Vitrectomy Surgery for Retinal Detachments

Vitrectomy Surgery for Retinal Detachments

Vitrectomy eye surgery for repair of a retinal detachment can be an alternative or adjunct to scleral buckle.  Vitrectomy surgery involves the removal of the vitreous from the eye.  This procedure was introduced (i.e. invented) in the mid-1970’s and enhanced our ability to treat retinal detachments.

Retinal Tears Cause Retinal Detachments

Remember that the culprit in “rhegmatogenous” retinal detachments is the formation of a hole or retinal tear in the retina.  The vitreous can exert “pulling,” or traction, on the retina and cause a retinal tear. 

Using a scleral buckle surgery, we introduced “slack” in the vitreous to release some of the traction.

Vitrectomy surgery, too, is focused (no pun intended) on relieving stress in the vitreous.  By cutting and removing the vitreous, the vitreous can no longer “pull” on the retina and cause additional tears and keep the detached retina elevated.

Remove the Vitreous, Replace with Gas

After removing the vitreous, the next step usually involves exchanging the vitreous and fluid with intraocular gas.  The purpose of the gas is to stop the migration of fluid to the space underneath the retina (by definition, a retinal detachment). 

Many people are told (incorrectly) that the purpose of the gas is to “push” the retina back into position, but this is not so.  The surface tension of the gas bubble actually acts as a cork, stopping migration of fluid from the vitreous cavity to the subretinal space.

A Vitrectomy Can Fix a Retinal Detachment

A Vitrectomy to Repair Retinal Detachment

In this way, the retina is reattached, and kept attached, until significant scarring takes place to keep the retina attached by itself.

The gas will absorb, but the length of time required depends upon the type and concentration of the gas (I use 16% SF6, sulfahexafluoride).  It does not stay in the eye as long as the gas others use as I believe this to minimize the amount of post-operative complications.

During the time gas is actually in the eye, patients are warned against experiencing large changes in atmospheric pressure.  Going to the mountains or airplane travel is usually prohibited as the decreased atmospheric pressure can cause a rapid increase in the volume of the intraocular gas.  This could cause the pressure in the eye to increase too fast.

In short, the gas is used as a tool to help reattach the retina.  Depending upon the location of the tear in the retina, a patient may be required to keep his/her head in a certain position following surgery.  This positioning is as crucial as the operation itself. 

For instance, if the tear is located at the top of the eye, the patient may need to sit up in a chair for days following surgery.  If the thear is located at the bottom of the retina, face-down positioning may be needed.

Advantages of Vitrectomy

There are a few advantages to vitrectomy for repair of a retinal detachment.  There is no worry about becoming more near-sighted as there is no scleral buckle placed.  Similarly, there is no chance of causing double vision as there is no manipulation of the eye muscles as in the case of a scleral buckle.

Basically, for the patient, there is less operating outside the eye.  Discomfort (“doctor-speak” for pain) is minimized.

There is, however, the chance of infection, as there is with any intraocular surgery, that can lead to blindness.  “Endophthalmitis,” the fancy clinical term for this type of infection, is less common in retinal surgery than cataract surgery.  The chance of infection occurring is small, somewhere around 1:5,000-10,000.

Vitrectomy with Scleral Buckle

Many times both a scleral buckle and a vitrectomy are utilized for a retinal detachment.  There are no clearcut reasons when to use vitrectomy or scleral buckle or both.  As I said last post, placing a scleral buckle can be time consuming in certain instances…thus affecting the decision.

What Does This Mean?  There are several ways to fix a retinal detachment.  Vitrectomy surgery fixes the retinal detachment from the inside, requires less tissue manipulation (i.e. operating) and is more comfortable than a scleral buckle. 

Using both modalities, in the right situation, can lead to a higher success rate as we are fixing a retinal detachment from both the inside (vitrectomy) and the outside of the eye (scleral buckle).

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  • Rhonda R.
    Posted at 00:05h, 01 October Reply

    Hello. My left retina was successfully reattached on July 25, 2010, using the “gas bubble” method. I had to keep my head down 20 hours a day for two weeks. On Sept. 10 the surgeon said the retina is reattached and looks “great.” Problem is, my vision is terrible. Before the detachment it was 20/20 after being corrected with Lasik three years ago. The surgeon said he had no idea why I can’t see, since my retina looks perfectly healthy. I would appreciate any feedback. Thank you!

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 12:41h, 01 October Reply

      Dear Rhonda,

      My first “guess” would be that you have someone look at your lens to see if you have a cataract. Was the vision better after surgery than it is now? Also, did your macula detach?

      Look forward to hearing from you,


  • Rhonda R.
    Posted at 11:47h, 03 October Reply

    Hello and thanks so much for your prompt response. No, the vision was not better after the surgery than it is now. It improved slightly for a short time after the gas bubble dissolved, but it has been the same for many weeks now. My macula did not detach, but the tear was on the bottom of the retina. (I guess that’s worse than the top?)
    The surgeon did say I have a small cataract, but I had that before the surgery and my vision was very good. I am going to see a local doctor who does cataract surgery, but I doubt he would want to remove such a small cataract.
    One point I should make is that I have been wearing reading glasses for probably 15 years and could not see print at all without them. Since the surgery in the left eye I can now read print, though my distance vision is terrible. Very puzzling!
    Thank you for your time,

  • Greg
    Posted at 21:34h, 12 November Reply

    Have had a retinal tear, and two surgeries for retinal detachment within four weeks of each other. Due to aggressive scar tissue growth. Surgeon had to remove my lens due to a huge cataract forming.

    Silicon oil was put in the eye, we are monitoring carefully. My prednisone drops were increased from 4 x/day to every 2 hours and I will be checked in a week.

    I am hoping to keep my site at this point. Don’t know if I am over or under reacting. BTW, I can make out the giant letter “E” which is blurry through the holes as well. I was told that is encouraging. Should I be encouraged.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 08:32h, 17 November Reply


      Yes it is encouraging that you can see something through the oil. The focusing properties of the oil (specifically the “refractive index”) are much different than water/saline.

      On the other hand, a more predictive indicator would be the vision before the last surgery, although obscured by the cataract, and whether or not the macula became detached.

      I would be cautiously optimistic. As you can see, there are several forces/factors in play.

      All the best. Would like to hear more from you.


  • sitaram
    Posted at 07:02h, 16 April Reply

    i have done my retina detachment operetion in surgery is vitrectomy with silicon oil. but ma vision is not there ..please help me sir

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 22:31h, 18 April Reply

      Dear Sitaram,

      I am sorry for the vision loss that you have sustained. It is impossible for me to know the condition of your retina and thus can not make a comment, I am sorry, but would like to hear back from you if you happen to have more details of your condition.


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  • Sherry
    Posted at 03:40h, 05 July Reply

    My 24yo daughter sustained an unfolded giant tear to the medial periphery of her retina about 5 wks ago (no macular involvement). She had a vitrectomy and laser reattachment, a gas bubble was injected, she had to specially position her head for a couple of weeks to splint the retina and was prescribed eye drops. Five weeks later she says her vision in that eye is “dark and like looking through a circle with very little peripheral vision” and, as seems to be common, she has also developed a cataract. Is this a normal expected progression for return of vision? So far I have not seen anyone describe this type of central visual pattern regarding… and should she have greater visual acuity by now? My daughter is quite nearsighted with a baseline prescription of -6.5dioptors.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 10:08h, 05 July Reply

      Dear Sherry,

      Tough to tell from your comments if she has either a very advanced cataract, redetached or something else.

      Wish I could sound a little bit more credible, but I’d only be guessing.

      If you find out more, please let me know. I usually don’t pay great attention to details about loss of vision in retinal detachment patients after surgery…the best way to know how a retinal detachment patient is progressing is to look, i.e. examine.

      My best to your daughter,


    Posted at 00:57h, 22 February Reply

    I had a detached retina last year just a couple of days after a trip to and from Colorado in a jet . It has been 8 months since the surgery. I was told not to fly
    for at least 6 months. I don’t want to risk having another detachment in
    the other eye or in the eye that was repaired. Do you think that riding in a jet can
    cause retinal detachments and how long would you say is safe to wait before flying again?
    I also worry when playing with my grandchildren, they want me to lift them and I have gotten
    hit in the area of the eyebrow. Can this cause detachment?

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 12:40h, 22 February Reply

      Dear Rosemary,

      The recommendation about 6 months may be related to intraocular gas that was used during the operation. Did you get gas? For some reason, there is this time restriction about change in altitude after intraocular gas usage, but I don’t know why this should be so. I recommend to plane/mountain trips until gas is absorbed, then it’s okay to change altitudes.

      Riding in a jet does NOT cause retinal detachments nor does playing with grandchildren. I suppose if you got struck in the eye hard enough, but I’ve operated on very very few boxers.

      Have fun with the grandchildren and enjoy your flight.


  • catherine
    Posted at 11:38h, 09 August Reply

    I had retinal detachment surgery on july 9, 2012. The retinal specialist described it as horseshoe shaped from 4:00 to 8:00 on the bottom part of eye. I underwent scleral buckle surgery. After two weeks of several appointments he mentioned there was still a small amount of liquid and he would wait another week to see if it would get better and would like to see me July 30. That day he said it was improved but he wanted to do the laser just to weld the buckle in place and see me that following Friday. He said it looks much better and now said I don’t have to return for another month. He mentioned it will still take time for my vision. I still have trouble seeing the big E but he said it takes time. I guess im still frustrated. The other day like an idiot I walked into a wall and hit my browbone, is it possible for it to detach again because of this? Or am I just being paranoid.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 09:49h, 17 August Reply

      Dear catherine,

      It is unlikely that your incident with the wall could cause you to detach. In my experience, you’d have to have a severe blow to your head (enough to knock you out).

      Hang in there. Hope the central vision improves.


  • Kathleen
    Posted at 21:24h, 16 August Reply

    Hello Dr. Wong,
    Over the last year I have had two freezing proceedures (I know there is a technical term for this) and a vitrectomy in my right eye, and a vitrectomy in my left eye. Consequently, I am more than just a little paranoid about my vision. I have also recently been diagnosed with an epi-retinal membrane in my right eye. My question is, how likely is a retinal detachment after a vitrectomy? It has been 10 months since my right eye was done and almost 7 weeks since my left eye was done. I appreciate your help.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 10:49h, 17 August Reply

      Dear Kathleen,

      Retinal detachment after vitrectomy is probably around 1%.

      The ERM should be removed as soon as you can tell it’s interrupting your vision and is not uncommon after retinal tears/retinal detachments or can be normal.

      Did this help?


  • Kathleen
    Posted at 11:20h, 17 August Reply

    Dear Dr. Wong,
    Your reply was very helpful. Thank you.

  • Sunny
    Posted at 06:28h, 31 August Reply

    I live in the uk and as u know we have a social welfare hospital system ,I had a retinal vitrectomy surgery on my right eyes,I am diabetic for 18 yrs ,so I was told my retinal was badly damaged so they will do a surgery to try and correct it.on August 14th I had this surgery ,its been two weeks and I am paranoid about not seeing anything with the eyes cas I had little visions before the surgery,I spent a day in the hospital after the surgery .please can you break it down more about what this operation does and procedures,because from the Internet your website has been the most helpful .how long will it take for recovery and do I know I am getting my eyes back .

    Thank you

    Sunny OnijosephAcensionlimited

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 09:04h, 03 September Reply

      Dear Sunny,

      1. Two reasons to operate for diabetics:

      a. Remove blood
      b. Repair retinal detachment

      2. Depending upon the severity of the retinal detachment, if present, the post-operative course can be lengthy.

      You’ll need to ask your doc specifically as there is such a wide range of severity, I can not examine you, and there may be other reasons why you can’t see.

      I wish I could help you more.


  • Faris
    Posted at 03:11h, 10 October Reply

    Hello Dr. Wong
    I have vitrectomy with silicone oil in my left eye before three months and a half. I have just had a follow up with my doctor who said that I have to take the silicone oil removal surgery ASAP because the silicone oil starts breaking and dissolving. Would you please explain to me why did that happen? and most importantly, what are the possible complications of such breakage and/or dissolvent of the silicon oil? Note that I already had a cataract in the same eye 10 years ago. Thank you so much.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 19:48h, 14 October Reply

      Dear Faris,

      Oil that breaks down is not a huge problem.

      Sounds as if your eye is showing signs of phthisis bulbi? Ask your doc.


  • Faris
    Posted at 13:44h, 23 October Reply

    Dear Dr. Wong
    Many thanks for your answer. What happened with me is called Silicon Oil Emulsification (the most commonly word used in this case). When I had the Si Oil removal surgery 10 days ago, the oil had already started to be emulsified. I am just wondering if there are any complications of such emulsification in the future. In addition, during my first surgery (putting in the oil), there was some not too little silicon oil leakage. Both the oil leakage and the emulsified oil should be ideally removed in the 2nd surgery. After the 2nd surgery, I still see floaters and that gives me indication that not all the oil was removed. I would be grateful for you if you can explain my case.
    Thank you so much.

  • Gerrianne
    Posted at 13:31h, 11 November Reply

    I had vitrectomy(gas bubble) 8/29/2012. As of yesterday bubble has disappeared. At last appt with retina specialist he told me i had formed a cataract so to see my opthomologist which i did the other day. Vision is still very blurry with a yellow hue. We will schedule cataract surgery when both Drs say its ok. But my other problem is(and i have searched and not found other info on this) is my eye has wandered to the left. When i cover my good eye(right), my left eye will come to center. I discussed this with retina specialist and he said my brain isnt telling my eye to focus yet. He also told me the rods & cones werent firing correctly. He seemed to tell me eye would center in time, but when i asked opthomologist, he said it will NOT return to center….and eventually i could have surgery on the muscle to bring it in. I am a registered dental hygienist and am now out on disability….with my sight like this…i dont see how i will work again! This is upsetting to me. Oh, i had total retina detachment(giant?) with 2 retinal tears. Please let me know of your knowledge with this lazy eye situation. Thank you, Gerrianne

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 06:54h, 17 November Reply


      Both doctors might be correct.

      Many people have an “exophoria,” the tendancy for the eye to move outward. This may occur when tired, or when the vision in that eye is blocked, say when you put your hand over that eye. In the case of cataract/retinal detachment where the vision is impaired, the vision is poor and the brain has lost its ability to orient the eye (i.e. look straight) because it can’t “see.”

      This may or may not correct depending upon how much vision is permanently lost from the retinal detachment and how much cataract surgery will improve the situation.

      This is one suggestion of what might be occurring. Sometimes the eyes deviate after a scleral buckle, but you didn’t mention you had this done.


  • Gerrianne
    Posted at 23:56h, 17 November Reply

    Thank you for your response! No I did not have a scleral buckle. I have been trying to “work” my bad eye…but good thing I was in hallway…put patch over “good” eye….focused bad eye straight at a point…and tried to walk…WOWOW…almost fell! I staggered to left..bumped into wall. Guess I couldn’t trick my brain! One more question ….its 3 months since vitrectomy…what is your thought on how long to wait before cataract surgery. Will see retina specialist again after Thanksgiving and of course will abide by his decision….but what is the norm…how long to wait.


    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 08:20h, 21 November Reply


      The decision for cataract surgery can be made, in my opinion, after the retina has remained attached for a couple of months. There is no real reason other than a comfort zone for both the cataract and retinal surgeon, i.e. personal preference.


  • Lisa
    Posted at 17:05h, 12 December Reply

    I had vitrectomy in June 2012 for retinal detachment, new tears developed within ten days, very slight macula off, so I got scleral buckle in July 2012.

    Since then, I have developed a slight cataract and suffer from double vision. Bad eye is now about 20/1150 good eye is 20/350.

    I am scheduled for cataract surgery and was told new lens will correct vision. Is that true? After two retinal surgeries I am afraid to make things worse.

    Also, cataract surgeon took measurements in October but has not scheduled new measurements before surgery, set for next month. Wouldn’t my eye change during these three months? Is this normal procedure?

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 23:47h, 14 December Reply

      Dear Lisa,

      There are various causes of double vision, cataract usually doesn’t cause double vision, per se.

      I can only go with what your doctors tell you about correction with surgery, yes it is entirely possible, but I can’t really know without examining you.

      At our practice, measurements are good for 6 months. I am not a cataract surgeon, but sounds right.


  • mike
    Posted at 14:06h, 21 January Reply

    I had cataract surgery on my right eye the end of Nov. Three days later I was in the ER for a vitrectomy because of a severe eye infection. The gel was replaced with a saline solution

    My vision is slowly coming back. At first I thought the vision in my right eye was just returning darker than my left eye (which had cat surgery just 3 weeks before the right and is doing fine). But now I think that, rather than not being as bright, my right eye vision has a yellowish hue to t. Can that be caused by retinal damage either from the infection, or the increase in eye pressure after the vitrectomy (was up to 38 but now down to about 25 with drops) ?

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 04:49h, 02 February Reply

      Dear Mike,

      Most likely you suffered from endophthalmitis, a potentially blinding infection of the eye. Yes, the vision may be worse as a consequence of the infection.

      Don’t know enough about your case regarding the pressure.


  • G Jha
    Posted at 15:24h, 03 February Reply

    On 25th Dec-12 My 11 year old son injured his left eye & on same day 5 sutures were taken by ophthalmologist & was referred to retina specialist…after B scan on 26th retina specialist told us that they will do the vitectomy after swelling comes down.. they did the Bscan again on 2nd jan-13 & told us they will do the vitectomy on 11th Jan-13.. which they did…….every time after B scan they told us that retina is attached hence chances of getting vision back is there but it will not be 100 %.. but after vitectomy they told us that retina was damage hence keep the hope but don’t have any expectation… since vitectomy (with oil, on 11th Jan-13) my son has not recovered his left eye vision… kindly suggest advance treatment/surgery anywhere in world…… so that he can get his left eye vision back..

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 12:29h, 13 February Reply

      G Jha,

      Obviously impossible for me to accurately answer you as I have not examined your son.

      Oil in most cases reduces vision. Not sure why oil was placed in the eye if the retina was attached. Perhaps something changed, but keep in mind direct visualization is better than an ultra in diagnosing problems.

      Permanent damage to the retina can occur even if the retina is attached.

      The fact that oil was needed in a young child is not a good sign. I don’t know of any place to recommend. By the fact oil was used sounds like your son is in good hands.


  • Elizabeth
    Posted at 14:54h, 20 February Reply

    Mom is 80 and has dementia. She still gets around but it is most likely in the late stages.

    She hit her head on the 9 th and was diagnosed with a complete retina detachment on the 18th. The doctors says she would need the vitr. surgery, buckles, and a gas bubble. But he is not sure it is worth the risk and benefits override the risks. I would love your opinion

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 12:16h, 02 March Reply

      Dear Elizabeth,

      What’s the harm in trying? The retina has no chance of reattaching by itself. If the surgery fails, for whatever reason, she’s lost nothing.

      Just my 2 cents.


  • Donna
    Posted at 01:02h, 21 March Reply

    On 1/3/13 I started seeing red/black floaters. Went to my eye doctor the next day and was rferred to a Retina Specialist. My eye was hemoragging. They did some laser surgery and I had to come back a couple of days later after the blood went away. A week later something didnt seem right and I called and was told to come in right away. My retina detached, had that surgery on 1/21 and then it detached at the bottom and I had a scleral buckle surgery 1/31/2013. NOW I have scarring on my retina and will have that surgery on March 28. I am 53 years old. I was diagnosed with cataracts in both eyes when I was 40 due to UV rays and not wearing sunglasses, Had the cataract surgery at 49 because they were finally “ripened” to get insurance approval. I am not diabetic, and its a question I seem to get asked constantly re my eye issues. My question is, can my cataracts come back? Can I fly with the silicone oil in my eye that I’m guessing will be used for this next surgery? My left eye shows signs that I will be going through the same thing before long due to several weak spost my doctor sees. At 53 I’m the youngest in the waiting room and its making me crazy that I am dealing with this. Im deathly afraid of losing my vision at my age. Based on everything I google, there really hasnt been many improvements over the years with respect to these retina issues. Here it is March 20, 2013 and so far this year I have lived my life with my head down on a table 3 weeks of it and week 4 is coming up. I have a little of the gas bubble in my eye after the 1/31/13 syrgery, my vision appeared to be okay before the scarring started, even though I was looking the the gas bubble. Now I have a gray haze in the middle of my eye, that appears to be getting worse each day. Is the likelyhood of my retina detaching during the scar removal process normal? I’m dreading getting told that it detached for a 3rd time. How much abuse can one retina take?

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 21:18h, 23 March Reply


      Cataracts, per se, can NOT come backl.

      You can fly with silicone oil inside the eye.

      The retina can endure many operations if done timely and correctly. I wish I could advise more, but I just can’t examine you nor do I really know enough details.

      Best of luck. Stay in touch.


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

  • Bill
    Posted at 13:12h, 19 April Reply

    I had skeral bukle retina surgery and the doctor took out my lense. He told me that I should go to a lens eimplant doctor to have it replaceed. He said that he didn;t replace it because he felt that the eye should stabilize for the best results. Teh implant docotr said tha tthe risk to have a ne wlense was that the vision would not be that great and that i could have a retinal detachment again. He told me that I could wear a contact instead. My question is: has anyone had experienc ewith this? I am a bit mad that my retina doctor removed my lense and did not replace while he did the retina surgery. Please let m eknow thoughts

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 10:22h, 23 April Reply

      Dear Bill,

      It is not uncommon to remove the lens to allow retinal reattachment. This is not an uncommon problem. You need to find a cataract surgeon who has experience implanting a “secondary IOL.”

      Cataract surgeons who work commonly with a retinal specialist often do this.


  • Marcos
    Posted at 03:33h, 20 May Reply

    Hi I had 4 retina surgeries in my left eye. In the past year. I am 24 .the first two were gas but detached then the other two were oil . Then I had macular puckering and a lense placed. And know I have scare tissue building up and detached again. My doc said cuz I am young and heel fast and that’s ehy I built up scarring. he wants me to wait to operate again. Is scar tissue normal. Will I see again please help.

  • Dennis
    Posted at 16:52h, 10 July Reply

    Dr. Wong,

    I had retina detachment (one tear on top of retina, macula was intact) and had Vitrectomy on 5/30/13 and had gas bubble put in to hold the retina in place. The recovery has been smooth and almost all of the floaters are gone and vision is back to pre-op almost 100%. I have also notice the gas bubble in the eye gettting smaller, quickly in the first few weeks.

    Here is my concern. I am scheduled to fly out of town this weekend, 7/13/2013, to be exact. But I still notice this tiny gas bubble in my operated eye. And it has not been shrinking for last few days, as it did rapidly in the first few weeks right after surgery. During my last post-op visit about three weeks ago, the eye doctor told me that I should be okay to fly and the bubble should be gone before then.

    Should I be concerned?

    Thank you very much in advance.


  • Stephan Kordt
    Posted at 17:03h, 23 July Reply

    I had vitrectomy and scleral buckle surgery with a gas bubble placed on June 7, 2013. Healing is progreesing well and the gas bubble is down to about 20 -25%. I have a flight to Europe scheduled for August 9 (exactly 9 weeks after surgery), which is only 2 1/2 weeks out. Will the gas bubble be gone by then or, if not, can I fly with a small bubble left? Is there anything I can do to speed up the absorption process? Thank you!

  • Stephan Kordt
    Posted at 00:16h, 01 August Reply

    Thanks for your response! Gas is probably down to 15% now, but I don’t think it will be completely gone before my flight on August 9. Is there any way I can fly with some gas left, let’s say less than 10%? I read that some experts say that 10% gas cannot expand enough to cause problems. Is that accurate?

    I know I should ask my operating doctor, but I won’t see him until 2 days before the flight and he obviously won’t be willing to take any risk or liability…

    Thanks in advance!!


  • Stephan Kordt
    Posted at 10:57h, 28 September Reply

    Yes, I flew with less than 10% gas remaining, but my doctor gave me glaucoma drops to take the eye pressure down just in case. Everything went well, no pain or problems at all. Gas disappeared about a week later. My eye healed well under the circumstances. My vision is back to 20/30 on that eye, but vertical lines are slightly distorted. My doctor says it could be from scar tissue from the OP and could get better over time. What is your experience with that?



  • James Brown
    Posted at 22:11h, 29 October Reply

    Dr. Wong,

    I had a retina detachment and had cryotherapy & bubble on 10/12/13 and then a Vitrectomy & bubble on 10/15/13 when the first procedure did not seal the tear. I also saw the doctor the day after the surgery 10/13/13 & one week later on 10/22/13 and everything looked good.

    My question is it is two weeks after my surgery and my vision is improving slowly but the upper right side (left eye) is a little darker than the rest of my vision (still blurry). It is hard to tell if the rest of my field of vision is improving or is the upper right side worsening. I also have some distortion with images on the t.v (top of vision is smaller like at a carnival mirror) and some t.v graphics looked white in color but should have been yellow.

    On my one week post surgery exam I could see 20/100 and testing at home two weeks later
    on an Ipad 8 feet away at eye level I could see down to 20/70 but it is wavy.

    Should I see my doctor early? My next appointment is not until December 11.

    Thank you so much for your time and helping answering questions.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 11:08h, 30 October Reply


      Without a doubt, at least call your doc and share your concerns.


  • Kjellyn
    Posted at 01:29h, 23 November Reply

    In 2008 I had a detached retina in my right eye and a scleral buckle procedure was used to fix it. Over the past year, I noticed my vision was getting blurry and doubled in both eyes but especially in the eye that had the surgery, I was told I had cataracts. Then, a few days back I noticed a dark patch in my upper field of vision. I ran to a retina specialist and he said I was developing another detachment and needed emergency surgery. He he did a vitrectomy and used oil. A few hour after the surgery I could kind of see but now two days later I can’t really see anything aside from very shadowy figures, basically I am blind in that eye. Is this normal? Before the surgery 8 could still mostly see out of that eye. He also did cataract surgery at the same time. I am really worried.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 06:42h, 26 November Reply


      Really hard to comment without the ability to examine you. Remember, silicone oil, by itself, usually impairs vision, that is, I wouldn’t expect you to see well.

      Best of luck and please stay in touch.


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