Macular Hole Surgery

by Judy
(Albuquerque, NM)

I've had close to perfect vision my entire life. What a blessing! As I approached the age of 50, I did suffer a little from far sightedness, but reading glasses helped with that.

Because of this good fortune, I didn't have an "eye doctor", and never had regular eye check ups. Then while watching TV one evening, I reached up to rub my left eye and realized that I could not read the text on my large TV screen! I took my hand away from that eye and with both, I could see ok, but as soon as I closed my left eye, my vision of the text with the other eye was pinched in, a side ways hour glass effect and I could not recognize the center of the text at all.

I tested this out on other things around the room. It was a very scary experiment. I called for an appointment the following morning and was fortunate to see the doctor that same day.

After referral to an MD type eye surgeon and many tests, I was diagnosed with a stage 4 macular hole. Stage IV is the worst, and I have to admit that I was very fearful about losing my sight. I was in shock during that first visit.

It's been 2 weeks since the surgery was performed. After the 3 hour surgery, & with a gas bubble in my eye, I spent about 99% of the first 8 days in the face down position. I was stubborn and adamant about it, and had the good fortune of a caring person to take care of me during this time.

My big complaint from the whole experience is only the lack of information and explanation from the doctor and staff after the initial visit and diagnoses. I truly was in shock from this diagnoses and remember very little of what was said. I'm a technical person, and
capable of researching things on the internet and I ended up with many questions. I also had to wait 5 weeks for the scheduled surgery. In that time frame, many worries and fears can occur. My surgeon eventually returned my phone calls and answered questions patiently, which helped to allay my fears.

At the 8 day post op time frame, I had a 2nd visit with the surgeon and he was surprised that the gas bubble had diminished so quickly. The macular hole had closed, but there was still fluid under the macula. He told me that I still needed to spend a few hours each day in the face down position until the gas bubble disappeared completely. It was gone on the 11th day after the surgery.

I'm still under physical restrictions such as lifting and exertion, and still putting in one eye drop for inflammation. I can tell that my vision is improved in that eye, but I still can't read with it. It's discouraging to wait so long for my vision to improve, but from my reading online of so many articles concerning this type of surgery, I understand that it may take months before I'll know what the acuity outcome will be.

I'm very thankful for a good surgeon and the wonderful people who have helped me by listening to my concerns and providing care and support. I just wish that my eye surgery office would have explained this long term healing process in more detail in the beginning. And now I realize that I have more questions regarding the fluid under my macula that is still unresolved.

I would advise other folks with this condition to "circle their wagons" so to speak, and gather caring people for support into their life for this duration. It is as tough emotionally as it is physically. Find the best of doctors and ask many questions. And be patient, stay hopeful.

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