How Long Does it take to Recover from Retinal Detachment Surgery?

The retina is the part of your eye that sends images to the brain through your optic nerve and is essential to your vision. Retinal detachment is a serious condition that occurs when the retina pulls away from the back of the eye and its blood supply. Without a blood supply, the retinal cells will start to die. This condition can cause permanent damage to your vision if not treated promptly. Reattaching the retina quickly is essential to prevent serious complications.

Retinal Detachment Surgery Options

There are several types of surgery to repair a detached retina. Different types of retinal detachment require different kinds of surgery and different levels of anesthesia.

One method of retinal detachment repair is pneumatic retinopexy. In this procedure, a gas bubble is injected into the eye. The bubble presses against the detached retina and pushes it back into place. A laser or cryotherapy is then used to reattach the retina firmly into place. The gas bubble dissolves a few days following the procedure.

In more severe cases, a procedure called a scleral buckle may be performed. During a scleral buckle, a flexible band is placed around the eye to counteract the force that is pulling the retina out of place. The fluid behind the detached retina will be drained, and the retina should return to its normal place in the back of the eye.

A vitrectomy is a procedure done to repair serious retinal detachments. It requires removing the vitreous gel inside the eye. The vitrectomy may release tension on the retina, allowing it to move back into its proper position where it can be reattached. Once the vitreous is removed, a gas bubble is placed inside the eye to keep the retina in place until it is healed.

One to two weeks of recovery time is typically required after retinal detachment surgery. If the surgery involved inserting a gas bubble into the eye to apply pressure to the retina, the patient must often spend much of the recovery time facedown.

While patients can often resume normal activities within one to two weeks of retinal detachment surgery, follow-up visits typically take place over the next one to three months, and the patient’s ability to travel may be limited for longer as well. During the recovery period, patients should avoid driving, heavy lifting and watching TV. Patients with nonactive jobs can typically return to work after two weeks.

If not treated quickly, a retinal detachment can cause partial or total vision loss so prompt treatment is essential. If you notice changes to your vision, do not delay in seeking treatment. Contact Associated Retina Consultants at 602-242-4928 or associatedretinaconsultants.com to learn more.

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