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Anyone has done a vitrectomy? Need advice.
Old 02-21-2010, 06:07 AM   #1
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Anyone has done a vitrectomy? Need advice.

Am scheduled for a vitrectomy and cataract surgery this week. Done together under general anethesia. The vitrectomy is to treat a macular pucker and requires facedown recovery for 2 weeks. Doctor wishes me to achieve at least 12 hours face down per day for 2 weeks. Am anxious about the surgery and how comfortably can I achieve the face down recovery. Anyone who has gone through this and share some tips? I did search the web and manage to gets some pointers but I think most of them have someone in the house to help them around. DH will be around when he gets off from work. Otherwise, I'll be on my own. I did try to sleep face down recently but find it really difficult. Understand I can't get water in my eye for 2 weeks - how do I wash my hair? Am advised not to shower as water can easily get into the eye - so will soaking in the bath tub be better? I am pretty active and exercise daily - but have to lay off any strenous activity. Will simple stretching be allowed? I most probably will ask these questions of my doctor but wonder anyone with real life experience can share some tips. Thanks
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Old 02-21-2010, 07:42 AM   #2
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Do not have real-life experience, but am wondering if a padded massage table with a hole for your face may be a worthwhile investment? Perhaps you could find a place that will rent one to you? I hope this picture posts OK, but if not, just search under "massage table hole for face" in google or Bing images:

http://www.chinesemol.com/member/upl...9263514084.jpg

I'm sure your doctors and their assistants will have suggestions.

I empathize strongly with the "no one to help you at home" part. People often assume that EVERYONE has someone willing and able to drop everything and do for them.

I can assure you, you will not die from not washing your hair for 2 weeks. If you can't go that long, you might ask your Dr. about whether you are allowed to get into position to wash your hair under the kitchen faucet. Also, I have never gotten water in my eyes from taking a bath so I'm sure you won't either. Try "washing" your face with moist towelettes or cotton puffs dipped in cleansing cream. Hey, you might even end up with softer skin.

It sounds like a very trying 2 weeks ahead for you and I wish you well.

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Old 02-21-2010, 04:01 PM   #3
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Moscyn,

I don't have any advice for you but will be anxious to hear how it goes. I was recently diagnosed with macular pucker that may eventually require surgery. I also have very large floaters in that eye. The most annoying symptom I have at this point is that the image I see with each eye separately seems about 20% different in size than the other. This messes with my depth perception, especially when driving.

The retina specialist is going to check my eye every 6 months and doesn't recommend surgery unless it deteriorates significantly or the symptoms really begin to interfere with daily activities.

Let me know how it goes.
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Old 02-21-2010, 09:00 PM   #4
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I was a very active guy until some accidents. Since then it is very easy to be inactive. I lay in bed about 20 hours a day since surgery. So I don't see any problem being inactive. It should be easy to become active again, although I needed and will need lots of physical therapy because ligaments, tendons, muscles all stiffened and shrank. I found in the past that it took about 6 weeks of daily activity to get things stretched out.

To stay clean when you cannot bathe or takes showers, you just swab yourself down and wipe yourself off. To wash hair, keep it short, then have someone else wash your hair for you.
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Old 02-21-2010, 09:35 PM   #5
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You should try to have husband wash your hair before the surgery to give you all some practice. If you hold your head in a sink facedown with a towel held to your eyes by your hands, you should be able to keep all water out of your eyes.
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Thanks to replies to "Anyone has done a vitrectomy? Need advice."
Old 02-22-2010, 08:07 AM   #6
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Thanks to replies to "Anyone has done a vitrectomy? Need advice."

Thks, everyone. Amethyst, DH and I did go and try out a number of massage tables and weought one with an adjustable hole for the head - adjustable because I need a bigger hole when I put the eye shield on. It will end up as an investment since both of us are very into massage. So, long term, it will be a true massage table. Short term, it'll be my resting bed. Thks to all for tips on washing hair. I decided to wet a towel and wipe my head and hair. Then, powder my scalp. That should last for 2 weeks of not washing. As I was my hair every day, not washing it for 2 weeks is quite difficult. Grumpy, I have the macular pucker for some years and floaters for at least 18 years. My doctor has not recommended surgery in the past but things got worse last year as I fell down 3 times last year since I can't see the distance of each step correctly. I sprained my ankle badly recently and he now recommends vitrectomy since my eye condition is affecting my lifestyle and the recent eye scan does not look too good. Apparently, the vitreous fluid is stuck to the macular pucker thus not allowing it to heal. There will be some adjusting to do after surgery as I have very bad myopia. My right eye which is going into surgery this Thursday will have the myopia corrected but my left eye will remain very myopic. The left eye has floaters too but no macular pucker. Will let you know how things go.
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Old 02-22-2010, 11:37 AM   #7
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Good luck to you, Moscyn. I don't have anything to add, but maybe one suggestion. Try to find a good-size mirror that you can position under the massage table so that you can watch TV! (Or not...I'm assuming you will have one eye to see??) And perhaps a small low table beside it for your drink (with straws), telephone, remote, etc.
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Old 02-23-2010, 11:48 AM   #8
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Moscyn,

Good luck with the surgery and the extended recovery period. When you are up to it, let us know how it went.
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Old 02-24-2010, 10:09 AM   #9
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Good Luck with the surgery . Maybe get some books on tape to keep you occupied while you are resting face down ?
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Old 02-24-2010, 10:31 AM   #10
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You might as well have a daily massage on that table as well, during recovery.....
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Old 02-24-2010, 09:16 PM   #11
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Thanks, everyone. Surgery is today and am already fasting as no food and water at least 8 hours before surgery. Washed my hair and will have another shower soon. I am encouraged by all your wishes, sharing of your experiences (LOL, I hope you are recovered from your injuries) and suggestions. I made a mistake of checking my blackberry for work emails this morning and now am a bit upset with some hiccups with my immediete boss who had requested me to go into office for work handover on 23rd and when I went in, there seem to be no handover meeting set. Then this morning, I got an email to ask me whether we are having the handover today. I think I'm messed up now....hmm....how come this happens when I am a very organised person? Anyways, have already handover all work to my team and they are capable enough. What I am going to do is I'll switch off that blackberry right after this email and just think happy thoughts! BTW, have I ever mentioned this in my postings that I'm glad I found and joined this forum. You are all so encouraging! Thks.
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Old 03-09-2010, 08:00 AM   #12
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Just want to drop a note that I am recovering from the surgery. I am still required to do face down recovery at least till the end of this week (it would be 2 weeks since surgery then). Vision from my right eye (one which was operated on) is still blur and am very reliant on my left eye. The doctor said that I am recovering well (apparently I had a tear on my retina wall - not just a pucker). Surprisingly, the reality of facedown is not hard to bear. There are many things to keep me busy and I try not to use my left eye too much as it is the remaining good eye until my right eye regains better vision. I managed to survive not washing my hair for 5 days and then I just wiped my hair for two days to get rid of excess oil. Thereafter, I mastered the art of washing it without getting water into my eye. Today, I finally enjoyed my first full head to toe shower after surgery but still careful to close my eye. I still have some ways to go to full recovery and the end result of how my sight would be. I won't know until the gas bubble (injected into my eye as part of the vitrectomy procedure) in my eye eliminates itself and that would be maybe another 1 to 2 weeks time. Thanks, everyone.
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Old 03-09-2010, 08:04 AM   #13
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Thanks so much for the update--been wondering how you and your eye were doing! Were the docs able to repair the retinal tear?

I hope the blurriness goes away when the gas bubble does.
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Old 03-09-2010, 08:24 PM   #14
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The doc said that te retinal tear is healing well and as long as I continue to be good at recovery stage, it should be repaired. The blurriness should go away when the bubble goes. I just have to be patient which is not my virtue. I have a lot to be thankful for and the recovery time has slowed me down such that I can appreciate the little and big things in life. One thing for sure, there's so much going on apart from work.
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Old 03-10-2010, 12:10 PM   #15
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Glad to hear it is going well. Keep us informed of your progress.
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Old 04-08-2010, 03:38 AM   #16
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Just a quick update - latest scan show that the tear is healing. However, the gas bubble has not disappeared and as long as it is there, I have to be careful. It also interferes with reading. Thus, doctor extended my medical leave for another 3 weeks and am now scheduled back to work on 3rd May. There's a time for everything and this seems to be the time for me to rest.
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Old 04-08-2010, 08:27 AM   #17
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Good to hear that you're doing better...but I'm sorry that the bubble didn't disappear as quickly as planned. I hope you can appreciate the rest time.
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Old 04-08-2010, 08:35 AM   #18
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Thanks for reporting in, Moscyn. Hope the gas bubble disappears and your vision is much improved soon. And that you can lie on your back and side now!
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Old 04-08-2010, 09:36 AM   #19
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Glad to hear that your eye is better. I hope the bubble improves for you. It's scary having a problems with eyes.
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Old 04-08-2010, 11:32 AM   #20
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Do the gas bubbles normally take this long to disappear or this is an unusual side effect?
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