience swelling of the retina, termed “macular edema.” This can cause blurry or distorted vision. It can usually be treated with medication and resolves over time.

Cataract Formation

This is a very common cause of decreased vision after successful retinal detachment surgery.  Intraocular gas is often injected into the eye to help repair the detached retina.  While the gas is very helpful in reattaching the retina, it is not so good for the natural lens and hastens the development of a cataract.

Macular Damage

The macula, which is the central part of the retina, is responsible for sharp, detailed vision. If the macula has been damaged during the retinal detachment or the surgery to repair it, the patient may experience permanent loss of central vision.

Epiretinal Membrane Formation

An epiretinal membrane can form on the surface of the retina and cause decreased vision and/or distortion.  These are also called “macular pucker” or “cellophane maculopathy.”  While these membranes may form in eyes that never had a retinal detachment, they are commonly associated with retinal detachments.

Recurrent Retinal Detachment

Of course, it is also possible that the retina simply came off again.  This may be due to additional retinal tears or to a disease termed “proliferative vitreoretinopathy” or PVR.

What Does This Mean? Retinal surgeons are usually pretty successful at reattaching a retina.  The whole process of recovery; however, can extend months beyond the actual surgery date.  None of the causes listed above can be self diagnosed and it is imperative you stay close to your doctor, preferably the retinal surgeon.

Contrary to what you may believe, retinal detachment surgery often, not always, leads to improved vision.  Thus, decreased vision after surgery should be evaluated by your doctor.

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    Posted at 12:46h, 13 October Reply

    I had a second surgery after the first did not work. I presently have a gas bubble in the eye and while my vision is thankfully returning as the bubble is absorbed, I have been told I have a cataract that needs treating. More to my concern though is I am also noticing some distortion in objects. Is this distortion to be expected?
    Thanks for your help-

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 05:16h, 14 October Reply


      In your specific situation, I would expect a tremendous amount of distortion being caused by the gas bubble itself. The bubble functions as a large reflecting surface and this surface is in the shape of, well, a bubble or sphere. In my opinion, as long as the gas is still present in your eye, I would expect some distortion, but it should slowly be improving as the gas gets smaller.

      If the vision gets worse, in any way, I’d call your doctor.

      While other causes of distortion are possible, I’d be patient and keep my hopes up.

      All the best and stay in touch.


      • Lynn Carmen
        Posted at 18:42h, 06 February Reply

        Hi Dr. Wong,

        I’ve had 2 retinal detachment surgeries since Oct 2021..second surgery because of scar tissue. Then cataract surgery which I expected. It’ s Feb 2023 and my vision is very blurry and distorted. Am I one of the “not always” people that their vision is never fully corrected?

        My first surgery was done in NY, my second in Florida and I’m just wondering if something went wrong in either surgery. I’m only 55. My bad eyesight has made a tremendous negative impact on my what used to be an active lifestyle.

        • Mike Rosco
          Posted at 21:31h, 12 February Reply

          Hello there Lynn,

          Without knowing more detail about your retinal detachments, it is difficult to give you a thorough answer. That said, even with a successful retinal repair, distorted vision and reduced visual acuity are often unavoidable. (As more time passes, the brain will continue to adapt to your new baseline vision in that eye and, hopefully, your symptoms will be more tolerable)

          Dr. Mike Rosco

  • Matt
    Posted at 00:00h, 23 November Reply

    My daughter who is 9 had a scleral buckle in her right eye that failed which caused her to have a total retinal detachment. Sand then had her retina reattached and a silicon gel placed in they eye in November of 2009. She has no sight in the right eye and the doctors do not want to remove the silicon gel at this time. They say it is holding the eye in place but I cannot seem to get our doctor to give me a honest opinion of her future chance of regaining any eyesight. Personally I do not think she will but they say she might, but we want simply a honest answer that I do not feel we are getting. We had Stephen Charles of the Charles retina institute do the second surgery.

    So, is there a chance she can ever expect to get any sight back in that eye

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 09:16h, 23 November Reply

      Dear Matt,

      I am sorry to hear of your daughter’s case. While it is hard to estimate the vision in a 9 year old with silicone oil, I also wonder when th first retinal detachment occurred and the age when it was fixed. What was her vision at that time?

      As you may know, I was trained at the CRI and applaud you for seeking, perhaps, the best in the world.

      One reason you may not be getting a clear answer is that your daughter is at the age when the eyes and the brain are just completing their “hardwiring.” Interruption of vision, for whatever reason, may impact full development between an eye and the brain up to age 7,8,9 or 10 – somewhere in that range. Hence, it would be a mere guess as to the resultant vision.

      I’d have cautious expectations.

      I hope I didn’t confuse you more. Let me know if you have other questions.


  • Greg
    Posted at 13:22h, 30 November Reply

    Had my third surgery on 11/20 for retinal detachment and rapid growing scar tissue. To date no new scar tissue and everything holding in place. If all goes well in April I can get the lens replaced in my eye.

    I feel very fortunate to have kept my sight.


  • Pete
    Posted at 20:57h, 01 December Reply

    My mother will be going through this kind of surgery and though they say it will be for her own good. I’m still afraid for her and for the effects that may occur. Right now, I’m searching the internet for any information about this and I’m actually not liking what I’m reading. However, she wants to it badly because she says I am not the one in her situation. So, I am wishing for the best results and I am praying too.

  • Craig
    Posted at 10:06h, 27 December Reply

    Two weeks ago, after a 5 mile run, I had a 90% detachment and emergency surgery within 3-4 hours with laser and a gas bubble. After one week, the bubble disolved and my eyesight had returned to about 20/50. However, once the bubble disolved, I noticed that the vision in the affected eye was about 10% smaller, slightly slanted to the left, and below the vision of my good eye. For example, my good eye (left) shows a regular sized object but my affected eye (right) shows a slightly smaller object at about 5 o’clock. Although the actual vision improved within one week, the distortion remains constant with no appearance of improvement. I have to wear a patch over my right eye in order to read and drive. I guess what scares me is that it was a quick improvement and is now stable. I understand that vision can be corrected but distortion may not be correctable. Is that an accurate statement and what are the chances of long term improvement of the distortion.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 13:05h, 29 December Reply

      Dear Craig,

      Did you have a scleral buckle placed for the retinal detachment? This could give you the “smaller” image size. It is too early to determine the exact cause of the distortion. The distortion may be correctable depending upon cause; ERM, macular edema or translocation (retina not reattaching/realigned perfectly). Those are the common causes.

      Did you lose your central vision before the surgery?

      Happy New Year.


  • Craig
    Posted at 14:47h, 29 December Reply

    Dr. Wong,
    Thanks, you are most gracious in responding to my inquiry. I did not have the buckle and I understand that I did loose my central vision. (After my morning run, a dark curtain eliminated my vision except for a small sliver of light at my top right field of vision) I might note that I am very pleased with the vision that was restored. It appears to be almost as good as the vision in my “good” eye and the distortion (wavy line distortion) and the smaller image distortion are minimal. It is simply slanted to the left a couple of degrees and everything looks like a “painting hanging slightly crooked on the wall” but enough though, that my two eyes are fighting for control and thus I have sort of double vision and can only use one eye at a time. I am thankful to have found your website. I have learned more from your articles than anywhere else and I value the information you provided me. I hope you do not mind if I update you in a couple of weeks. And Happy New Year to you as well.

  • Dee
    Posted at 03:16h, 05 January Reply

    Dr. Wong,

    I’m glad I came across your website, and I appreciate your timely responses to the posters before me.
    Summer of 2009, at 23 years old, I had retinal detachment in my left eye (was highly myopic although I gt Lasik surgery, and was also involved in a roll-over car crash 4 months prior to the detachment). I only went in to check it out when it was too late, the detachment had reached the macula. I had two tears, and underwent scleral buckle surgery, vitrectomy, cryopexy, silicone oil insertion, and an IOL implant. I also received Argon laser therapy in the other eye as a preventative measure. One year later, this past summer, I underwent a second surgery to have the silicone removed, and had a short term gas bubble inserted. I saw myself regaining vision (as if I was looking under water) as the bubble dissipated. Three weeks later however, that same retina redetached. The surgeon said it was caused by PVR that he admittedly did not want to remove because it was in a ‘sensitive location’. I am back at square one now, with silicone oil as of July 2010, and I’m expecting another surgery to remove the silicone oil this March.
    I currently do not use the left eye as looking through it is similar to looking through a tub of petroleum jelly and very dark. Also, my pupil has become distorted from the surgeries and will need to be altered to a circular shape this coming surgery. From your experience, what are my chances for a successful silicone removal procedure without redetachment? And if so, what are my chances to regaining vision in that eye?

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 23:15h, 09 January Reply

      Dear Dee,

      You will find the answers to your questions will vary because the indications for the use of silicone oil vary as do our (retina surgeons) criteria for removing the oil.

      I can only tell you that I always am a little nervous when removing the oil. I tend to use silicone oil relatively early in the re-detachment process as I usually can save more vision by acting early.

      I usually treat the peripheral retina heavily with laser about a month prior to the removal.

      My guess is that you have better than 50/50 odds (since I don’t the practice of your doctor) of staying attached after the removal, however, I do wonder why you are already scheduled for the oil removal? Is this your doctor’s standard regimen?

      The chances of your regaining vision in that eye are related to the number of times the macula has been detached and, if, the macula remains attached after surgery.

      Stay in touch,


  • Surya
    Posted at 16:55h, 20 January Reply

    Dear Dr Wong,
    When I went on a vacation to India (home town), I suffered a RRD (Rhegtamgenous RD) and had two surgeries. I did not have central vision in my LEFT eye (near nasal) and only some side vision. Apparently I had a retinal tear which became an RD due to plane travel. The first Pneumaretinapexy did not fix the issue and then they did the surgery with belt buckle and gas injection. It was the most nightmarish scenario as my dad also passede away while recuperating. The second procedure attached my retina with my vision improving slightly but has distortions (wavy lines and micropsia). I also had laser coagulation done on my right eye for a horse-shoe tear in the super-temporal quadrant. Doctors in India told me that my vision will improve further with Cataract surgery anf lens implantation and I can get that done after 6 months.

    I came back to US after I was advised to fly. I showed my eyes to my Opthalamalogist and she said both eye looks fine and the surgeons in India has done a good job condiering the severity. However I have some questions related to my current condition
    1) I have flashes (almost always there in bright lights) like small cob web near the left lower nasal area and sometimes moves around like thin veil. Are these scar tissues? Will it ever disappear or I have to live with it?
    2) I cannot read thru my left eye. Letters are small and so wavy it appears as if there is strike through on every word. Will the Cataract and lens implantation reduce the waviness/distortion and improve the acuity? The waviness currently seems lot like wet macula degenration. Is this beacuse my RD affected my macula? How can I maintain what (vision) is in the left eye?
    3) I have alomst 6/9 vision (with slit) in my right eye but have noticed lately that I have persistent floaters (one long hair like string and couple of small grey transaparent circles) moving around constantly. I may have had this before (my RD) but did not really notice that much. Are the floaters increase due to the laser treatment in my right eye(for treating a tear). Since my Right eye is the only hope I am really worried about this. My Opthal examined and says my eyes looks fine. However the floaters are being a real impediment for PC viewing and other tasks where I have to focus. Is it possible to elemintae this?
    4) My job requires me to travel by air frequently. So far I have avoided it. Will air travel be an issue and cause more RDs? Shud I be thinking of stopping air travel altogether?
    5) Also doctors in India have asked me not to lift weights. I still have to do basic grocery shopping and other house hold chores. What is the maximum that RD patients should not lift?

    I am able to drive and do my tasks reasonably well but definitely have noticed my efficiency in doing things have reduced since RD. I am really hoping with the Cataract surgery and some how if the floaters in my right eye disappears it will be lot better. Let me know your thoughts/answers. Appreciate the greate help you are doing through this blog.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 23:06h, 20 January Reply

      Deary Surya,

      1. The flashes will probably subside with time. If they intensify or become more frequent, get your ophthalmologist to look for new tears. If, after examination, the retina appears attached yet the flashes persist, this will serve as your baseline. The cob web may actually be some opacification in the vitreous. If so, it will probably subside. Ask your doctor to be sure. I am only guessing as I can not examine you.

      2. The waviness may be due to the fact that your macula was detached. If so, time will tell if it will subside.

      3. The floaters are not really due to the laser, but related to the tear in the right eye. It is possible to remove floaters with vitrectomy surgery.

      4. In my opinion, flying never caused you any harm. It was not related to the detachment or tear. In my opinion, as long as there is no longer gas inside your eye, you may fly.

      5. I also don’t see why you can’t lift weights. Your eye is a closed structure and I have no understanding as to why lifting weights would be bad for you.

      Best of luck. Write back if I missed something.


  • Pingback:Causes of Double Vision Following Retinal Detachment Surgery
    Posted at 07:57h, 21 January Reply

    […] Decreased vision and double vision (aka diplopia) after retinal detachment surgery may occur, yet is not common.  The perception of “double” is more common than actually seeing two of everything.  There are several causes for really seeing two images following retinal detachment surgery. […]

  • janie
    Posted at 16:09h, 21 January Reply

    I had cataract surgery for both eyes in 2008. On 11/15/10 I had a macula off retina detachment with my right eye. The surgeon used gas bubble to reattach. Check up on 12/22/10 indicated that retina had redetached. Had vitrectomy on 12/23/10. Gas bubble is still present but shrinking. I have lost peripheral vision in right eye.
    I’ve read that cataracts usually develp soon after retina detachment surgery. I haven’t been able to find any information regarding what to expect if cataract surgery has already been done. Also wondering about regaining my peripheral vision.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 12:22h, 22 January Reply

      Dear Janie,

      Cataract surgery, per se, is done once. Your implant will not change with gas injection used to repair the retinal detachment. As I don’t know the magnitude nor the specifics of your particular retinal detachment, I can’t make a statement about the peripheral vision.

      I would wait until all the gas is absorbed before making an assessment of your central and peripheral vision.

      Best of luck,


  • Surya
    Posted at 18:10h, 24 January Reply

    Thanks Doctor for your replies. Its really helpful.

    Related to 1 & 2 in my above post, I cannot tell whether the waviness has increased, decreased or remain the same. However I have noticed that the cataractt is developing (doctors said) albeit slowly. My question is will the IOL implantation help a little bit of my vision. If so will it improve the near vision or long vision?

    3) I may have had floaters in my right eye before but I am seeing it more clearly only now beacuuse I am using my right eye predominantly. I am around 40 and I have to work heavily in front of the PC. Will Vitrectomy completely eleminate floaters? What is the sucess rate and risks involved? Will the visiion remain the same as before (without the floaters)? What will replace the vitereous gel? And how effective it is?

    5) They told me its (weight lifting) related to pressure in abdomen is not good for eyes. They also advised not to indulge in heavy yoga (parnayamam) where one controls their breath.

    what is your opinion on this. Thanks ….

  • Josh
    Posted at 11:24h, 26 January Reply

    Dr. Wong,

    I am so pleased I came across this website.

    When I was 15 I suffered an eye trauma that caused a retinal detachment in my left eye, it was what my doctor called a 5 o’clock to 6 o’clock tear. He used a sclera buckle and silicone gel and laser to repair my eye. A few months later he removed the gel but there is still some residual gel that was trapped up near the front of my eye (near my lens), my doctor mentioned that he did not think it safe to go back into the eye to remove it at that time. He recommended that it may be tried again at another time down the road. At 30 I developed cataracts in my surgically repaired left eye. I had a lens replacement done and now can see fairly well. Although the residual gel is still in my eye, my vision is what I can best describe as almost 20/20 while looking through a sandwich bag. The haziness of my vision is very frustrating, and I was wondering if it is the gel that is causing the haziness of my left eye. If the gel that is causing it, could it be removed? I asked the cataract surgeon at the time of surgery if it was possible to get the gel out then. He said it was in a different part of the eye than what he was working on and it would require a completely different surgery.

    Would you even recommend an attempt at removing the gel? It has been 15 years since the detachment and I have had regular retinal exams all of which have been positive in that my retina has remained very strong after the surgery. Also I had the cataract surgery just over 1 year ago with no complications.

    Any information you could lend would be appreciated, I think you are doing a wonderful service.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 10:40h, 30 January Reply

      Dear Josh,

      I don’t think the gel is causing the problem. My guess is that you have some oil underneath (from how you described it) the retina, but it is located in the peripheral retina, an area that is not consciously used. I doubt very much that your macula, the area that gives you 20/20 vision, is actually involved otherwise you wouldn’t be able to see as well as you do.

      Thus, remember I can’t examine you, I doubt removing the “gel” will do anything. I would suggest you have a retina specialist examine you to see if the “sandwich bag” vision can be improved. It would be worth the evaluation. It may be that you are simply left with this after retinal detachment surgery, but I would check it out asking specifically if the central vision can be improved. Sometimes an ERM can cause some decreased vision.

      Best of luck,


  • Josh
    Posted at 17:19h, 31 January Reply

    Dr. Wong,

    I would like to add that I can physically see the leftover silicone Gel bubble in my vision. I can see 200-300 tiny little air bubbles that are trapped within this gel bubble. These bubbles bounce across my central vision as I change position with my body (walking, turning, laying down and sitting up) and also when I move my eyes in any direction. Would this indicate that the gel bubble is behind my retina?



    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 01:06h, 05 February Reply

      Dear Josh,

      Actually sounds like the stuff is floating around in your eye. If they are that apparent, I’d see if someone can remove it/them.


  • paul
    Posted at 11:32h, 01 February Reply

    on 12-8-2010 i had right retinal tears at 100 300 and 630 with no macula involvement. I knew that something was wrong before dr and then had a retinal bleed Surgery was done next am.
    all was well at 7 weeks. Then after being released for 3 months I felt I was having a new subclinical tear at nasal side and saw a partner and yes and new area and second vitrectomy such as it is as little was left from first vitrec and now a complete 360 laserplexy with no macular involvement either time. What is your experience on this being a long term success at this point.
    age 61 no diabetes or other health problems
    Last point all 3 dr s feel that with a good check up at 2 weeks that heavy lifting or exercise is ok and not a factor in the outcome



    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 01:09h, 05 February Reply

      Dear Paul,

      I think your long term prognosis is great. I’m sure you have a few more follow-up visits, but I would say that every visit in which you stay attached, your long term prognosis gets better. I agree that heavy lifting or excercise is ok and will not affect the outcome.

      All the best to you,


  • Craig
    Posted at 12:08h, 07 February Reply

    Dr. Wong,
    We corresponded back in late December and I wanted to give you an update and report that my retina has healed well after the detachment surgery (12/11/10)and the retina is now firmly in place. In January we were able to laser the retina in the fellow eye as a precaution (1/4/11) and that too went well. Because my detachment included the macula, I have now developed ERM. I was told I will need that removed but would need to wait. My question now is, does that need to be done sooner than later or does that need to “get as bad as it is going to get” before the ERM is removed? If I wait, could that cause a new detachment under the macula if the ERM pucker becomes too severe? I understand that in terms of ERM removal, I will only get one chance at it, like “only one bite at the apple”. Is that correct? I am so concerned because my vision was restored to about 20/50 after surgery (with just slight double vision/distortion) and I don’t want to take any chances at this stage.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 16:07h, 07 February Reply

      Dear Craig,

      Not sure why you need to wait. I prefer operating as early as you, the patient, notice a change in your vision. The reason to operate early is that noone can promise complete restoration of vision following macular pucker surgery.


  • don
    Posted at 16:13h, 10 February Reply

    my detached eye was for 3 weeks what are my changes geting back my sight

  • jyotsna
    Posted at 12:11h, 14 February Reply

    Dear doc,

    my sister in law is suffering from adenocarcinoma since the year 2008. since few months she is suffering with decreased vision.. the doctors have diagnosed it as retinal detachment. she has recently undergone vitrectomy with silica gel…..will she restore her vision

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 19:47h, 19 February Reply

      Dear Jyotsna,

      I am sorry to hear of your sad news. Is the retinal detachment related to the adenocarcinoma? If so, it can be a very aggressive tumor, but maybe it’s not related?


  • janie
    Posted at 17:46h, 14 February Reply

    Would it be safe to have cosmetic botox injections around the eye area after having a detached retina? Thanks for any information you can provide about this.


  • jane
    Posted at 21:01h, 16 February Reply

    My husband had a right eye retinal detachment in mid November. He happened to have been flying prior to his first symptoms ( flashing and floaters ) and again 3 days prior to the actual detachment. He received prompt retinal detachment surgery with the gas bubble and laser treatments. He has had a relatively succcessful outcome. His vision is blurry, Fluid and floaters remain in this eye. Having returned by air from a Christmas holiday he experienced flashing and floaters in his other eye two hours after landing. No detachment has occurred yet. With changes occurring in each eye following air travel I have to ask if there could be a correlation between air travel and retinal detachment? Should air travel be avoided after surgery and during recovery? Should air travel be avoided if symptoms of detachment are present i.e. flashing and floaters.
    Thank you for your consideration. jane

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 23:17h, 21 February Reply

      Dear Jane,

      Air travel need not be avoided with regard to risk of developing retinal tears/detachments. I would view this as a coincidence. Air travel must be avoided if there is any gas inside the eye following an operation.

      If there are symptoms of new flashes and floaters….get them checked!


  • shai
    Posted at 17:10h, 19 February Reply

    Hello Dr Wong.

    My husband had a detached retina in Feb 2007. He has had 4 operations in all, scar tissue, cataract removal, silicone gel replacement and I am not sure what else. He has now developed glaucoma – the pressure had built up to 46 and with 5 different drops and acetazolamide, the pressure has dropped to 26. He is scheduled for a baerveldt valve to in inserted in 3 weeks. The retinal specialist wants the gel to remain, and the glaucoma specialist has admitted that he has not done this procedure before and it is further complicated by the gel remaining. Apparently the gel could enter the valve and cause other serious complications. We have 3 questions.
    1. My husband may soon have to fly for business, can he fly with the high pressure in his eye – this will be before his operation?
    2. Would it not may sense to just remove the gel, after 4 years, will his sight really be saved?
    3. If the gel was removed would it reduce the glaucoma?

    We would really appreciate your help with this. It is impossible to reach the surgeons in question as they are so very busy – trying to save other people’s sight – and we are so very thankful for all the effort that has been done so far for my husband.

    Thank you Shai

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 23:06h, 19 February Reply

      Dear Shai,

      According to your comment;

      1. Your husband can fly despite the high pressure in his eye.
      2. I can’t make a statement if his vision will be saved: there is the risk of re-detaching the retina when the silicone oil is removed; hence the retina surgeon’s hesitation.
      3. I don’t know why he has glaucoma (I don’t have enough information), so, if the oil is causing a pressure rise, then removing the oil might reduce the eye pressure. Truthfully, if the oil has been in for several years, then I wouldn’t think the oil is directly causing a problem.


  • Sharon
    Posted at 13:31h, 26 February Reply

    Hello Dr Wong,
    Thank you for all the information on this website it is very helpful. I had RD surgery in early Jan. 2011 with vitrectomy, laser, and gas bubble. I lost half of my central vision by Wed. afternoon and the surgery was done Friday morning. The RD reattachment is successful so far although my vision in this eye is still blurry, I was very myopic before the RD.

    My concern is that the vision in this eye is distorted with wavy lines that make it impossible for me to wear glasses or contacts. I don’t have a new prescription yet, following the surgery. I become nauseous and don’t seem to be able to wear anything to correct the vision. My surgeon said this would resolve on its own in time but there doesn’t seem to be any improvement yet.

    Is it too soon, and if so, how long should I wait to see improvement? My surgeon also told me that laser surgery on the other eye is necessary to strengthen some weak areas, but I don’t want to have that until I can see well enough in the RD eye.

    Thank you in advance for your help.


    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 08:15h, 27 February Reply

      Dear Sharon,

      I would ask specifically for an explanation as to a cause of the distortion. There can be several, swelling from the retinal detachment, epiretinal membrane formation, etc. There may also be residual distortion from the operation itself as your central vision was affected.

      I would think you should be seeing progressive improvement, but this close to the actual detachment, anything can happen.

      To be sure, follow your docs advice, but do press him/her for an explanation.


    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 08:23h, 27 February Reply

      Dear Sharon,

      Regarding the need for laser in the other eye…don’t delay the laser treatment. You don’t want an RD in that eye, too.


  • steve
    Posted at 13:48h, 26 February Reply

    my wife had surgery for retina detatchment in her left eye about 5 weeks ago.
    She has had the gas bubble put in place to put the retina back into position,The bubble is still in place as she informs me she can see the shape of it.and everything is very blurry,she says its like having your eye open in soapy water
    The problem she is having is that she also has a cataract on her right eye,so her vision at the minute is very poor,and what she can see is double,
    Because of the double vision she tends to keep the eye closed that has had the retina reattatched.
    Is this doing more harm than good and delaying the healing process.It seems she has also developed a cataract on the same eye.How long does it usually take for the gas bubble to disperse. I would be thankfull of any advice you can give



    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 08:20h, 27 February Reply

      Dear Steve,

      Closing the eye to get rid of the symptoms is fine. She is not doing any harm to either eye.

      There are several types of gas commonly used for retinal detachment surgery and they are used at varying concentrations. Both the type of gas, and the concentration, affect the absorption rate.

      I use something called SF6 (sulfa-hexafluoride) at a pretty diluted concentration. My patients tell me the bubble is usually gone in about 10 days to 14 days. Others use a gas C3F8, a gas that can last 2-3 times as long.

      Too much information?

      Hope this was helpful.


  • janie
    Posted at 16:34h, 28 February Reply

    Is there any reason to continue to avoid sleeping on your back after the bubble is gone? Does lying on your back affect the retina?

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 09:45h, 01 March Reply

      Dear Janie,

      Lying on your back is safe as long as the gas is gone. In theory, if the gas were pressed against your natural lens, you’d form a cataract. Also, when lying on your back, since gas rises toward the sky, you’d remove any reason for having the gas in the eye at all.

      Lying on your back does not affect the retina.


  • Jessica
    Posted at 20:19h, 01 March Reply

    Hi Dr. Wong,

    I appreciate in advance your consideration of my comment. My mother (65 years old, healthy, active) today had her 3rd retina detachment surgery since 12/9/10. The first surgery included complications due to violent coughing in the middle of the surgery.

    She needed a second surgery one month ago because the retina detached again. We thought all was well, and last week, her vision started to change again, with a “shadow” covering the top half of her line of vision, as if someone was pulling the blinds down over her eye. Her doctor discussed scar tissue and PVR with her, and said that we should go in for yet another surgery so that he could reattach the retina once again, and remove the scar tissue. He did so today, created a hole in the retina to peel off the scar tissue, and reattached the retina and put in silicone oil.

    Sorry for all the details! Just want to make sure I cover everything. And I guess I am wondering… does it sound like we have taken the right path so far? While I realize you have not seen/treated her, what do you think the chances are of a) the retina detaching again and b) her vision returning? Do you have any suggestions for other steps we should be taking? And I’ve read a bit about barrier laser photocoagulation…is this something that is a viable option if the retina continues to detach?

    Thank you!

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 08:40h, 03 March Reply


      Unfortunately somewhere around 2% of patients with retinal detachments end up like your mom. PVR is a tough disease and we don’t really understand it.

      In my practice, I’ve learned to use silicone oil “early” on, that is, after the 2nd or 3rd detachment. Chances are very good that she won’t detach with the oil in place. It can happen, but rarely.

      Depending upon the severity of the detachment and especially the number of times the macula detached, the better or worse the visual potential. For now, just pray that retina remains attached and you put a stop to this vicious cycle of operating and redetaching. Again, this is a familiar course with PVR.

      Forget about barrier laser photocoagulation. No place in this situation.

      Good luck.


  • k
    Posted at 17:00h, 03 March Reply

    I experienced a detached retina after the PVD event and underwent a vitrectomy with gas bubble. Due to a complication the lens became clouded, so the lens was removed. Scar tissue developed quickly, so second surgery included vitrectomy and scleral buckle with gas bubble. I am left with +2.5 surgery eye and -12 “good” eye. I also have a blind spot in the surgery eye and aniseikonia – image size is about 50% of good eye and is field dependent. In addition (not sure if it is part of aniseikonia), the image I focus on is smaller, ie, when I look at someone, their head becomes smaller because I am looking at their face – very disconcerting. It has been 7 1/2 months since the second surgery. I would be thrilled to get any kind of relief at all – any suggestions? Is there any hope? My surgeon doesn’t say much about the distortions, so I really don’t know a whole lot as to what has caused them. Thank you very much

  • Saad
    Posted at 16:48h, 06 March Reply

    Dear Dr Wong,
    My Son went through retina Re Attachment in both eyes. Left eye in 2008 and Gas was used to re attach. Right eye in 2010 and used silicon oil which was removed after 5 months of the operation.

    My question. what would be the best IOL type to implant to imrpove the vision? is there any resevations of implanting IOL considering the previous retina deattachment.

    Appreciate your time and advice.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 12:07h, 10 March Reply

      Dear Saad,

      I don’t have any reservations about an implant, but you must first establish if implanting an IOL is worthwhile at all, that is, will the vision likely improve? A cataract doctor should be able to tell you this.


    • Raza
      Posted at 08:55h, 11 February Reply

      Hello Saad

      May I please have your emeil address. I would like to get some information since our son have eye condions as well.
      Many thanks


  • Barbara Thomsen
    Posted at 11:19h, 07 March Reply

    This is my fourth post. The most recent was about a month ago. My history: July 3, first detachment treated with pneumatic retinopexy and gas bubble; Aug 1, second detachment treated with vitrectomy, membranectomy and gas bubble; Sept. 6, third detachment treated withmembranectomy, scleral buckle and gas bubble; Oct. 1, fourth detachment treated with vitrectomy, membranectomy and silicone oil. Middle of February was 40% detached according to retina surgeon. She said it was my choice whether or not to have further surgery. You agreed. I asked to get second opinion and she suggested a doctor at Cincinnati Eye Institute and made an appointment for the following week. New doctor found my retina almost totally detached and said I should definitely have further surgery and as soon as possible. He said it was now not about saving vision but saving my eye. The following week he “did a lot of work” including removing the lens placed when I had cataract surgery two years before. He was pleased that he was able to unfold the retina and satisfactorily cause it to relax and become fully attached. I have silicone oil again. While the first surgeon did not ever talk to me about PVR, the new surgeon did and explained that it will eventually run its course. However, it is difficult to know when that will be. I saw the new surgeon last week and he said things looked “really good.” However, I’ve heard that before. He also mentioned doing surgery if I developed further scar tissue before it caused the retina to detach again. What do you think about that? You were the first to identify my condition as PVR, thank you. I wish the first surgeon had explained my very difficult situation.

    Thank you also for taking your precious time to maintain this website.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 12:17h, 10 March Reply

      I am all for reoperating early in cases of PVR, but only if the detachment is getting worse. Sometimes all you can do is be happy if the macula is attached.

      PVR is a tough thing for doctors to diagnose. We hate it.

      Hoping there are no more vitrectomies in the near future for you!


  • A Kod
    Posted at 17:07h, 07 March Reply

    Dear Randy,

    I am very much impressed with the responses you have provided for the questions on decreased vision following the RD surgery. From the number of websites I have referred, this site has been the one where I could find very relevant responses around this topic.

    Like few others, my question is around a) ‘deformed’ or ‘wavyness’ of the objects after the surgery and b) presence of the floaters.

    My brother had a RD surgery (Macula off) on 28th January with Scleral buckling procedure with C3F8 gas bubble. His vision started showed symptoms of improvement after 3 weeks of the surgery but Doctor said it will take up to 2- 3 months to get the vision stabilised. Doctor also said the RD surgery was successfull with Ratina attached carefully. However, my Brother is having concerns with-
    a) Wavy or deformed lines/objects which he started noticing since two weeks of surgery which still continue to exist after 4 weeks.
    b) Floating objects in the vision which keeps moving when the eye lid moves

    Are these due to the slight irritations or damages caused to the eye tissues during the procedure? or are they due to the presence of the Gas bubble? If so, will they disappear when everything heals?

    My second question is can you please advise if any care my brother should continue to take to avoid any future tears?. Doctor has advised to carryout normal work but wait for three months to confirm no further tears. Looking at some of your other responses, can he be allowed to do any type of work?

    Thanks a lot in advance.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 12:24h, 10 March Reply

      Dear A,

      a) Is the gas gone? First cause of such complaints can be the gas. If not, need to assess the macula for swelling (common in macula off situations), ERM (common in any RD situation), etc.

      b) Probably just in the vitreous and often will settle out.

      I advise my patients to return to full activity without limitations. Remember that the forces generated during REM sleep are greater than any forces generated while awake!


  • k
    Posted at 16:28h, 10 March Reply

    Dear Dr. Wong,

    Are you aware of any doctors or clinics that specialize in making lenses, implants, glasses, etc. using specialized software or otherwise to improve visual distortions (aniseikonia, etc) following retinal detachment surgery? It seems that ophthalmologists in general do not have experience with these issues and those of us left with these distortions, while grateful for what vision we do have, desperately seek help to function on a daily basis. Thank you very much in advance,


    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 11:27h, 15 March Reply

      Dear k,

      Not aware of any lenses, etc that help with distortion, per se.

      Aniseikonia, a disparity in the size of images, may be abetted with contact lenses or some sort of refractive surgery depending upon the degree of difference.

      You are right, we don’t have much to offer.



  • A Kod
    Posted at 16:55h, 13 March Reply

    Dear Randy,

    Thanks for the response. To answer your question…

    a) Most of the gas has gone, there is little presence of the Gas at the bottom part of the eye. But the deformation / waviness of the object is still at the same level. Also, most of redness of eye has gone. Is this little presence of the Gas the cause for the unevenness of the objects?

    b) Thanks. How long will take for the floaters to settle out?

    c).Another question – there appears a difference in the vision between day and night . While day vision is gradually improving, my brother still have not seen much improvement in the night vision. Any reason for this?. Will this improve when he gets new lenses?

    Kind Regards

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 11:43h, 15 March Reply

      Dear Aravinda,

      a. May not be due to the gas. Ask if the macula is responsible (was the macula detached, is there an epiretinal membrane, etc.).
      b. Floaters may take weeks or months….or sometimes they stay.
      c. Probably not, but have to get lenses first. Also check about cataract formation.


  • steve
    Posted at 15:22h, 14 March Reply

    spoke to you recently about my wife who has had double vision following a retina reattatchment done on her left eye.
    Was hoping that the double vision was due to the gas bubble still being in place.
    Been to consultant today and it seems she has a small fold in the retina which is causing the double vision,not told us yet what can be done to sort out the double vision,can it be sorted ?or is she stuck with it.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 11:52h, 15 March Reply

      Dear Steve,

      This is very tough. It basically will require redetaching the retina and then repeating the detachment surgery. Not always something that works well.

      Before throwing in the towel. Get someone else to take a look at your wife.

      Write again.


  • Craig
    Posted at 10:20h, 06 April Reply

    Dr. Randy,
    You were exactly right. I did have ERM and it needed to be addressed asap. My long-time ophthalmologist got me in with his retina specialist and it was taken care of with wonderful results. Thanks ! You were also right about the translocated retina, that is what I have (the result of my emergency reattachment surgery on 12/11/10 done after hours on a weekend, dang it…another story).

    Now, I will follow suggestions you have made in the past re: addressing double vision. At present, I made a device similar to a Bangerter Foil…but better….it is a pair of sunglasses with an adhesive dot (the diameter of a pencil eraser) stuck to the inside. It occludes only the center vision to my macula (eliminates the double vision) yet does not eliminate my peripheral vision. Thanks for all your help.

  • veronica
    Posted at 19:20h, 13 April Reply

    Dear Dr. Wong, thank you for all the information. A friend of mine just had surgery to reattach the retina, but this couldnt happen because he started to bleed during the surgery and also his lens had to be extracted. he is only 30 year old with myopia… i am very worried…how serious is this? he is in canada and i have no information from his doctors besides what i told you. is this common? what are the chances of a succesful second surgery?

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 22:25h, 18 April Reply

      Dear Veronica,

      Without any further information, I would offer that your friend had some bleeding during the operation…and it is possible that his overall prognosis has not changed despite the first, unsuccessful surgery.


  • Marion
    Posted at 18:21h, 14 April Reply

    Dear Doctor Wong. I have had Silicone Oil in my left eye since 4th August 2010. I was told that the oil would be removed in about 3 months which would have been November 2010. I am so pleased to have found your brilliant and very informative Blog. I now understand why my Surgeon is not in a hurry to remove the oil. My only concern is that my eye and eyelid are sore and ache all the time. I have to use Xalatan eye drops to reduce the pressure in the eye ( 20 when tested in February ) I don’t know if it is the high pressure or the eye drops causing so much discomfort ? I really appreciate everything my Surgeon has done so far.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 22:27h, 18 April Reply

      Dear Marion,

      Thanks for the encouraging comments.

      The pressure feeling may not necessarily be due to the oil, and I would suggest looking for another cause. It is possible that the buckle is still giving you some discomfort (highly unlikely) or, perhaps, you are sensitive to one of the drops you are using.

      What does your doc say? Regardless, sounds like you are doing well.


  • Terri
    Posted at 13:14h, 18 April Reply

    I had a detached retina operation on 1/27/11. The doctor that operated finally sent me to another doctor in his practice that deals with musles. I also have double vision. He put a prisim on an old pair of eye glasses. It helps only alittle. He said it might take a couple of months to several to see correctly again or not double vision. Have you seen people recover from this over time? Another doctor said muscle operations can help or botox injections. How long should I wait and can my regular eye doctor help with glasses or should I wait for them also? Thank you. Terri

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 22:33h, 18 April Reply

      Dear Terri,

      Wow. I need to be careful here. I would give yourself several months before considering anything other than prisms (comes from personal experience). I would want to make sure that the muscle deviation has been stable and not changing before considering surgery.

      This is just my opinion.


  • zach walker
    Posted at 18:04h, 20 April Reply

    i am 15 years old i had a detached retina when i was 7 and have never regained much vision i have tried contacts and glasses and neither really have helped and just recently i tired to get my perment and waited 2 hours to get it and then i came to find out that i wasnt even aloud to take the test because i couldnt pass the eye exam so im worried about not being able to get my perment. i guess im asking is there anything i can do to improve my eye sight enough to pass the test?

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 08:34h, 21 April Reply

      Dear Zach,

      Don’t fret.

      In most states (perhaps in all 50 states) you are legally allowed to operate a motor vehicle with one eye, or, one eye must have vision of 20/40 or better to legally drive a car. Given your age, I am making the assumption that you are not trying to get a CDL, a commercial driver’s license.

      Initially, the vision tests at the motor vehicle department are going to “fail” all persons that do not have good vision in both eyes. This is a screening measure, but does not mean you can not qualify for getting a license.

      I live in Maryland and work in Virginia. In both states, you would have failed the screening eye exam, but they would pass you with a form signed by an eye doctor. Get one of these forms.

      Off you go!


  • am
    Posted at 04:28h, 12 May Reply

    My father has just had retinal detachment surgery on Sunday morning. After four days he still does not have any vision, he can see light but nothing else. I was just wondering what the period of time is to get vision back?

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 17:39h, 16 May Reply

      Dear AM,

      I need some more information. Did he have gas put in the eye? Might there have been bleeding? Was there silicone oil used?



  • tommy
    Posted at 21:34h, 25 May Reply

    i had detached retina repair over 80% of my retina was detached and my macula was also down . i am 2 1/2 weeks out of surgery thay puy the gas bub in i can see a little ,but when i stand up or move my head quick . my eye goes dark for 2/5 sec . is this going to go away or should i worry help me !!!!!!!!!!! thx

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 11:03h, 29 May Reply


      I would have your doctor check your eye pressure. It is possible that the pressure in the eye is slightly higher than usual, or at least higher than the other eye. It could be just high enough to overcome the blood from entering your eye (this would be pronounced when you stand up, called orthostatic hypotension – lowered blood pressure by change in body position) for the 2/5 sec


      the bubble is moving giving you the impression of “darkness.”


  • Kay
    Posted at 14:37h, 30 May Reply

    after laser to fix bleeding from retina(8/10), vitrectomy for maclular pucker(early Nov.) and vitrectomy & scleral buckle with gas & removal of lens due to advanced cataract(late Nov) my husband had a lens implant (4/29/11) For 2 wks he couldn’t see anything and the pressure in his eye is so unstable he has to keep switching drops to make it higher or lower. He has diplopia (I would call it severe) and the retinologist, optometrist and opthalmologist have all told him to live with it while they keep trying different drops. We are 90 mins from the University of Wisconsin Hospital. Do you recommend seeking a referral? If so, do you have a recommendation? Might vision training help?

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 00:06h, 03 June Reply

      Dear Kay,

      Too many cooks in the kitchen. Listen to your retina specialist and then worry about everything else. Of utmost importance is keeping the retina attached. Everything else will fall into place.


  • Maria Pena
    Posted at 13:24h, 20 June Reply

    Dr. Wong,
    Thanks for your blog, I think it´s a great tool to educate the public on scary eye conditions and what to do about them.
    I had a scleral buckle procedure in mid November of last year. Had no complications whatsoever. However, six months later, my surgeon says he may need to do a second surgery because the buckle didn´t quite cover the retinal tear and I continue to have vitreous liquid seeping. I´m very apprehensive about going through a second surgery. Should I seek a second opinion? what are my options? thanks!

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 13:39h, 20 June Reply

      Dear Maria,

      Sounds like there is still a partial retinal detachment. I’d inquire about that specifically. If you were my patient, I’d probably need to repeat the “gas” part of the operation. The buckle shouldn’t need to be redone.

      Let me know.


  • Eliza
    Posted at 09:18h, 17 July Reply

    Dear Dr. Wong,
    I am blind in one eye since birth, and had a detached retina in the other eye. I was rushed into surgery immediately, completely blind by the time of the operation. The retina was re-attached and gas bubble put in place. 8 weeks post-op the retina let go. Back to surgery, retina was attached again, and silicone put in also at the same time a cataract was removed but no lens put in. 11 weeks post-op back to surgery to put in new lens. I am now 1 week post-op and the retina is still attached and all is healing well and regain some sight. I am very grateful to my surgeon. I only have one complaint and no one seems to know the answer. I am having excruciating headaches, feels like someone is stabbing me through the back of my eye. Pressure is good and all seems to be healing properly. I am wondering if in your experience you have had this happen to any of your patients, and if so, what the cause might be? Thanks.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 14:25h, 18 July Reply

      Dear Eliza,

      Not sure of the cause. I’d suggest you follow the guidance of your surgeon. On my list of things to consider; allergy to drops, discomfort from the scleral buckle (if used), sinus infection, infection or pressure in the eye. There are other causes, but please make sure to follow up with your own doctor.


  • Bernie
    Posted at 06:21h, 19 July Reply

    I have had a retina tear. Surgeon thought it was less than a month old. I am currently blind in my left eye. I have had a buckle but in have oil and recently have had the second lot of laser treatment however I have lost a lot if my pherifial vision and my vision is not as good it was before the last lot of laser. I had this done 4 days ago. I am concerned now as it seems I might lose my driving licence and my job goes with this. Can you tell me whether this vision will improve,
    The surgeon said oil will come out in a months time

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 07:24h, 22 July Reply

      Dear Bernie,

      I am confused. Which eye has the tear, the right eye? And it seems you had a retinal detachment in the left eye?


  • Bernie
    Posted at 05:03h, 28 July Reply

    Hi Sorry 25 years ago i have a retina detachment in my left eye which was old and i have no vision. In my right eye my Surgeon has put a buckle in, oil in and now completed 2 lots of laser surgery. After the last lot of laser Surgery i have now lost most of m Perifal Vision. I have also lost more sight for the Distance. Will i get this back i there anything more i can do as before the last lot os laser my sight was much better.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 08:46h, 29 July Reply

      Dear Bernie,

      A lot of this may actually be due to the oil. Oil doesn’t give you great vision and “anything” may seem to be happening. I’d ask your doctor about your prognosis. I can’t tell from just your writing. I’d need to know the state of your retina when you detached each time.


  • Teacher Anna
    Posted at 20:31h, 07 August Reply

    I had sceleral buckle, vitrectomy, and gas bubble in February. Lost vision due to Ischemic optic nerve damage. I am so confused! Is this something that is common. My doctor keeps putting me off when I ask about how it happened. My IOP was 37-40 when I went to one dr visit. Could this have caused it? I have completely lost the lower portion &nasal portion of my field of vision. I saw a neuro ophthalmologist who said it may have been low blood pressur – but the lowest that my blood pressure was is 90/50. When I asked my dr if I was legally blind in that eye, he said there was no such thing as “legally blind”. If a dr diagnoses his patient as legally blind in one eye, does it have negative repercussions for him? I feel like I’m getting the run around! Thank you for your help.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 11:47h, 19 August Reply

      Teacher Anna,

      Am I correct in that you lost vision from the retinal detachment?

      High IOP can cause loss of vision, but I think I need more details.


  • Teacher Anna
    Posted at 00:19h, 22 August Reply

    Dear Dr. Wong,
    Yes, I never regained my vision after retina detachment surgery. Before surgery I could see colors, my vision was just blurry at first. I went to the emergency room. Then saw a retina specialist the next day. He did an ultra sound, then sent me home and scheduled a follow up appointment for the next week. A week later I had a veil of dark red (blood?) come down from the top of my field of vision. I went to the doctor that day. The doctor did an ultra sound and found that my retina was detached. I had surgery that day. Two weeks after surgery, my IOP was 37-40, i was put on glaucoma drops from that point on. At my follow up appointments I was told that I couldn’t see because of the gas bubble. But after several weeks, my vision was still black. I had a visual field test, which showed that more than half of
    my visual field was black. The retina specialist said that the damage was not from my high IOP because the visual field loss was solid–and that loss from glaucoma was spotty. (?)
    I saw a neuro-ophthalmologist and he said that I had ischemic optic neuropathy, caused by low blood flow to my optic nerve during surgery. Possibly low blood pressure during surgery. Is 90/50low enough to cause damage?
    Is this kind of optic nerve damage a common occurrence?
    Also, why would my retina specialist keep telling me that there is no such thing as a person being “legally blind”? Thank you for your help.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 11:42h, 22 August Reply

      Dear Teacher Anna,

      No I don’t think this is usual. I agree with your retina specialist’s statement about the IOP NOT causing the problem.

      I suppose that ischemic optic atrophy could occur, but again, that seems very unusual. There might be more plausible explanations for your vision loss.

      I do not know why your specialist made a remark about the legal blindness..


  • Teacher Anna
    Posted at 13:26h, 23 August Reply

    Dear Dr. Wong,
    Thank you so much for your help.
    Is there a way for me to find out how my optic nerve was damaged?
    What are some other causes of this type of vision loss?
    I have had a fleuorocine angiogram, fundus photo, CT scan so far.
    If I have an MRI would that show where the damage took place?
    Thanks again.

  • gaurav sharma
    Posted at 10:11h, 06 September Reply

    i had a retina detachment surgery before 4 years and the surgery was successfull as doctors told me. But, one thing i want to know is that after that surgery m still having floaters in the detached eye and one thing more my eye ball that is the middle portion of black colour is not in its normal position it is slightly to left side as compared to the other eye. It looks ugly and in the other eye i had a laser for retina detachment but the sight and vision are still decreasing . Please help me sir, i had consulted a lot of doctors but didn’t get the cure.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 16:59h, 07 September Reply

      Dear Gaurav,

      Unfortunately, I can’t tell much despite your description. I might be able to help more if I had some knowledge of what is actually going on in the eye.

      I am sorry. Feel free to write back.


  • hazel
    Posted at 16:45h, 13 September Reply

    dear mr wong.please could you say how long it is safe to leave oil in after retinal repair and vitrectomy. i’d had two horseshoe detachments and five holes in the one eye thats been operated on in february this year.surgeon is really pleased with result but couldn’t take oil out in july as my asthma was severe and now my follow up appt has been cancelled and put back to november and the op to be done in january. i’m really struggling again with my sight as i have a cataract on the same eye and am struggling with crossing roads and seeing on ‘the bad eye’ side. is it safe to leave the oil in for so long.thanks for your website. its reassuring to see its not just me feeling isolated.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 06:10h, 19 September Reply

      Dear Hazel,

      Make sure you keep in touch with your surgeon. The oil can be there indefinitely, but regular visits to your doctor are needed to ensure that no damage is being from the oil to the eye. While this doesn’t happen often, you should go regularly.


  • Pamel Wallace
    Posted at 15:32h, 16 September Reply

    I had my retina reattached 4 months ago. My vision is very distorted in this eye. My vision is very wavy. Also, in the mornings when I wake up my eye opens very, very slowly, kinda’ scary. I immediantly place OTC (Systane( eye drops in both eyes. Will I ever recover my vision from the surgery. I had the gas bubble. My retina was detatched 55%. Every day I keep hoping my vision will be better, but it is not. I had several tears repaired prior to the detatchment. This eye was my dominant eye for vision. When do you think I can expect my vision to improve. Could it be possible it will never return? Is there any other surgery to correct this problem?

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 06:29h, 19 September Reply

      Dear Pamel,

      There are many causes for distortion. Some of the causes can be corrected by surgery. First, I’d ask your doctor the actual cause for the distortion.

      Write back!


  • Sunny
    Posted at 13:44h, 19 September Reply


    Please help me out .
    I went thru retinal detachment surgery on July 8th. Doctor did gas bubble treatment. He explained that i had some hole in my eye as a result water was going back and detaching my retina. I never had any symptons of retinal detachment such as flowaters etc. I never had any symptom i noticed it when during my class i had headache for 5 mins and i couldnt see instructors face properly that is it became distorted.
    Doc freezed my hole and placed gas bubble in my eye and asked me to poistion my head tilting left chin down for atleast two weeks in between which he regulalry checked and said that i am improving. It’s more than two months i still have distortion. I cant read properly with effected eye. Sometimes i feel that written stuff on paper i can read it but still there is distortion but when it comes to computer lot of waviness and distortion. Doc also said that some part of my macula was also effected which is responsible for sharp vision. Also as of today i still had small gas bubble which i believe would take atleat 2 more weeks to dissolve. ONE More thing DOC also said when he did that procedure that i have WATER UNDER RETINA so waited this long so that it dissolves by itself. My last visit was in last week on AUGUST and DOC said water seems to have dissolved and very little is left.
    Please help and let me know whether this diistortion goes away with time as it heels. ca

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 11:49h, 21 September Reply

      Dear Sunny,

      I need more information.

      Based on your story so far, the gas bubble, though small, might cause the distortion, your original detachment could cause distortion, you could have macular edema or macular pucker, etc…..a myriad of possibilities.

      You might ask your doctor specifically about the distortion.


  • Jas Sihra
    Posted at 21:48h, 12 October Reply

    Doc, I had a retinal detachment which was corrected in May via a buckle and oil. I had the oil removed in August and so far everything seems ok except that my previous vision of 20-25 (with contacts) can now only be corrected to 20-100 with contacts. Will it improve over time as the eye heals or am I stuck with 20-100 forever in the affected eye?

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 10:44h, 15 October Reply

      Dear Jas,

      Was the 20/25 vision with contacts before the retinal detachment?

      Sounds like you lost some vision due to the detachment. I’d give it a good six months before giving up all hope, but it doesn’t sound promising in all honesty.



  • Liam
    Posted at 19:43h, 18 October Reply

    Dr. Wong,

    First of all, thank you for the website and your insight. Keep it up!

    I am 30 years old and had congential cataracts which were removed at birth. At age 7, I developed glaucoma in my right eye.

    Fast forward to today, the IOP in my left eye began running high several months ago. After failing to control the pressure medically, my doctor recommended a vitrectomy to clear the vitreous of gel as well as remove some lens debris from the cataract surgery 30 years ago. This procedure was performed by a retinal specialist (7/21/11) and was to be followed by a baerveldt implaint 6-8 weeks later by my glaucoma doctor.

    Two days after my vitrectomy in July, some lens debris, which was unable to be removed, came loose and began hydrating. Unfortunately, it settled behind my pupil and blocked my vision in that eye completely. A lensectomy was performed that day; however, I bled as they were concluding the procedure and also developed a hemorrhagic choroidal.

    Six weeks after the lensectomy (9/1/11), I developed a partial (horseshoe) tear which began detaching and another smaller tear diaganolly across from the horseshoe. Fortunately, the macula was unaffected. They were able to reattach my retina using a laser and gas bubble. Thankfully, I did not bleed nor did i develope another hemorrhage.

    Seven weeks have passed and the bubble remains, but is much smaller. All signs appear good at this point and I’m happy to report that vision is largely unaffected (though a full analysis is impossible until the bubble dissipates). While I feel my doctors have been terrific throughout this process, I’m unsure I’m getting the direct answers I need to some of my questions.

    1. The baerveldt implaint has not yet been performed and the IOP remains high. With my history of a hemorrhagic choroidal, it obviously complicates the situation; however, is there a risk of another detachment? We may be performing the implaint in weeks, is that too soon? I feel like I’m between a rock and a hard place. Fix the glaucoma and risk a hemorrhage / detachment, or take no action and lose the vision to glaucoma. Clearly, action must be taken, but i need to be more informed.

    2. While my retina looks good according to my doctors, they did notice a wrinkle. A scan was performed and my doctor said he is comfortable with it for now as no fluid appears to be trapped under it. He said it may clear up or remain, but can be normal either way. Is this true?
    This obviously concerns me. I see a slight double image of objects through my left eye now and while near sight seems fine, distance is blurry. I’m hopeful that this is just an issue of prescription rather than a permanent result of the retina reattachment. FWIW, if i squint, the double vision goes away. What are your thoughts?

    3. Lastly, am I likely or at more risk to detach again? My doctor dodges the question and says that everyone has a chance of detachment; however, reading the posts here it seems like subsequent detachments are likely or at least common. How long after a successful reattachment can you be comfortable that another detachment is not likely to occur?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 20:33h, 18 October Reply

      Dear Liam,

      Retinal detachments can occur with any intraocular surgery. Retinal detachments are not common though on this site it seems that everyone is getting them. A site like this attracts people with a common denominator of retinal detachment.

      Your chance of getting a detachment with the Baerveldt is the same now or later. Choroidal effusions are not really a huge concern…I personally have never had to operate on one, but can occur when the eye pressure is low. Discuss the likelihood of this occurring again with your glaucoma doc.

      You are right, you have some tough decisions to make. I would go into your next surgery cautious but knowing that the next surgery does NOT pose any greater risk of detachment than the first.

      Lastly, I am a little concerned about the use of the term “wrinkle.” Where is it located?


  • Liam
    Posted at 21:03h, 18 October Reply

    Dr. Wong,

    Thank you, I will stay positive about the outcome of my baerveldt implaint.

    I honestly do not know much about the wrinkle. I believe it is located in the upper inside quadrant (near my noise). This is where the horseshoe detachment was, ultimately affecting my peripheral vision down and to the left. On the scan, the image looked like a couple of squiggly vertical lines.

    My doctor said these could be bad, but dismissed it in my case (at least for now). He said he’d take another scan at my next appointment to monitor it, but that’s not for 3 weeks. Should I be concerned?

    Thanks again.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 21:07h, 18 October Reply

      Dear LIam,

      You caught me at a good time. I am busy preparing for the upcoming AAO and saw your response.

      I am concerned about the use of the term “wrinkle.”

      While this is commonly called an “epiretinal membrane” when it covers the macula, it may also signify that there is some scar tissue getting ready to detach your retina…again.

      I can’t be more specific as I can not examine you, but that is my concern. Ask your doctor specifically about “PVR” (aka proliferative vitreoretinopathy).


  • Liam
    Posted at 18:39h, 15 November Reply

    Dr. Wong,

    I just wanted to follow-up on my previous post.
    I saw my surgeon today and had another OCT scan followed by an ultrasound. The wrinkle is unchanged. He told me that it’s not PVR and poses no threat to re-detach. Instead, he said its the choroid that’s wrinkled and the retina is laying flat on that which makes it appear wrinkled. The retina itself looks great otherwise and the gas bubble and finally disappeared.
    While this is great news, I’m still seeing ghost images slightly down and to the right of the real image. I don’t think it’s Diplopia because occluding my right eye does not resolve it. Moreover, squinting and looking through a pinhole does correct it. To me it seems like extreme astigmatism, but after a refraction and new contacts, I still have this trouble. My surgeon and optometrist do not know why I’m experiencing this. While my vision is less then per-op, specifically in the periphery where my retina was re-attached, the biggest challenge I have in acuity is this ghosting. If this could be corrected I could move on and get back to a more normal life.

    Still no baervelt btw, the pressure is doing better medically for now…

    Thanks again and I hope the AAO went well.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 00:17h, 18 November Reply


      I think you are doing pretty well. Based upon what you describe, I, too, think your double vision may be related to either difference in prescription and/or cataract. Obviously, I can only go on what you say. It is promising that your annoying symptoms disappear when squinting.

      I think ghosting can be corrected, but it depends upon the cause. Keep asking until someone is able to give you a plausible answer.

      AAO – went very well, thank you. Had the attention of many, many ophthalmologists who have been trying to develop a web presence and engage the Internet on their own…just looking for someone to show them how!

      All the best. Stay in touch.


  • Ronald Green
    Posted at 03:00h, 15 January Reply

    After detached retina surgery, I have double vision (ghosting) and everthing is very distorted with the effected eye. Lines are wavy and images look “squashed”, like they were stepped on and flattened. Images appear approx. 35% smaller or shorter than they should. I have tried prism glasses without success. Is there any hope I can get it repaired? I have had two surgeries and the first doctor botched the job, causing these issues…and there was a second detachment five months later. That surgery was successful but didn’t correct the problems from the first surgery.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 20:05h, 19 January Reply

      Dear Ron,

      Hard to say as there are several factors, for example cataracts and induced myopia from a scleral buckle, that could cause the 35% “minification.” Distortion can be from the detached retina, ERM or macular edema.

      Sorry, but can’t be too specific as I can’t examine you.


  • Pramod
    Posted at 03:31h, 22 February Reply


    My Mother has Type 2 Diabetes, Doctors suggested have eye retina surgery in Nov 2011 but then she has it done in Jan 2012, Now after 1 month of surgery, her vision has not returned or there is no improvement in vision, she says that there is just little light in eye, its like when you close your eye lid and turn on your home light , you will notice that somebody swtiched on the light but you cant see anything

    Please suggest what can be done


    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 12:42h, 22 February Reply

      Dear Pramod,

      It is quite possible that bleeding occurred during and after the operation. This is common in patients with diabetes. Perhaps she is looking through blood.

      I would ask you to confirm this with her doctor.


  • Margee Mougey
    Posted at 00:41h, 26 March Reply

    I never regained my sight after my retinal detachment. I had a scleral buckle and developed scar tissue, imflammation and fluid in my retina. After three years and lots of injections in my eye, I still have little or no vision. I can handle not having any vision in that eye, but the distortion and ghost image is what is making me crazy. My doctor tried to fit me with a prism, but it didn’t work. He said that I would have nothing to loose by taking the scleral buckle off and it might get rid of the ghost image and distortion. I am 1 week post op and my vision is still very blurry, so it’s hard to tell, but the ghost image and distortion appear to be the same as before and still at an angle, so the eyes don’t work together. Do you think there is a chance that it will work, or at least allow my eye to stabilize so that he can successfully fit me with a prism? I trust him completely, but it is nice to have someone elses option or at least learn about your past experiences with this sort of situation . Thanks in advance for your opinion.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 08:33h, 30 March Reply

      Dear Margee,

      I would not think that removing the buckle would change much so I am not surprised (sorry).

      I really don’t have much advice except to get a second opinion. Depending upon your vision, you might consider seeing a pediatric ophthalmologist. They specialize in misaligned eyes, are great at measuring and prescribing prism and are masterful at refracting and balancing lenses (because they have to do it in kids all the time!).


  • stephanie cleversy
    Posted at 13:10h, 17 April Reply

    I had a vivtrectomy and scleral buckle after a retinal detachment two years ago. I have black floaters and still have vision loss. I do not have any peripheral vision in that eye and I still see lines squiggly with that eye. I have had migraines in the past and now have been diagnosed with cluster headaches. My last headache lasted 34 days. Could these headaches be related to my retinal detachment?

  • Angela
    Posted at 13:00h, 02 June Reply

    I had three retina detachments in 2009. I now have the oil in my affected eye which often gets irritated. I sometimes get sad because of my vision in this eye. My retina specialist don’t want to remove the oil because the chances of me having permanent vision loss in the eye. My question is there any research or trials out there to help improve vision after retina detachments

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 14:52h, 04 June Reply

      Dear Angela,

      Most ongoing research is on macular degeneration…very little on retinal detachment. I suppose if/when stem cells become a viable option, then there may be renewed interest.


  • Deanda Carter
    Posted at 10:26h, 05 June Reply

    We have had a terrible exp. with a Harvard educated retinal specialist in Indianapolis. He did 3 surgeries, never told us anything and now my husband is LOSING his job due to his vision loss. He has to have 20/40 and his vision is FAR from that. He had a retinal detachment that supposedly healed nicely but than the surgeon said Ooops there’s more tears lets go back in and then we had to go back in to remove the bubble.

    After those three surgeries, he developed a cataract (which was NOT discussed as one of the NORMAL complications). He had the cataract removed and still no improvement in the vision.

    He went in today to his NEW surgeon (that seems to be great). Unlike Dr. Thomas Ciulla in Indianapolis). His surgeon that performed the cataract surgery recommended a new retinal specialist and he see’s him on Monday. They are thinking there is tissue on the macula that is possibly causing the vision loss now. Everything on the front side of the eye is fine but the back side of the eye seems to be the issue now. His vision is at 20/70 and has to be at 20/40 for him to do his job.

    Is this not being able to see out of the center of your eye normal and correctable? This has been going on since August 2011 (so 10 months) and we can not afford to have him lose his job due to not being able to pass the DOT physical.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 23:00h, 16 June Reply

      Dear Deanda,

      This seems to be an ongoing situation. Macular detachments are tricky. Be glad there is hope for improvement, re: tissue on the macula that may be contributing to vision loss.

      Fingers crossed!


  • Carol Williams
    Posted at 21:35h, 08 July Reply

    I had a total retinal detachment. I was told it was probably detached for weeks before surgery. My surgery was on June 4th and silicone oil was used because I needed to fly 2 weeks later. My eye is still dilated and I have very blurry hazy vision. The dr. says the retina looks good, but it is still red. He says in 90 days we will remove the oil. It that when I should be able to see? I am concerned about by vision because friends who have had the detachment and they had gas had vision by this time. Any suggestions?

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 13:05h, 19 July Reply

      Dear Carol,

      Silicone oil works the same way as gas, but does not get absorbed. Your friends couldn’t see with gas in their eye, but did regain sight after the gas had absorbed.

      In neither case, gas or oil, is return of vision guaranteed once the agent is absorbed (gas) or removed (oil). The biggest prognostic variables with your vision returning are; 1. length of the detachment 2. whether the macula was detached and 3. present health of the macula.

      In short, you’ll have to wait to see if removing the oil will improve your vision. There is a test called a PAM (Potential Acuity Meter). It’s a piece of equipment commonly found in many eye doctors’ offices – especially docs who perform cataract surgery. It may give you an estimate of your vision.


  • Jacinta Faber
    Posted at 18:32h, 28 July Reply

    Hello Again,
    I wanted to give a bit more information. I also received a gas bubble along with the scleral buckle surgery. Also I ordered a new glasses prescription two weeks after my surgery then had the second tear. I have progressive lenses. Prior to the detachment I wore contacts employing monovision. I don’t know it any of this would help in your answer. But thanks again for caring.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 11:39h, 31 July Reply


      Doesn’t add much to my previous answer. Scleral buckles, by the way, don’t have to stay in place forever!


  • Margee Mougey
    Posted at 12:44h, 23 August Reply

    Thanks for your reply on March 30th. Since the surgery to remove the scleral buckle wasn’t a success, my retiana doctor sent me to an opthamologist that specialises in the muscles of the eye. He examined me and found that my eyes were perfectly aligned, however the lense that was implanted during cataract surgery prior to the retinal detachment was only covering 3/4 of my cornea. The opthamologist wanted to replace the lense, but since my vision is so poor anyway, my retina doctor thought that correcting my vision only slightly would not benefit me and the ghost image would still be there. He decided to take the lense out completely thinking that if I had no vision that there would be no ghost image. I am two days post op and you guessed it….I still have a ghost image. They tried fitting me with a prism earlier and it didn’t work – I’m sure it was due to the toric lense implant being out of place, but maybe that was only part of the problem. Now……I have no lense, no vision and I still have a ghost image. As Liam said in an earlier post, if I could just get rid of this ghost image, I could get back to some sort of normal life. My retina doctor thinks that if they fit me with a contact that would blurr my vision completely (so that there was no image) that it would take care of the problem?? Does that make any sense?? Where do I go from here? Three and a half years of this curse and no solution :/
    Thanks for your kind responses.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 08:03h, 28 August Reply

      Dear Margee,

      Wow. My suggestion is to try an “aphakic” contact lens. This lens will make up for the absence of the implant and cover your cornea completely….I think it might be worth trying as a diagnostic tool. If the ghosting remains….than it may be permanent, but it is a solution to determine why ghosting is occurring.



  • Margee Mougey
    Posted at 12:48h, 28 August Reply

    Hi Dr Wong,
    Thanks for your response. I will tell my doctor about the “aphakic” contact lense. How is that type of lense unique to any other type of contact lense? To be clear on what you are suggesting….correct the vision with the aphakic contact and then try a prism to align the image with my other eye? The image is below and at an angle from my other eye.
    I was so nervous about doing anything to permanently reduce the vision in that eye… if anything happens to my good eye, then I would not be able to see enough to get around at all, which is pretty much where I’m at right now :/ Thanks again for taking time to respond to my posts….I know it must be very frustrating to try and give people advise with such limited information. I truly admire you for the kind efforts.


    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 08:36h, 03 September Reply


      An aphakic contact lens is merely a super strong lens to make up for your absent natural lens. Looking at it…you can’t tell.


  • Isabella belkinA
    Posted at 21:21h, 28 September Reply

    My father had retina detachment surgery a few days ago. Apparently he bled and now the bubble has dried blood inside of it. He cannot see at all from that eye. Ccould it be due to the blood buildup? He was already legally blind before the surgery. His ophthalomist said for him to come see him in a week ( once the retina has attached) and he will work on getting rid of the dried blood plus fix the slight cataracts that he has developed from this surgery. Will waiting a week before doing anything make the eye see worse with the dried blood in there? Do you think his vision will get better ones the blood is removed? Please help ! I don’t want my father to go blind. 🙁

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 13:05h, 02 October Reply

      Dear Isabella,

      There is no way for me to determine what is going on, but make sure your father keeps his appointments.


  • Eileen
    Posted at 10:30h, 26 October Reply

    I saw my opthomalogist in mid-March of 2012, and he discovered a small cataract in my right eye. Two weeks later, I developed a partial retinal detachment. I had a victrectomy performed by a Retinal Surgeon in Syracuse in early April. All healed well but my vision is now 20/2400 (I can only see the large E on the eye chart). Of course, as expected, my cataract grew and now I am scheduled for cataract surgery the end of November. What should I expect for recovery? How soon can I return to work (computer work all day)? The doctor does not expect that my vision will be anywhere near what it was before (20/30) but feels that the cataract removal may allow more light into the eye to brighten my sight. Your thoughts?

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 12:05h, 30 October Reply

      Dear Eileen,

      If your central vision was never affected by the retinal detachment, I’d expect full recovery to at least the vision you had prior to the retinal operation.

      I’d be pretty optimistic about improved vision if the macula was never involved.

      In my opinion, you should be able to return to “visual” work as soon as you can see.

      Good luck to you!


  • Danny
    Posted at 12:19h, 26 October Reply

    Dear Dr. Wong I had 2 retinal tear repaired August 27 2012 . Silicone oil was placed in my eye and i also have Kertacones vision has been corrected to 20/60 for distance but up close is like looking thru a glass block . I can only see good with hard contacts. Is the oil causing my blurred vision up close with my glasses on. I know the Kertacones may be my problem but Im getting worried can this be corrected with contacts after the oil comes out. I drive a Big Brown truck and deliver packages for 28 year. My family needs me for support. Ive got to see 20/40 soon. Thankyou Danny

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 12:08h, 30 October Reply

      Dear Danny,

      Both the keratoconus and oil can indeed blur your vision. I can’t tell how likely one is playing a part over the other or whether there is an equal contribution.

      The only real way to know is after/when the oil is removed.


  • Jim
    Posted at 19:09h, 17 November Reply

    Dr Wong,

    I had a retinal detachment on the 27 of October, I was told it was large tear horseshoe shaped in the top right part of my left eye. It did not get to the center of my vision, just lower right part of the left eye 3-8. I had the cryo surgery and a bubble. It was healing fine and I was back to work a week later, then on Nov 10th I had another detachment in a different spot in the 1-3 area and had the same surgery on the 12th. I was told it was a smaller detachment adjacent to the original one.
    I was again given the cryo and the bubble, the next day I was told I could go back to work with no restrictions.
    Do you think I am being sent off with no restrictions too soon after these surgeries? I really do not want to have this happen again. I am only 43, but I had cataract surgery 3 years ago on the eye and LRI as well at the same time. Ever since that surgery I have occasionally experienced a ‘small drop’ of bright white running up the other side of the eye from where the detachments were. This is still occurring.
    I am scheduled for a follow up on the 26th.

    Thank you.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 08:19h, 21 November Reply


      Really difficult to say. Unless you were given specific head-positioning instructions, I’d recommend listening to your doctore re: physical limitations.


  • Vlora Palmer
    Posted at 15:33h, 03 December Reply

    Hi. My husband (middle aged white male) had a two retinal detachments in his left eye almost a year ago. Post the 2nd surgery (scleral buckle with oil), he had gained back to 20/60 vision in the affected eye. A few weeks before he was set to go in to have the oil removed, he lost vision again – but no additional detachment. Have you heard of anything like this? The doctors are baffled as to why he lost vision after having getting back to 20/60. The oil was removed in May of this year. Still no central vision though (some pockets of vision around the edges, but mostly just dark).

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 06:42h, 07 December Reply

      Dear Vlora,

      Can’t say from here, but I would consider asking the opinion of a neuro-ophthalmologist.


  • R Sefecka
    Posted at 14:40h, 04 December Reply

    I had scleral buckle surgery a few weeks ago for a partially detached retina
    I was told this was a routine proceedure. However when the Dr. took of the bandgage the next day I had on vision in the eye. I have been to some of the top Dr.’s in New York and had countless tests run including and MRI. No one knows the reason why my vision is gone. One Dr. suggested a loss of blood flow to the back fo the eye or a possible stroke
    I have been told this is extremely rare. Have you had any expereince with or seen this in your practice?

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 06:14h, 07 December Reply

      Dear R. Sefecka,

      I don’t know your exact situation from a clinical standpoint, but yes, loss of blood flow can happen, but is rare.

      I wish you all the best and am sorry I can not help you more than conjecture.


  • Margee Mougey
    Posted at 10:17h, 31 January Reply

    Hi Dr Wong,

    I have been communicating with you for a couple of years now and I value your opinion. In my last post, my retina doctor took out my lense implant in hopes that my ghost image would go away and of course it didn’t it is not as pronounced, but still there. He sent me to an optometrist who tried to fit me with a black out contact. My eyes are so sensitive that I couldn’t tolerate the contact. I found an opthamologist thru google that specializes in prisms and muscles of the eye. He said that the muscle that is holding the retina in place is supposed to he horizontal but is so off, that it is almost verticle. He said that he thought he could help me by repairing the muscle and he still may have to fit me with a prism, but would be able to put the lense implant back in if he got rid of the ghost image. My retina doctor didn’t think that it would work. He said it is just not that simple. He said that by pulling the muscle back up where it belonged would also move the rest of my eye and then cause other problems. I really don’t know what to think or who to trust??? My retina doctor said it would be worth a try, but I’m not sure if I would be any worse off than I am now…. My retina doctor said that he would call the opthamologist but neither of them seem to want to communicate with the other. I am very frustrated….looking for your input….

    Thanks in advance,
    Margee Mougey

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 05:19h, 02 February Reply


      This is really complicated. Not sure if you are having ghosting or true double vision. I wish I could be of more help, but I’d really have to examine you.


  • DeAndra Carter
    Posted at 14:19h, 15 March Reply

    I originally posted on June, 2012 and as of now March, 2013 there is still no change in vision and my husband has been reassigned to a new role within his company that has reduced his income by 40%. Not a good situation at all but at least he has a job. The new retinal specialist was concerned because the first surgeon, Thomas Ciulla MD (Harvard educated and practicing in Indianapolis) did not take care of a couple of the complications immediately. He said it may or may not have changed the outcome but they should have had immediate attention. The second group of physicians have been awesome and so different than the first but have not been able to help much with any improvement to his vision. We have another appt. coming up again soon (just a routine check up) and will be asking a lot of questions about any possible actions to take at this point. My husband’s vision is still 20/90 in the damaged eye and it has to be 20/40 which obviously isn’t going to happen at this point. Just thought I’d follow up so others can be careful of going to this surgeon in Indy. His office is more like a cattle call than a care center.

    Original post: “We have had a terrible exp. with a Harvard educated retinal specialist in Indianapolis. He did 3 surgeries, never told us anything and now my husband is LOSING his job due to his vision loss. He has to have 20/40 and his vision is FAR from that. He had a retinal detachment that supposedly healed nicely but than the surgeon said Ooops there’s more tears lets go back in and then we had to go back in to remove the bubble.

    After those three surgeries, he developed a cataract (which was NOT discussed as one of the NORMAL complications). He had the cataract removed and still no improvement in the vision.

    He went in today to his NEW surgeon (that seems to be great). Unlike Dr. Thomas Ciulla in Indianapolis). His surgeon that performed the cataract surgery recommended a new retinal specialist and he see’s him on Monday. They are thinking there is tissue on the macula that is possibly causing the vision loss now. Everything on the front side of the eye is fine but the back side of the eye seems to be the issue now. His vision is at 20/70 and has to be at 20/40 for him to do his job.

    Is this not being able to see out of the center of your eye normal and correctable? This has been going on since August 2011 (so 10 months) and we can not afford to have him lose his job due to not being able to pass the DOT physical.”

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 07:37h, 24 March Reply


      I am posting this for several reasons;

      1. Retinal detachments and resultant vision are often compromised despite “success.” Often success is in terms of re-attachment though it may not correlate to full restoration of vision, as in this case.

      2. I’m not sure I know enough to determine whether or not a mistake may have been made and won’t comment, but I’ve found that frustration often builds when results are not attained as hoped….and there is poor communication. Both sides can be faulted, but doctors are horrible at explaining situations so patients can understand and patients often don’t ask the right questions.

      It sounds as if there may be hope of removing an ERM that has developed after the initial surgery.

      Fingers crossed! Good luck! Let us know.


      Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Ophthalmologist, Retina Specialist
      Fairfax, Virginia

  • Jenny
    Posted at 15:44h, 12 April Reply

    Dr. Wong,

    I had a scleral buckle surgery to my right eye January 22nd. After about 3 or 4 weeks post op my vision began to improve (still worse than before the surgery) but correctable with new glasses. I am now nearly 3 months post op and am having decreased vision in my right eye, with hazing peripheral vision. Is this typical or could I have the start of another detachment? I hope to see my ophthalmologist within the next week, but as he is not a retina specialist and will need to re-referral me I would appreciate any insight you might have.

    Thank you!

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 09:14h, 23 April Reply

      Dear Jenny,

      Hope you are well. Cataract or retinal detachment is possible, though the symptoms are usually distinct.

      You probably have already seen your doc….

      Let us know.


  • Bill G
    Posted at 12:27h, 30 April Reply

    Hi Dr. Wong,

    I’m 43 years old. I’m blind in right eye due to congenital cataract and detached retina around age 8. Left eye – cataract removed in Feb 1986. In May 1986, retina detached left eye. Scleral buckle done. No problems for 27 years. 20/20 vision with glasses. Considering having a Glued IOL OS. tentatively scheduled for July 2013. I know what’s at stake given I only have one eye, but I’m told the risk is small, but there is a risk of complications. What I can’t seem to get from the doctors is some context for the risk, i.e. I’m going to fly to Cancun this October for a conference, there’s a risk that the plane will crash and I can evaluate that risk. I have some context around it. Here I don’t know what “small” risk means. Been to my retina specialist, he referred me to the cornea doctor. No one is stopping me but they also keep making sure that I understand that there is a risk. I know they are doing what they are supposed to do, but can you put this risk in some sort of context that I can get in terms of likelihood. Back in ’86, they told me that no way should I get an implant. It seems that the tune has changed, but my retina and cornea doctors are so much telling me it’s okay to have this surgery as they are not standing in my way. Given my history, should someone be standing in my way????


    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 16:27h, 11 May Reply

      Dear Bill G,

      Not sure to what you are referring with regard to the Glued IOL in OS. Do you mean that you are about to consider an intraocular lens and that you are aphakic (having no lens) presently?

      Your risks change now that you are an adult and technology has improved since 1986.

      I agree that the risk is small… for liability reasons, everyone wants to make sure you understand the risks. I’d estimate about a 1-2% chance of retinal detachment and about 1:2000 or 1:3000 of blinding infection.


      Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Retina Specialist
      Fairfax, Virginia

  • Henry
    Posted at 01:38h, 04 May Reply

    I had surgery two year ago for retina detachment
    I went throw two surgery’s and optical lense implant I haven’t seen my doctor due loss of medical insurance
    My vision is getting any better my pupal is not round and my vision a little wavy and cloudy
    Will it ever get better.

  • Bill G
    Posted at 08:10h, 12 May Reply

    Dr. Wong

    Thanks for your reply. I guess Glued IOS is a relatively new kind of lens implant where rather than suture the lens in, they use glue made from blood products. And yes I have no lens currently and apparently because of my cataract surgery was done (1986), they did it differently than how they do it today. I think what the doctor said is I have less “scaffolding” to hold the implant and so even if they were going to suture it in, they would have to do it differently than they would if my cataract was taken out today.

    If you’re curious, here’s a link to an article about glued iOS:

    Thanks again

  • Bill G
    Posted at 10:24h, 13 May Reply

    Dr. Wong,

    I have a contact and have worn it for years. Over the last several years, it’s become more and more uncomfortable (gas permeable). Probably just need to commit to wearing it more regularly again.

    Can you give me some insight into the difference between the proposed procedure and an anterior chamber IOL and what makes me too young?

  • Pankaj Patel
    Posted at 06:50h, 27 May Reply

    I had Retinal Detachment probably retina off on 26th March.I has scelar buckle placed in left eye on 30th March 2013 with no gas bubble or silicon oil. The vision is still not very clear. When I look from left eye(one with buckle), I see ojects small and distant. Also the vision is slightly bend. Vision is hazy and cloudy. The doctor attributed this to some liquid in eye which I really dont know. On 13th May, My doctor checked vision and prescribed glasse with vision 6/12.
    Sir, Pl advise me on whether the condition I mentioned above will be removed over a period of time and will I have a better vision

  • deb m.
    Posted at 15:06h, 07 August Reply

    had retina detachment surgery it has been a whole month I now have wavy lines and strange letters that are of different sizes is this normal after surgery

  • Peter S.
    Posted at 12:35h, 03 January Reply

    Hi Dr. Wong,
    Thanks for creating this site. Very helpful.
    Not sure you can provide a great response—-but here’s my question.
    I had a detached retina in August of 2013 — successfully “fixed” via a vitrectomy, laser, and recuperation.
    Now the vision in that eye is kind of peculiar….I can see remarkably well at close range. But anything out past 6 inches starts to blur.
    When I use both eyes my “good” eye seems to compensate — although the overall effect is a bit ghosty. I can drive okay, so it’s not totally debilitating.
    I got a new prescription for distance from my optometrist —- and ordered some $99 glasses from Warby Parker. Had to return them —- it made my vision cross-eyed and distorted. I could not wear them at all.
    My surgeon says I am healing / am healed. He suggests going to another eye doctor — not just an optometrist.
    From your experience are they going to be able to help me? I know it’s hard to have a good opinion when you don’t know the entire story — but what is possible for my situation?


    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 14:53h, 04 January Reply

      Peter S.,

      I think you have some degree of anisometropia – one eye needs a much stronger prescription than the other. The eyes can usually tolerate some limited difference between each eye, but if too much, our brain can’t tolerate the difference. It’s probably why your new glasses from Warby Parker don’t feel right.

      Following scleral buckles, there are two usual factors contributing to the increased myopia; elongation of the eye from the buckle and cataract.

      You might consider an evaluation with either a general ophthalmologist or pediatric ophthalmologist.


      Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Retina Specialist
      Fairfax, Virginia 22030

  • tanveer
    Posted at 23:47h, 13 August Reply

    i lossed my left eye vision due to retina detachment in an accident ,can i get my eye sight back.nearly 3 mts has passed for my surgery so please guide me

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 17:27h, 17 August Reply


      Really can’t advise. I don’t have the ability to examine you…I am so sorry.


  • MJ
    Posted at 19:35h, 21 September Reply

    29 July 14, I had a detached retina, treatment consisted of Scleral Buckle, laser and gas bubble. About 4 weeks into recovery, there was a short period of time that I could see my pulse in my surgery eye, whether it was open or closed. I had my final visit with the surgeon 3 Sep 14. My vision has been improving gradually each week, but I am waiting for further healing before I have new prescription lenses. Today my vision in the effected eye seems significantly worse and I experienced seeing my pulse in my surgery eye for a short period of time again. Can you explain why I would see my pulse beating in my eye?

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 21:51h, 03 October Reply


      My first thought is your eye is throbbing (from your pulse) due to your eye moving from tissue in your orbit (eye socket) pulsing.

      Make sense?


  • Jesse H
    Posted at 17:03h, 17 January Reply

    Hi I’m a 39 year old male who has/had cystoid macular edema, coats disease, and exudative retinal detachment. Basically, I had some leaky blood vessels causing fluid to get in the layers of my retina making distorted vision. Initial treatment was four injections over four months (Avastin I think). Also did a laser treatment to zap those blood vessels. That didn’t help so then I had vitrectomy surgery on 11/29. From what I understand he lasered my retina down, lasered blood vessels, and put in a new ocular lens. I had to follow the a recovery process for a couple weeks but it wasn’t near as stringent for someone who had a full detachment. Last week, 1/11, I had a checkup. My vision in my left had improved a bit compared to a couple weeks after surgery but not much I don’t think. Still very, very blurry. My doc retired on 1/1 so I’m seeing a new retina specialist. Anyway she did a YAG on my new lens and prescribed some steroid drops, prednisoLONE acetate 1 % ophthalmic suspension for a week. She also took another series of pictures (no idea what it’s called) and said we’d go over next appointment, on 2/4, unless she sees something urgent. I’m now 7 weeks post surgery. A couple days ago I woke up to my eyesight seeming a fair amount different. Before that day things seemed like they were on the edge of double vision but not really. Now I do have a bit of double vision. Also the waviness to lines seems to be greater than it was (I think). Could this change in vision actually be good, and healing? Or cause for concern? I messaged my doc this same info asking for her thoughts though I know the whole department is swamped since my previous doc retired and they haven’t hired a replacement yet. She was 90 minutes behind last Friday when I was there. That was at 9am! Thank you!

    • Randall Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 03:16h, 28 February Reply


      I wish I could advise you, but I can’t as I have no ability to examine you. Follow your doc’s advice. r

  • maggie
    Posted at 20:03h, 26 January Reply

    I had a retinal tear 2 1/2 weeks ago which they tried to fix with laser surgery. About ten minutes in the doctor said it’s detached. He injected a gas bubble and two days later tried the laser again. He said it worked. I went back 2 days later and he did more laser. Three days later I noticed a million tiny black specs and a dark “smudge” where the laser was performed. At first he thought another tear, but then decided it was old blood and did laser again! Now I find out the “smudge” is permanent loss of vision due to the effects of the laser. I also now have huge grey seaweed-like floaters in my central vision. Will this all clear up because it makes it hard to see. Also, if laser destroys your vision why is he doing so many?!!

    • Randall Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 03:05h, 28 February Reply


      Can’t really comment because I can’t examine you. Follow your docs recommendations. r

  • Satish
    Posted at 11:43h, 12 February Reply

    not able to see after one month of retinal detachment surgery.feels only light & dark nothing else.can my vision returns back or not i m very worried. my procedure done is first gas treatment but not succeed next surgery like buckle and silicone oil insertion.but not able to see.My doctor said your retina has attached so why i m not able to see …

    • Randall Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 02:59h, 28 February Reply


      Please see my other response to your same question. EVen if your retina is reattached, there may be permanent vision loss. r

  • Satish
    Posted at 06:18h, 13 February Reply

    not able to see after one month of retinal detachment surgery.feels only light & dark nothing else.can my vision returns back or not i m very worried. my procedure done is first gas treatment but not succeed next surgery like buckle and silicone oil insertion.but not able to see.My doctor said your retina has attached so why i m not able to see …

    • Randall Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 02:59h, 28 February Reply


      Even if your retina is attached, there may be permanent vision loss. r

  • David
    Posted at 03:06h, 29 April Reply

    Six weeks after uneventful cataract surgery at age 54, I got a retinal tear with slight detachment at 11:30 – 1:00. Treated quickly with retinopexy and argon laser. I am at near week 3 with healing and can see to about 80 – 90% acuity but with some variable glare and white cobweb floaters. I am in good health but slightly obese. How long does it take for know end result of acuity? (is it 6 – 8 weeks like soft tissue healing?). I am a dental specialist who works with millimeter precision, using microscopes and very bright lights. Prognosis was “good” by my treating physician(s). I could not work the first 2 weeks and only did minor consults and post-operative examines last week (third week of healing). I do not currently have acuity to do fine detailed procedures at this time. When should I expect maximal healing? Is it possible I might have future permanent distortion that would preclude me from continuing in my career? Thanks.

    • Randall Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 18:50h, 20 August Reply

      Sorry for the late response. Vision usually returns quickly in my experience, especially if the macula was not involved. Otherwise, I’m not able to be more precise without the ability to examine you.


  • Linda
    Posted at 09:38h, 12 June Reply

    I had detached retina surgery x2 when after the first tear it re-detached because of a tear in different spot 10 mo. later. First surgeon lazered the tear and the results were very good. The second surgeon layered around the entire eye. My last surgery was about 6 weeks ago and my vision is not so good. I see ghost images, smaller, distorted and can’t read or drive without my eyes crossing. My doc said everything looks great with the retina and thinks all of my vision will still get better. Do you think I have any chance my vision will improve as far as the distortion, ghost, ect. Thank you

    • Randall Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 18:44h, 20 August Reply

      Sorry for the long delay in responding. Hopefully, your vision has improved. It’s possible you developed a cataract during all of the surgery, but especially if gas were used at some point.


  • Tom Martin
    Posted at 23:34h, 04 July Reply

    I had surgery about three weeks ago for a cartrack followed by a surgery to close a small hole in my retina…apparently there’s some bleeding in my right eye that prevents the surgeon from seeing if the hole is closed…Everything is still blurry except when I first wake up in the morning I can actually read the CC on the tv…but it gets cloudy after being up for awhile…Is this normal?

    • Randall Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 18:13h, 20 August Reply

      Your symptoms sound like you are describing a vitreous hemorrhage? If so, I’d expect you to slowly improve.


  • Brendon
    Posted at 10:10h, 29 September Reply

    I had a phacovitrectomy 5 weeks ago. Things seems to be going well but my eye sight was better last week that today.

    I have printed out an eye chart and last week I could read really well. Today I can’t read as far down the chart.

    Is it common for eyesight to fluctuate in the early days?

    • Randall Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 21:05h, 20 May Reply

      Probably healing of your cornea? That’s my best guess. The curvature of the cornea has tremendous influence on the power of the glasses you require.


  • Erica payne
    Posted at 07:16h, 01 October Reply

    Hello, so my question is. Had buckle in 2014. Dr. Did great. I get it checked once a year. Just had full check up on September 1st. All was amazing and got new glasses and contacts.

    Well tonight i fell asleep laying on my stomach. I been super sick after a cruise. I guess my hands were over and pushed on my eye ( the special one). Now vision is blurry and it was painful. It has no black or spots just SUPER blurry. No pain..

    I pay for him out of pocket. Should i be concerned? Did i break the buckle??

    I am so scaree right now.


    • Randall Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 20:56h, 20 May Reply

      Sorry for the delay. Perhaps you scratched your cornea?


  • Vishal Shah
    Posted at 09:18h, 02 October Reply

    Hi i underwent buckle surgery for retina detachment and then vitrectomy as retina opened within 3 weeks. after surgery i had high ocular pressure which was controlled with drops now even though i jave normal pressure i experience blackout in my operated eye for 5-10 sec when i get up after sleeping or sitting. is it something for me to worry ?

    Thanking you in Advance

    • Randall Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 20:57h, 20 May Reply

      Not uncommon if pressure is elevated in that eye. Make sure your doctor is aware.


  • Emily
    Posted at 20:18h, 03 October Reply

    My mom’s retina was about 65% detached when she got surgery. A month later, she got cataract laser in her other eye to prevent the same thing happening. It’s been more than 6 months and her vision in both eyes has gotten worse. Her eye from the surgery is really bad, she sees everything extremely blurry. Her other eye is okay but also a little blurry. She is schedules to get a second surgery. Will that help her situation or will it keep getting worse and worse?

    • Randall Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 20:47h, 20 May Reply

      Really can’t say over comment. It’s not uncommon to develop cataracts following retinal detachment surgery especially if gas was used. Blurriness may indeed be due to cataract. All the best to your mom. Randy

  • A.R Gori
    Posted at 11:10h, 04 October Reply

    Dear Doctor,
    I had a retina Detachment,Horse shoe tear on 4th June and a surgery done on 11 june with Secleral buckling and Silicone Oil.In few days Doctor said Retina attached .I was myopic earlier and after surgery of right eye in 4 weeks i had glasses prescribed and had distant and near vision though very much Blurred.Doctor said the blurriness was due to the Silicon oil inside.
    the power of the right eye operated earlier was -7 which became Zero after Retinal surgery and to -3 after 2 months, though again with blurred vision in that eye.Now since 3 weeks my vision in that eye is very bad meaning nothing is clear.Especially the sight in the centre is Hazy/Black Smoky.This is same for distaant and Near vision aand Near vision letters just cant be understood at all.
    Doctor says I have Mild Cataract.
    In November (5 months after Retina surgery) the Silicone oil will be removed along with Cataract surgery too in that Eye.
    I am very concerned with the Vision loss now, ESPECIALLY after once improving just after surgery but worsening now?
    Can it be just because of Cataract..Or..should we expect something else?Kindly advise.

    • Randall Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 20:55h, 20 May Reply

      I advise you listen to your doctor as I can not examine you, but everything you mention could be from cataract.


  • mike lorenzo
    Posted at 05:14h, 08 October Reply

    after vitreous hemorrhage surgery in my left eye, there will be a change to go back my vision in 20/20? if going back how long? thanks in advance❤️

    • Randall Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 21:47h, 09 May Reply

      Should not be a change in your refraction, but depending upon the cause of the vitreous hemorrhage, your vision may not return.


  • Anantha K Devarajan
    Posted at 08:04h, 21 October Reply

    Hi Dr. Wong

    Thanks for your answers extremely helpful.

    I had vitrectomy with gas bubble for a giant retinal tear 3 weeks ago and the surgeon believes there was no macular involvement. However although my vision appears to be improving in the affected eye, it seems to be better when I am looking down but appears blurry when I lift my head up. Is this normal? Do you know if this is due to the position of the bubble?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Randall Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 21:49h, 09 May Reply

      Hope, by now, after a long delay in responding, but the bubble could indeed be causing a lot of your symptoms.


  • Rich Henderson
    Posted at 19:23h, 21 October Reply

    I had 4 detach retina surgeries in the past year, one in each quadrant (Scleral Buckle, 2 vitrectomy, laser and gas bubble) I also had a cataract removed which was the result of the surgeries. Remarkably my vision is not too bad 20/30 but I have a condition where I have a lot of light simmering and sparkles when I go from light into a dark room. My doctor said it likely due to the laser and may subside over time. Have you come across this and is there anything else I can do to correct the problem?

    • Randall Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 20:49h, 20 May Reply

      I”d have to agree with your doctor. Patience. Heed his/her advice. All the best and sorry for the long delay. Randy

  • David
    Posted at 14:06h, 01 November Reply

    I have had a series of retina problems in right eye since early August. First small tear, laser repaired by retina specialist. Two weeks later 2 tears, repaired same way. Then, late August retinal hemorrhage. Just as this was beginning to clear in mid-December, I got a detachment. Specialist said I caught it early and he was able to do surgery within a day or two: scleral buckle, vitrectomy, detachment repair with laser, and silicone oil tamponade for about 10 weeks. Head down position and sleeping on The worst part about the oil is sleep deprivation. Not a very sound sleeper at best, I can only sleep on right or left side and wake up a lot. No sleeping on back because of danger of oil to front of eye. Seeing through oil is not to bad, blurry periods through day, but some very clear. In last few days about 6 weeks after surgery, I have been seeing a “dent” in horizontal lines. This seemed to come out of nowhere. I talked to technician at retina institute. They said probably due to oil. Do you agree with that or could there be some other process at work here? Appreciate your dedication to patients with this website.

    • Randall Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 20:39h, 20 April Reply

      Not sure I can tell you the cause of the distortion other than it is definitely related to the retinal detachment and perhaps not the surgery or silicone oil. r

  • David
    Posted at 14:08h, 01 November Reply

    Sorry I had surgery in mid-September. The planned follow-up surgery for oil removal is tentatively mid-December.

    • Randall Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 20:40h, 20 April Reply

      Hope you are well and distortion is no longer an issue. r

  • Dulcie
    Posted at 17:57h, 01 November Reply

    My husband only has one eye since he was 6 years old, he had a RD on Feb. 3, he had the buckel, laser, silicone oil and air bubble. now in Nov. his vision is still like looking through plastic wrap, blurry. MD does not know why, help? please

    • Randall Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 20:35h, 20 April Reply

      Sorry for the delay. How is your husband doing now? It’s impossible for me to assess blurry vision after retinal detachment surgery over the Internet, btw. Randy

  • Patric Crigler
    Posted at 05:09h, 11 November Reply

    Hi doctor, I had a question, I had scleral buckle, and vitrectomy, everything is holding but was told I have a small amount t of pvr, my vision is slowly returning but images are bigger than other eye, some my couple questions are if I get surgery to remove scar tissue would that help vision and 2 would I be able to remove scleral buckle down the road giving time for eye to heal more if I need surgery for erm

  • Scott
    Posted at 23:04h, 20 November Reply

    Approximately 9 years ago, I had cataract surgery in my right eye. This August, that lens became displaced and I had to have it replaced. Then about five weeks later, I suffered a macula-off RD in the same eye. A Pneumatic Retinopexy with laser was performed that reattached the retina. It has now been six weeks since the surgery. The gas bubble though 60% dissipated is still present. I do have vision in this eye, but objects are distorted, lines are wavy and their is micropsia. Will this improve over time? What can I expect? Thank you for any information you can provide.

    • Randall Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 21:13h, 16 December Reply


      Anything can happen:

      1. Complete restoration
      2. Persistent blurriness
      3. Persistent distortion
      4. Retina detaches again

      Keep close contact to your doctor. Randy

  • Eric
    Posted at 12:34h, 27 November Reply

    28 year old with myopia. Right eye mild retinal detachment 3 years ago that stabilized on its own and has not required surgery. Left eye detachment 2 weeks ago that was partial and didnt cross the center. My ophthalmologist rushed to send me to a specialist that day because it was progressing quickly to the center line. Retinal specialist agreed it was detatched but put surgery off for 24 hours. At the time of surgery, it had progressed past the center line and involved 75% of the retina. Vitrectomy with silicon oil placed. 260 degrees of the retina lasered (surgeon said too much trauma to do the other 100 degrees at that time). 2 weeks post vitrectomy about 70% of field of vision has returned with only the periphery on one side missing. Massive strip of severe distortion in a slanted vertical line taking up 20% of the field of vision right in the middle of my field of view. My retina surgeon is amazing, but a poor communicator. I have to dig every little detail out of him. He said the distortion is permanent and wouldn’t give a reason for it when pressed.
    1. What could be causing this massive distortion?
    2. Is there any cause of distortion that can be fixed at this stage?
    3. He wants to remove silicon oil in a few months depending on checkup results, laser the other 100 degrees of the left eye, and laser the retina of the right eye at the same time. Is it advisable to do both procedures at once? I have good vision (with contacts) in right eye and dont want to lose it too.

    • Randall Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 20:54h, 20 May Reply

      1. Perhaps your macula was detached? Just guessing.

      2. Usually can’t be fixed if related to retinal detachment – you really need to ask your doctor.

      3. I can’t advise you properly about the right eye, I’ve never seen it, but I imagine your doctor has a strong reason for doing both at the same time.


  • sayeed
    Posted at 10:49h, 03 December Reply

    had retinal detachment surgery 3 months ago long lasting f=gas was used vision after 3 months still blur did a cataract form immediately

    • Randall Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 21:00h, 16 December Reply


      It certainly happens, but glad to hear your retina is remaining in good shape?


    • Randall Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 21:19h, 16 December Reply

      Yes. It can happen. Hope your retina stays attached. Randy

  • Phillip
    Posted at 06:44h, 19 January Reply

    Hi Dr. Wong,

    I appreciate all the information and efforts you’ve made in helping out those with eye-related disorders.

    A bit about my background…I’m 38 years old and have had -9.0 vision for probably the past 10 years. I have a family history of retina-related problems with my at least 3 people in my family having either retina tears or retina detachments. I live a fairly active lifestyle and weight train often about 4 – 5 times a week. In June 2019, I started to supplement my workout regimen with creatine monohydrate for the first time in my life. Naturally, my level of ATP increased and I was able to push more weight. Meanwhile, I experienced water retention in my body which is a byproduct of creatine usage.

    On Sept 9, 2019 I was diagnosed with a retinal tear in my right eye and it was sealed with laser retinopexy by a Fellow (Trainee) at the Retina Center I attended. The lead Ophthalmologist at the Center checked his work after the surgery was conducted and said everything was done properly. Prior to the surgery, I experienced all the typical symptoms like a flurry of floaters and black dots in my vision. After the surgery, the vision in my right eye seemed somewhat blurry even after it healed 2 to 3 weeks later. My vision in the affected eye is best described as seeing halos when looking at lights and I suppose some minor blurriness.

    In late Sept 2019, I resumed normal duties and was back in the gym again with my typical weight training regimen (4 to 5 days a week). I decided to taper off of creatine and completely discontinued the supplement by 3rd week of Oct 2019.

    On Nov 8, 2019 I went back to see the lead Ophthalmologist as a follow up and he said everything had healed well and looked fine. I also did an OCT (Optimal Coherence Tomography) and everything looked fine. I mentioned to him my vision was slightly blurry with a bit of halo after the laser retinopexy to seal my original tear, and he seemed to find that unusual.

    On Dec 30, 2019 I went back to the lead Ophthalmologist as I was seeing flashes of light, an onset of much more floaters and a dark curtain covering 25% of my periphery vision. Instantly, I was diagnosed with a detached retina, but only on the periphery of the retina with no detachment of the macula. I had surgery right away and received cryotherapy and pneumatic retinopexy treatment. I went home and the next day I saw the lead Ophthalmologist and he said my retina was successfully reattached and he conducted additional laser retinopexy to further prevent the retina from detaching again.

    It has been 2 weeks since the retina reattachment surgery was conducted and the gas bubble in my eye is fully gone. My vision is pretty good and is likely in the same condition it was once after I had the original laser retinopexy performed. In other words, my vision is pretty good, but I do still see a bit of halo and some slight blurriness.

    I can’t seem to fully comprehend why my retina got detached even though the original retinal tear was sealed back in Sept 2019? Of course I’m trying to prevent this from happening again. I’ve talked to members of my family whom have experienced retina tears before and they all seem to point to the fact that my retina detachment was exacerbated because I was lifting weights and consequently straining my eyes. Furthermore, they believe it has something to do with the fact that I did not see an Ophthalmologist right away when I had my original retinal tear. The reality was I saw an Optometrist first and the referral to an Ophthalmologist took 4 days. Hence, they believe water / moisture from the vitreous gel seeped into my tear before the laser retinopexy repaired it. Furthermore, they suspect that the creatine supplementation had something to do with it as well because it increased water retention throughout my cells and because it increased my ATP, it allowed me to lift even heavier weights than what i normally was capable of. I’ve spoken to all types of eye specialists, and they all tell me that lifting weights or creatine supplementation has no correlation to me having a retinal tear or a retinal detachment. They said it simply has to do with the fact that I am highly myopic and that it genetically runs in my family. Also, the doctors say it could easily be that my vitreous is very “sticky”, so when tears are more susceptible.

    I really don’t know what caused my retinal detachment and I’m left wondering whether or not lifting weights actually puts undue strain on one’s eyes or not. It is odd in the sense I have trained with heavy weights all my life and never had any eye problems whatsoever. Then all of a sudden I take creatine to supplement my workouts and now my retina gets torn and then leads to an attachment. I get the fact that I am older, but I’m not that old to be so fragile I’m thinking. I’m wondering what is the cause…is it truly that related to the creatine usage, the heavy lifting of weights (to give you an idea the type of weight, I bench press 235 lbs and deadlift 300 lbs regularly) or is it possible that the original laser retinopexy that was conducted by the Fellow was simply not done properly?

    Please advise when you have time. I’d really appreciate any insights you can share.

    • Randall Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 22:43h, 01 April Reply

      Dead lifting and retinal detachments, in my opinion, are not related. Follow the directions for your own doctor.


  • diane Mary kendhammer
    Posted at 03:04h, 20 January Reply

    my husband had surgery to get his retina reattached a couple years ago and everything is still blurry even though the doctor said everything has healed correctly. During the surgery the machine they use to put the gas bubble in broke down and there was about an hour before they could get the gas bubble put in. Could that have anything to do with the problem he is having now. We can’t understand how everything has healed nicely but he still can’t see. Thank You

    • Randall Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 22:49h, 01 April Reply

      Healing nicely and visual return for retina are not necessarily related. My guess is that his central vision was affected during the original detachment, but never regained full function despite healing “correctly.”


  • Murray J Plotzker
    Posted at 18:24h, 11 February Reply

    July 3, 2019 I underwent vitrectomy and retinal detachment repair surgery. Immediately after removing the gauze pad at the first followup visit 24 hours later, I noticed extreme distortion of straight lines, ovalled circular objects, loss of blue colors, double vision, decreased focus, tiny black dots, decreased peripheral view and shimmering, reflection-like display in my far right peripheral of the affected right eye.

    Four weeks post-surgery, at a follow-up visit I informed the surgeon that I thought I sensed a small shadow in that right peripheral field. He inspected it and found a tiny, but significant new macular hole and immediately performed a second vitrectomy and retinal repair. All the original symptoms remained 5 weeks later. Dr. prescribed a 3M Fresnel Lens of a power of 5 for inside the right lens of my glasses. He then referred me to a different surgeon in the same department of the hospital. The second surgeon was to remove a cataract and install an IOD and do an epiretinal peel to attempt to repair my various issues and to attend to the diagnosed macular pucker that was causing my double vision and distortion.

    Now, a couple of weeks after this third surgery I have seen a tiny improvement of clarity in the affected eye, albeit intermittent. The distortion has not changed or improved, size relationships of visualized articles are still disproportionately narrowed and dark, plus it takes at least an hour for cloudiness to dissipate from that eye virtually every time I wake from any sleep or nap.

    I’ve had this distorted vision since the first surgery and after weeks and weeks of Prednisilone drops and extreme caution my overall situation has not improved in any satisfactory manner.

    I’m just looking for any ideas that my surgeons may be not looking for.

    Thanks for looking at my description.

    • Randall Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 22:36h, 01 April Reply

      Any time the macula is involved with a retina detachment, distortion and decreased vision, regardless of the “success” of surgery should be anticipated.

      I hope you are doing well with your situation right now.


  • Roberta
    Posted at 17:11h, 27 February Reply

    I had a macula off detached retina a year ago.
    I had gas bubble in my eye.
    My vision remains poor and distorted.
    Is there any hope of ever grtting improved vision

    • Randall Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 03:20h, 01 March Reply

      In my experience, you may not improve much more. This is the problem with macula off retinal detachments.

      I wish I were more optimistic.


  • Roberta
    Posted at 17:25h, 27 February Reply

    I wanted to add to a question I sent.
    I had cataract surgery and a couple of weeks later, I developed macular edema. My doctor gave me drops and told me not to worry about it.
    Unfortunately I didn’t worry when my retina detached because I thought it was just part of the macula edema.
    By the time I got to a retina doctor I had a MAC off detachment.
    It’s been over a year and my vision is still very distorted with wavy lines and micropsia.
    Can this ever get better.
    And I have a cataract in my right eye but I’m afraid of having it removed because I’m afraid of another detached retina
    How can I prevent that from happening.?

    • Randall Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 03:21h, 01 March Reply

      Get examined prior to any anticipated surgery. Cataract surgery can safely be done in the other eye, but be diligent and have a retina specialist take a look before and after surgery due to the history of the other eye.

  • Roberta
    Posted at 22:56h, 15 March Reply

    I appreciate your answering my questions and wondered if I could bother you with one more?
    The retina doctor who did my surgery told me that you can never get the retina back in the right place after a macula off retina detachment.
    She told me then that I should not expect a good result.
    She said it was like peeling off a stamp and then trying to get it back in place. It would be impossible.
    Is that true?
    Is there any way to get the retina in a better position now?

    Posted at 18:09h, 07 May Reply

    I hav e had 2 surgeries on my left eye. The first used a gas bubble, but it was unsuccessful and so I had the buckle surgery the next day. It is now 1 year later and I still can only see the E on the charts. The oil is still in place and my surgeon said there is a small <10% for another detachment, and the increased clarity will be minimal due to the retna damage. My question is it smart to go for removal of the oil and is there any thing possible to improve the vision?

    • Randall Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 21:33h, 09 May Reply

      Tough question we retina specialists all face…removing oil. Improving vision vs. redetachment. I don’t have a great answer. I would recommend a second opinion with another retina specialist who can examine you. I’d be happy to see you, but there are probably many in your locale.


  • Chanchai
    Posted at 13:08h, 08 May Reply

    I am 30 years old with high myopia. I had experience floater and curtain on my right eye. I started noticing the curtain from the bottom left of my eye sight. The curtain expanded from about 10% of my right eye sight to about 80% of the sight Finally I had retina surgury on 29th April.

    After a week, I think my vision start improve rapidly. However, this morning (8th May) I noticed that there still small grey curtain at the bottom left of my eye sight. The size of it smaller than before but in some angle when I turn my head I can see it cover around 50% of my eye sight.

    Is it the normal symptom after the operation? will it disapear after sometime?, or Is this going to be my second detachement?

    • Randall Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 15:33h, 09 May Reply

      You must contact your doctor. This indeed could be a detachment.


  • Paul
    Posted at 04:20h, 17 May Reply

    Dr. Wong thanks for taking the time to help all of us.
    I am 52 and March 12 we t to ER and found out I had bi lateral retina tears in both L and R eyes with a giant tear in L eye with ocular damage.

    Had surgery on the 14th laser for minor tear in R eye and buckle with gas in L.

    Two weeks later surgery failed and it was redone with oil this time

    Good new is R eye is great bad news is L eye I am having distortion and items appear to be down and to the right. During second surgery Dr said there was some scaring but he felt he got it flat.

    Question is can oil be contributing to distortion? Also should vision improve over time it seemed fine prior to surgery other about a 10% curtain appearing bottom right side of left eye?

    Also can there be underlying causes for retinal tales such as vitamin deficiency just found it odd I had both eyes have tears in less than 3 months after being examined

    • Randall Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 20:42h, 20 May Reply

      I really need to examine your left eye to help. Oil doesn’t usually cause distortion. If you had a giant retinal tear, then prognosis is grave (note: “giant retinal tear” is a separate diagnosis vs. just a very large (or “giant”) tear.

      Not aware of underlying systemic conditions leading to retinal tears. Both eyes are near-sighted?


  • Asadur Rahman
    Posted at 13:57h, 18 May Reply

    I had a retinal detachment surgery in 2019. After operation i got va 6/36. Is there any treatment to improve this vision?

    • Randall Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 20:39h, 20 May Reply

      No way for me to know. Can’t examine you. I’d defer to your doctor. Probably not. Randy

  • Adam
    Posted at 16:11h, 20 May Reply

    Dr. Wong, I am 2.5 months post scleral buckle surgery. The surgeon was able to reattach the retina without going into the eye by just using the buckle and and freezing. Quick background to my case, I suffered an eye injury from a direct hit by a ball thrown many years ago and overtime I developed high pressure in the eye and mild glaucoma that was treated with timolol. Retina detachment was discovered in eye 20 years after injury affecting peripheral vision only and could have been detached for sometime. Post surgery added brimonidine to the mix as pressure remained elevated. I just wanted to ask your opinion on some symptoms I am still experiencing 2.5 months post surgery. 1) Eye is still red around the side/ edges (seems to worsen through the day). 2) Still get some pain, soreness/ tenderness in the eye, usually after doing any light exercise or chore that elevates heart rate. 3) Get a line on light that travels over area of retina that was detached, almost as if it scans the area. This is the most troubling to of the 3 to me. It happens fairly frequently, especially if I close my eye and reopen or look up and down quickly. Thank you for your time and look forward to you response.

    • Randall Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 20:37h, 20 May Reply


      1. In my experience, redness can last for months after a scleral buckle. You’ll also notice that the eye will get red faster than the other eye when irritated by pollen or smoke…this is my opinion and not based upon my ability to examine you.

      2. Shouldn’t be pain at all – I’ll defer to your doctor.

      3. No idea. Sorry.


  • Adam
    Posted at 21:23h, 20 May Reply

    Thank you Dr. The line of light is like a flash of that that traces the circumference of the eye, my Dr. thinks it is just the eye adjusting, will inquiring about it more at my next check up.

  • Roberta
    Posted at 17:08h, 16 November Reply

    I’ve written you before about my MAC off detachment and the wavy distortion.
    I know the distortion was caused by the macula being off.
    I don’t use my left eye much but I have noticed that when I watch tv, people are squished. I’ve noticed that with real people when I’m out as well. Are the squished images because of the macula being off as well
    Or is this caused by something else?

  • Roberta
    Posted at 14:14h, 21 November Reply

    I have one more question. I went to see a corneal specialist the other day and she said the reason my eyesight was poor in my left eye was because of all the scarring on my retina.
    The last time I saw a retina doctor, they told me my retina was in good shape and my vision loss was due to retinal shift.
    Would the scarring be something new and can something be done about it ?

  • David
    Posted at 23:31h, 20 December Reply

    Hi Dr. Wong.
    I had x2 early RRD (macula on) caused by complication from cataract surgery, treated “successfully” by pneumatic retinopexy with argon laser. Still having significant (number and size) floaters that are being treated with Nd:YAG vitreolysis – seeing slight improvement with this. Question is that I have what appears to be decreased contrast sensitivity, slight acuity loss, haze, distortion, and what appears to be a “granular” (very fine numerous small dot type) vision when looking towards a blue sky or white background. I get daily headaches (perhaps from the floaters that move across literally every second like a windshield wiper across a car windshield when it rains). Is vitrectomy the only treatment option (I am worried about risk of infection / blindness 1:500?). Is it usual to have this “granular” vision and headaches? Would it be worth seeing your for a consult (I live out of state and have to travel far.)? Thank you in advance. David

  • david
    Posted at 23:34h, 02 January Reply

    I had complex retinal detachment (macula off) with PVR in May caused by vitreolysis laser for severe large vitreous floaters. Silicon oil, scleral buckle and vitrectomy. Previously had x2 pneumatic retinopexy 2 years ago (macula on) due to prior cataract surgery complication. In September silicon oil removed and gas bubble placed. I can read eye chart to 20/50 with single eye. In real life with both eyes, I cannot function with daily living. Cannot read, cannot see computer, cannot text, cannot watch TV. I am patching this “impaired” eye as it has severe distortion and image size smaller (up to 25%) when wearing prescription glasses but floaters are now gone. Without glasses I am <20/200. Having psychological problems as eyes not matching and perception problems. Will distortion or image size difference improve with time? Besides eikonic lens for aniseikonia (difference in image size / binocular function) can anything else be done? I am desperate and looking for any assistance and had to leave my career due to the problem. No one seems to understand my complaint. This perception problem is making me crazy and I cannot adapt to or cope with the metamorphopsia and micropsia. Can this improve with time? My macula was completely detached and repaired within 48 hours. Thank you.

  • Lorraine
    Posted at 23:34h, 31 October Reply

    I had surgery for a retina detachment in my left eye. I could not see anything with my eye. (I have 20/20 vision in my right eye after cataract surgery, which I also had in my left eye). (I was near-sighted prior to this). A little over a week ago after surgery, I still cannot see anything (with my left eye). The doctor says it will not improve because I waited too long before seeing him for the problem. (I realize this). However, if I cover my right eye with my hand and close my eye, I cannot really see anything with my left eye–but if I wave my hand in front of it, especially in light, I can sort of see some movement. My eye has oil in it. Is this any reason to hope for some sight returning or not. I had the surgery a little less than 2 weeks ago. I am blaming myself and not too happy about this. I want to be positive but it is sort of hard to do this.

    • Mike Rosco
      Posted at 18:21h, 11 March Reply

      Hey Lorraine,

      Apologize wholeheartedly for the severe delay in response – your message fell through the cracks here and I just discovered it. We are now back in action and fully responsive, so don’t expect this kind of delay in the future.

      Care to give us an update on the vision in that left eye? Thanks so much,

      Mike Rosco, MD

  • Robert S Richards
    Posted at 05:32h, 15 November Reply

    Had a detachment in March with vitrectomy repair followed by Epiretinal membrane surgery in October . Followed by another periphal detachment a month after and laser repair which failed so another vitrectomy and repair with silicon oil. I now notice in the area of the periphal detchment a dark spot/solid circle the size of 30 floaters. Its not a shadow or curtain or floater but just a large solid round dark spot in my outside periphal. Is this a possible blind spot from the repair as it is different from the tears/detachments in that there is vision all around it just not in it and it moves correspondingly with side to side eye movement. I’m one week post surgery .
    Thank you

    • Mike Rosco
      Posted at 23:20h, 13 February Reply

      Hello there Robert,

      First of all, I must apologize for the delay. Before I launch into an explanation, how is your vision, since now it has been 3+ months since the procedure?

      After your update I can weigh in more,

      Dr. Mike Rosco

  • Jules
    Posted at 20:45h, 15 November Reply

    I had a retinal detachment in January and after the vitrectomy bubble had subsided the vision in the affected eye was severely myopic. It continues to deteriorate and I have eye strain and headaches every day because of the difference in eyes. Plus lots of screen time due to my job – with vast haloes and distortions on the screen. I also have a black line in my vision, like a smudge. Was the increase in myopia caused by surgery? Did they put in too much gas and stretch my eye ball? I am due IOL replacement with the same surgical team (NHS UK) and feel worried. I have been told not to expect the sight in my bad eye to get better completely due to a loss of photoreceptors. More surgery for a not very good outcome has made me feel apprehensive and more than a little despondent. Advice please!

    • Mike Rosco
      Posted at 23:21h, 13 February Reply

      Hello Jules,

      The increase in myopia may be due to cataract formation which can often follow intraocular gas. That would explain the “new” myopia. I’m a little confused with “IOL replacement,” that is, did you already have cataract surgery in that eye with the retinal detachment?

      Let us know!

      Dr. Mike Rosco

  • Darin L Oxford
    Posted at 19:02h, 17 November Reply

    I had an injury in 1985 that caused a detached retina in my left eye. (I took a finger to the eye in a freak accident) I lost my peripheral vision about a year after the incident which led to the diagnosis. It was surgically corrected by tacking the retina with a laser?? After recovery, I regained vision to the point it was correctible to 20/40. The injury also damaged the nerves that allow my pupil to constrict. Therefore I’ve had light sensitivity since that time. I still had floaters as well post surgery, but those were the only real residuals. Overall, I was pleased just to have vision that was correctible.
    Over the years, I’ve always followed up with eye exams and tried to protect the eye. My vision remained fairly stable until about 4 years ago. I started noticing the vision getting worse, so I went back for another exam. It was then only correctible to 20/80 but no other changes were seen on exam. 2 years ago, I noticed the vision worsening again and was told that everything looks good structurally, your vision is just worsening. It is now to the point he has told me I’m legally blind in the eye, and he doesn’t even try to correct it.
    From this history, are there any advances in technique or equipment that may help my condition compared to what was available in 1985? Would it be worthwhile to have an evaluation and see?

    • Mike Rosco
      Posted at 23:25h, 13 February Reply

      Hi there Darin,

      This is really complicated and I can possibly be of help without examining you. I do think it is of value to have an evaluation by a retinal specialist to explore reasons for the continuing decline in visual acuity.

      Sorry I cannot be of more assistance,

      Dr. Mike Rosco

  • Momiogi
    Posted at 02:45h, 27 November Reply

    It is November 26. I had retinal laser surgery on August 1.The gas bubble is almost gone, but my vision is very bad.
    Can it improve ?

    • Mike Rosco
      Posted at 23:27h, 12 February Reply

      Hi there Paula,

      As it has been a several month hiatus and we are just getting back into the swing of things, could you 1. Let us know how you’re doing and 2. Give us more information about the history of your retina and the reason for the laser surgery?

      Talk soon,

      Dr. Mike Rosco

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