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Chronicles of Mike’s Eye Surgeries

Here you’ll learn all about my experiences with cataract, retinal and other eye surgeries …
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PREFACE…

Cataract surgery is often seen as a pretty simple surgery to replace the clouded lens in your eye with an artificial one. Normally, it’s a fairly simple procedure and after your visit to the eye doctor the next day you can go back to most of you normal routines including driving. The thing most people complain about is that you have several sets of drops to put in your eyes three to four times a day for nearly a month. Although complications are rare I have delineated my experiences below to let you know it’s not always “a piece of cake” as some people like to describe it. Anytime they are making slits in your eye with a laser to correct astigmatism or cutting into your eye with a surgical instrument to replace your natural lens various complications can arise, especially if you are moderately or highly near sighted, which I was at the time of the cataract surgery. I had been diagnosed with a slight cataract in one eye several years before my cataract surgery and eventually both eyes clouded enough to cause problems driving, especially at night. Finally in early 2014 I was referred to an ophthalmologist by my optometrist. After an exam and consultation I decided to have cataract surgery performed on both eyes in July of 2014. Because I was so nearsighted the surgery would be performed two weeks apart in lieu of the standard three weeks apart. The surgery would involve removing the natural lens from both eyes and replacing them with a multifocal intraocular lens (IOL) designed to allow both reading and distance vision without glasses. Since I was extremely myopic they had to use the strongest multifocal IOL on the market. Also, I would first have a newly approved method of laser astigmatism correction performed immediately before the cataract surgery itself.

THE STORY

The cataract surgery on my right eye on 7/7/14 went well and the next day I was seeing 20/40 without glasses. I’m more than three weeks out on that one now and seeing 20/20 distance but am still having trouble with reading and intermediate distances up to about 6 feet. It takes 6-8 weeks to realize full effect and your eye and brain must adjust to a different way of seeing with the multifocal lens. Some problem with my left eye is putting it very mildly. I had the cataract surgery on the left eye done on 7/21/14 and suspected something before I even left the recovery room. The time spent in the laser room and the operating room seemed significantly longer and my vision was very foggy upon leaving the Capital Surgery Center in Harrisburg. At my appointment the next day we were driving across the river on I81 North and I remarked to my wife Cheryl that as soon as a vehicle passed us it disappeared into the fog. That day they upped my antibiotic and anti-inflammatory drops to every hour in lieu of four times a day and put in strong dilation drops which would dilate my eye the entire week. I returned for another follow-up visit Friday 7/25/14 and my vision had improved to 20/100 when looking through the clearest parts of the fog (other parts almost obscured my vision entirely). The antibiotic drops were discontinued Friday and the anti-inflammatory drops were readjusted to every 2 hours. This is where the real drama begins as you will soon find out.

As I’m eating lunch on Saturday 7/26/14 a shower of thousands upon thousands of small dots, some dark black like pepper, some gray and some translucent covers my entire left eye. This almost felt like looking at a picture of the cosmos but with mostly dark planets. I thought that I may be having a retinal tear or detachment so I told Cheryl to call the eye doctor and they forwarded us to Dr. Armesto at the Fredricksen Outpatient Center who was the ophthalmologist on call. We left for there about 2:30 PM Saturday. After an extensive examination Dr. Armesto said there was a significant amount of inflammation and he thought there might be an infection inside my eye. I had no eye pain so that was a positive sign. He had trouble getting my eyes to dilate since they had been dilated all week. He ruled out a retinal tear/detachment or PVD (Posterior Vitreous Detachment). He explained that a staph infection could be easily cured but was concerned about a strep infection, which could be catastrophic in his words. At this time Dr. Armesto informed me that an infection in the eye after cataract surgery was about a 1 in 5,000 chance. Lucky me! Dr. Armesto informed me that he recommended that I see a Retinal Specialist ASAP and he would arrange the appointment. We waited another 15-20 minutes for Dr. Armesto to notify Dr. Ernst, the cataract surgeon, and to set up an immediate appointment with Dr. Baker, the doctor on call, at the PA Retina Specialists on Grandview Ave, Camp Hill near Holy Spirit Hospital across the river from Harrisburg. We left Fredricksen Center about 4 PM and headed for the Retina Specialist. We arrived there about 4:10 and nobody was there, but after about 5 minutes Dr. Baker opened the door to let us in. After a comprehensive exam Dr. Baker agreed with Dr. Armesto’s diagnosis. After discussing the options with Dr. Baker we agreed to several antibiotic shots directly into the eye and he took a specimen to be analyzed. We were instructed to put antibiotic drops and anti-inflammatory drops in every waking hour. Dr. Baker said he would call Sunday morning. We left there about 5:30 PM headed to the Holy Spirit Hospital to drop of the specimen at the lab. We finally arrived home exhausted around 6 PM.

On Sunday 7/27/14 we waited until about 11:30 AM and left to get some lunch and go check on Cheryl’s 89 year old father. Around 12:15 PM as we were eating lunch Cheryl checked her phone and there was a message from 11:41 AM. The phone never rang but just rejected the call directly to voice mail. We immediately left and came home and after several tries finally got a hold of Dr. Baker. After a discussion on the phone Dr. Baker felt we could wait to see him on Monday 7/28/14. We made an appointment for Monday morning at 11:30 AM. Cheryl filled out all the paper work because I still have major trouble reading and even looking at the computer is still hard. After a thorough exam where my left eye was dilated yet again, at least as much as it could be, Dr. Baker is pretty confident that if I had an infection we killed it. The technician called the Holy Spirit lab while we were there and the preliminary results were negative for organisms. I think it will take another 3-4 days for a culture and to get the final lab results. At any rate I was seeing 20/40 in my left eye yesterday when the fog wasn’t covering my vision. I was instructed to drop back the antibiotic drops to four times a day and continue the anti-inflammatory drops to every 1-2 hours in my left eye not to mention the antibiotic and anti-inflammatory drops still being put into my right eye twice a day. Cheryl must put in the drops because I have no clear or up close vision or depth perception in either eye yet. I would estimate that I’m seeing about 20/100 most of the time, sometimes better through clearer spots in the fog and sometimes worse through the more opaque fog as it moves around my inner eye. I am still seeing thousands of small dots and specks varying in opaqueness and some large squiggly floaters but I have no eye pain. I have an appointment Thursday with Dr. Sieber, optometrist, in Lemoyne, next Tuesday with Dr. Sieber (we’re going to see if they can do everything Thursday and cancel this one) and another appointment with Dr. Baker of PA Retina Specialists next Wednesday afternoon 8/6/14.

When I woke up Thursday 7/31/14 to go for my appointment with Dr. Sieber I had a headache. While I was at my exam it was just mild. I mentioned it during my exam but the doctor didn’t think it was anything to worry about. My exam proceeded pretty routinely. The eye pressure had risen from 16/17 to 21 in my left eye but that was to be expected with the injection while the eye pressure was a normal 16 in my right eye. After Dr. Sieber performed his exam and said I was 20/30 in my left eye (when the more opaque fogginess wasn’t present) and 20/20 in my right eye and he informed me that Dr. Ernst, my cataract surgeon was in that office today and wanted to check in on me. As Dr. Ernst came into the office he said that he had a lot of information on me and mentioned that he could start a documentary. I chuckled and informed him that all I wanted were the royalties. Dr. Ernst then explained that he had been in Michigan the previous weekend and was sorry he couldn’t have been there but thanked Dr. Armesto and Dr. Baker and explained their reasons and findings. He took a look at my eyes and after mentioning that the inflammation was down somewhat we discussed the plan forward. He seemed to think everything was coming along and mentioned something about this sort of thing happening “once in a blue moon”. I believe those were his exact words. Lucky me once again! Dr. Ernst decided on an 8 week plan for steroid drops and discontinued the antibiotic drops in my left eye. I was to continue with drops twice a day in my right eye until four weeks out (the next Monday) and could then stop all drops in my right eye which was doing fantastic. Since I was ten days out he decided to have me remain on the steroid drops every two hours until the end of the second week and then proceed to lower the dosage to four times a day for two weeks, two times a day for two weeks and finally one time a day for two weeks. Since I had an appointment with the retina specialist next Wednesday we cancelled the Tuesday appointment with Dr. Sieber and set up a recheck on 9/2/14. I left there around noon. My wife ask if I wanted to go to lunch but my headache had gotten worse and I said to just take me home.

After I arrived home my headache continued to get worse and was also affecting my eye although I had no loss of vision. The headache was centered on the left side of my head in my left eye and from the outside of my left eye to my hairline. For about six hours it was very debilitating. Finally around 6:30 PM it started to let up. I took acetaminophen, aspirin, and sinus tablets but nothing helped. As my wife made me a bowl of soup that evening I noticed there was pain and pressure in my left eye while moving my head certain ways and focusing on near objects. I was able to sleep that night but there was still a slight headache and the eye pain and focusing pain remained. I continued with pain pills, aspirin, and sinus pills and they helped a little. I finally decided to take a shower late Friday afternoon hoping that would make me feel better. As I was in the shower I noticed a round black spot at the far left of my peripheral vision of my left eye. This kind of alarmed me because I hadn’t seen it before. I didn’t tell my wife because she was finally relaxing after everything she had been through with me so I didn’t want to alarm her yet again. I monitored the spot through the weekend and late Sunday it seemed as if was moving further right as I moved my eye to the right and it also looked as if there was clearer vision now to the left of the spot. I finally told my wife and presumed it was nothing to worry about. I chalked it up to maybe a bubble from the antibiotic injection or a strange type of floater. I thought I’d just have the retina specialist check on it when I go Wednesday as it wasn’t really blocking my vision. The focusing and pain with head movement gradually dissipated as the weekend progressed. By Monday I was able to focus and move my head without any pain and the headache seemed to have finally disappeared.

When Wednesday 8/6/14 finally arrived my vision seemed improved even though there was still some cloudiness and more opaque areas. My 3:45 PM appointment finally arrived and my improved vision was confirmed. I was now able to see 20/20 in my left eye and the pressure had dropped to 15. I was feeling pretty good about that as I took a seat in the waiting room after yet another set of drops were put in to dilate my eye. As Dr. Baker examined me I could tell something was up as he kept repeating numerous numbers to the technician. After the exam was completed he calmly said that my retina was torn and I had a partial retinal detachment. Another .3% or less chance of such an event happening. Lucky me once again! I could see the stunned look on my wife’s face as he explained the situation. He said that this must be taken care of and the sooner the better. He said it was another bump in the road to my left eye problems. My “once in a blue moon” just became about the same chance as getting struck by lightning. He mentioned that they could correct it and a bonus was that the debris in my eye would be cleared up (not the way I was expecting to get rid of it). The surgery would involve repairing the torn retina with a laser and fixing the detached retina and placing a nitrous oxide (N2O) bubble into my eye. My understanding was that as my eye refilled with fluid the bubble would eventually go away but that normally takes several weeks and can take anywhere from two to ten weeks. I immediately wondered what complication would manifest itself from this surgery. An appointment was set up for Friday 8/8/14 at Holy Spirit Hospital Outpatient Surgery Clinic. Dr. Baker was unavailable that day so Dr. Prensky agreed to do the surgery. They were to call Thursday with the time and other details. I was given two more eye drop prescriptions and told to discontinue the steroid drop after Thursday. As we discussed the surgery and expectations with the staff we agreed to rent a set of equipment (we were told that it would not be there until Saturday because of short notice) which was designed to help recovery as I was instructed that I had to be in a face down position for five days after the surgery. In addition to face down I was told not to read for five days but could watch TV as it was more of a staring than reading activity. One of the pieces was a chair type device with supporting your body on your knees while looking into a padded head brace. There was a mirror below your face so you could watch TV. Another piece was an angled bed pad with a supporting head brace so you could sleep face down. We got the prescriptions filled Thursday and the Outpatient Surgery Clinic called with a 6:45 AM reporting time and an 8:45 AM surgery time for Friday morning and gave me my pre-surgery instructions. I decided to splurge and have chicken and broccoli Alfredo for dinner since I was going to be eating a lot of soup and quick meals for the next five days.

We arrived at the Outpatient Clinic about 6:35 AM Friday morning 8/8/14 and they took me in about 7:00 AM to prepare for surgery. The person scheduled for the first surgery was running late so they moved mine up and quickly installed the necessary eye drops needed to prepare for surgery. I was told by the anesthetist that I would be in twilight during the surgery. As I was positioned into place I noticed the time of 8:03 AM on the clock in the surgery room. Since I had been on a 325 mg aspirin and only been off since Tuesday I was told I would have a nice black and blue eye as you can see from the pictures below.

The surgery took just a little over an hour and I could hear the conversations but didn’t feel anything. By 9:15 AM I was back in the prep area and they were giving me apple juice to ensure I wasn’t sick from the anesthesia. I was told to go to the Retinal Specialist office at 9:30 AM Saturday morning 8/9/14 for my post-op appointment. We departed there around 10:00 AM.

After a very uncomfortable day and night in a face down position we left around 9 AM the next morning for my post-op exam. After about a twenty minute wait Dr. Prensky finally arrived around 9:40 AM and after looking though my swollen face and eye informed me that everything was going as planned. I told him everything looked black with white spokes and he said that was normal. I could faintly see images out of the very top of my eye. I was told to call the office Monday for another follow-up exam. We left there around 10 AM Saturday morning.

Shortly after we arrived home the rental equipment arrived. My wife was trying to put it together when our friends Dave and Deanna arrived with homemade chili and blueberry cobbler…YUM! Dave helped her put the equipment together. I did my best to keep a face down position for the next five days while eating the chili, soup, pudding, mac & cheese, spaghetti etc. We had bought some things Thursday including straws so I could maintain a face down position while drinking also. There was some lightly colored leaking from my eye for a couple of days but that quickly turned into mostly just tears by the third day. My swelling gradually subsided with ice pack applications but the purple reached from the width of my eye socket down my face and along the bridge of my nose in a sort of ‘V” pattern to slightly below the bottom of my nose on my left cheek. It was very difficult to get through the day and also very uncomfortable to sleep in a face down position. I was using Advil for pain and would hold an ice pack to my swollen left eye for about fifteen minutes every several hours during the day. I suspect I only got several hours of sleep each night but did nod off several times throughout the day. I used a damp washcloth to gently wash my face several times a day and didn’t shower until Sunday night. As I got in the shower Sunday night my wife agreed to soap me up and rinse me off with the hand held shower wand while I held a wash cloth over my eye. She wound up disrobing and getting in the shower also in order to do this, an awkward but funny moment to be sure.

On Monday our friend Kitty dropped by to see how I was doing and we told her we were going to lunch Wednesday to celebrate being off of my face down mandate. The Retina Specialists office also called Monday and set up an appointment for Tuesday 8/19/14 at 10:15 AM. I can see a definite round bubble now, especially when looking straight down, which covered about 80-90% of my field of vision and could see blurry images outside and inside the bubble though they were a different kind of blurry image. By Wednesday I was ready to get out and we called several of our friends to go to lunch since my five days were up. We went through the shower routine again Wednesday morning and she also washed my hair, this time in the kitchen sink, as I covered my eye with a wash cloth. We all had a nice lunch and talked for about two hours. We agreed to meet at Caddy Shack that evening for dinner also. Now with my head upright the bubble would drop down towards the bottom 1/2 to 1/3 of my eye and I could see blurred images and straight lines were wavy outside the bubble. This was very disorienting for the first day or so especially since I had been face down for five days. I may now sleep on my sides or belly but cannot sleep on my back until the bubble is completely gone. I now see just a few black pepper specks in my eye, a sharp contrast to the thousands upon thousands I was seeing before the surgery.

A few things concern me at this point. At 9 days out I am seeing fuzzy, which I would expect, but what is really concerning is the distortion and waviness. I suppose the gas bubble and the healing process could have something to do with that but along with that I have several gray blind spots just adjacent to and on either side of and below my central vision which resemble the image of two oval elongated eyes and a small spot like a nose below and between the oval eye shapes. I’m hoping the macula is not now involved but nothing would surprise me at this point. I may be overreacting so hopefully this clears up as the bubble diminishes and the eye continues to heal. So far it seems that some identified complication is occurring with every procedure that I have done even though it is a 10% or less chance. It’s starting to get depressing at this point. At this point I just hope nothing happens to my good right eye. Tuesday is now just 2 days away.

It’s Tuesday 8/19/14 now and I’m off to my appointment. The central vision is still distorted and the gray spots are still there. Peripheral vision seems to be improving but still a little bright and washed out. I’ll know my fate soon. I finally received the best news on my left eye that I have received in a month. The macula is fine. There is still some wrinkling in the retina causing the distorted images. The retina needs to flatten and will take time to heal. All other things such as the cornea, the lens implant, etc. were normal. Pressure was very good at 15. At this point the doctor believes there is no reason I should not see 20/20 when everything is healed. Found out that one of the drops was a dilation drop causing the vision to be blurry and washed out. The dilation drop of two times a day has been discontinued. The antibiotic/steroid drop is to be continued for another four days but has been cut back to two times a day. The gas bubble should be gone in about a week so I’ll be able to sleep on my back once again. I’m still somewhat reserved about the good news because of all that has going wrong but this is definitely some positive news for a change. It finally seems like there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Next appointment is 9/2/14 with Dr. Sieber, a follow-up on the cataract surgeries.

It’s 9/2/14 and vision is still distorted in left eye. The appointment with Dr. Sieber reveals seeing 20/30 in the right eye (I was having a bad day) and 20/40 in left eye when I can avoid the distortion and gray spots. Eye pressure is good in both eyes; 11 in the left and 14 in the right. Permission given to resume driving but any workout and other activities won’t be determined until I see the Retina Specialist on 9/23/14. I was told to call for a final cataract evaluation on both eyes after the retina heals and stabilizes.

The 9/23/14 visit went well. I am now seeing 20/20 in both eyes. Dr. Prensky said everything looks as well as can be expected. The retina has not yet flattened completely and I still have the distorted vision in my left eye so while I can see an individual letter at 20/20 I still cannot read a words or sentences well because of the distortion. Also, the gray spots are still very much in my central vision. Pressure in both eyes was good. The doctor keeps saying time will correct these difficulties. I hope so, I guess we’ll see. Since the good eye is taking over and the retina has healed I was given the OK to drive and resume all physical activities. The next appointment is in three months on 12/18/14.

It’s 12/17/14 and vision seems worse, distorted but also not as sharp. I have an appointment at 9:15 tomorrow with Dr. Prensky of PA Retina Specialists. It’s now 12/18/14 and my vision still has blind spots and is wavy and distorted. Eye pressure is good at 10 and 12 and vision in right eye is 20/20. Also, during the appointment today Dr. Prensky said I have clouding of the capsule holding the artificial lens in the left eye from the cataract surgery and subsequent retina surgery. He is forwarding the results of the exam to Dr. Ernst so I will probably need to go there next month to have it corrected with a laser. This complication is not unusual in cataract surgery and especially more likely after detached retina surgery. I was previously warned of this by Dr. Sieber at Schein Ernst Eye. Dr. Prensky is hoping the laser to correct the capsule cloudiness will also resolve the spots in my central vision and if not he said he could do a procedure to try to wash out the spots. I’m not sure exactly where the spots are in my eye but from our talk I believe Dr. Prensky believes they are in the front of the eye somewhere and not the retina. The next appointment with PA Retina Specialists is on 3/26/15. I am now awaiting a call from Schein Ernst Eye to have the laser procedure (YAG) to correct the newfound cloudiness in my left eye. I was unable to make an appointment with Schein Ernst until March 25, one day before my next appointment with PA Retina Specialists. No change in vision as of 1/20/15.

I visited Schein Ernst Eye on Wednesday 3/25/15. Vision check indicated the right eye at 20/20 and left eye at 20/30 with potential of 20/25. Eye pressure in both eyes was 18 today. Dr. Ernst confirmed the cloudiness in the left eye and said there was also slight cloudiness in the right eye. No one seems to know why there are three blind spots and wavy areas immediately adjacent to my central vision or where in the eye they are located. I am still hoping the YAG laser can fix the blind spots and wavy vision. At this point I’m even less optimistic. I am hoping that Dr. Prensky at PA Retina Specialists may have another trick up his sleeve so we’ll just have to see how this progresses after the YAG surgery. He said the YAG laser surgery would benefit both eyes but for now we only scheduled the left eye for the procedure at the Capital Laser Center in Harrisburg on April 1st with a follow-up with Dr, Sieber at the Lemoyne office on April 9th. I have a scheduled appointment tomorrow, Thursday 3/26/15 with Dr. Prensky at PA Retina Specialist. Another day of dilating my eyes, UGH! At least now I’ll be able to tell him the YAG laser surgery is scheduled.

It’s Thursday 3/26/15 and I have an appointment with Dr. Prensky of PA Retina Specialists. Vision was 20/20 in right eye and 20/40 in left eye (there was more diffuse bright light blocking my vision with their test). Pressure in both eyes was good at about 12 with a 95% accuracy rate on the handheld instrument. After examining my eyes, Dr. Prensky says the results of my detached retina surgery are “perfect” in his words. The macula and retina look great and the scan looks great. He still seems to think that the blind spots (fixed unmoving floaters in my central vision?) and wavy vision problems are in the front of the eye and that the YAG laser surgery may resolve them. I’m not as optimistic that they will be resolved but it’s glad to hear the retina is in good shape. He told me to call and let him know how the YAG laser surgery helps me. An appointment with PA Retina Specialists was scheduled for six months on 9/30/15. Next up is the YAG laser surgery next Wednesday, 4/1/15 (oh no…with all my troubles why this date?!) with Dr. Ernst of Schein Ernst Eye at the Capital Laser Surgery Center in Harrisburg.

On 4/1/15 I arrived at the Capital Laser Surgery Center about 12:30 for my 12:40 appointment. After a short wait I was given a series of eye drops and sent back to the waiting room. After about 40 minutes I was called in for the laser surgery that turned out to be a series of short blasts. I was in and out in less than five minutes. I was given a prescription to take steroid drops for five days and told to wait another 30 minutes so they could verify the pressure in my eye was OK. I noticed almost immediately that my vision was clearer and the bright distortion was gone, however, the dark gray blind spots and wavy, distorted vision in my central vision remained. On my 4/9/2015 follow-up appointment Dr. Sieber confirmed the cloudiness was removed and that the capsule holding the lens was clear. My reading was 20/25 in my left eye as I moved my eye to avid the blind gray spots to read the chart and the pressure was good at 12. I scheduled an appointment for six months with Dr. Sieber and was told to call sooner if the right eye clouded any further. I still need to contact PA Retina Specialist and let them know that the dark gray spots and waviness adjacent to my central vision are still present. I’m hoping they can schedule something in a few months to see what to do about it.

It’s 4/28/15 and the saga continues. As I’m watching the baseball game I began seeing flashes at the outer edge of my right eye, the good one! I woke up on 4/29 and the flashes were still there so I called PA Retinal Specialists for an appointment. As we are driving to breakfast a shower of thousands of pepper-like floaters and other floaters appear. While eating breakfast PA Retina Specialists calls and gives me a 12:30 appointment with Dr. Ho. In the mean time, at about 11:30 I have another episode of additional specks and floaters, probably at least doubling what I had just several hours earlier. At the exam, my pressures checked out OK (10 & 12) and I was seeing 20/20 in both eyes. Upon examination by Dr. Ho I learned that I have now had a post vitreous detachment (PVD) with vitreous hemorrhaging. The good news is there is not a retinal tear or retinal detachment. I need to keep a close watch for several months as I could develop a retinal tear and possibly a retinal detachment especially since I was highly myopic and previously had a retinal detachment in my left eye. A follow-up appointment was scheduled with Dr. Prensky on May 11, 2015.

It’s now 5/11/15 and the PVD has completed and there is no sign of retinal damage. Dr. Prensky says I’m not out of the woods yet but this is a good sign. I am seeing 20/20 in both eyes and eye pressures are good. There is still plenty of blurry vision in the right eye due to floaters, especially one big one, and the left eye situation remains unresolved. My next appointment with PA Retina Specialists is July 21, 2015. Before that I have a follow-up with Dr. Sieber of Schein Ernst Eye on July 9, 2015. I am hoping to get measured for any reading glasses at that time.

My appointment on July 9 with Dr. Sieber went well. The eye pressures were good. I have a very slight astigmatism remaining in my right eye but not enough to need any correction and my reading is good (as long as I’m reading their brightly lit and well contrasted chart) so no extra glasses will be needed. Vision is about 20/20 to 20/25. I still have trouble with a computer, books, magazines, and newspapers. I have several pairs of cheap readers at about (+2.50 to- +2.75) for newspapers and (+2.00 to + 2.25) for the computer. I am not scheduled back there for one year.

On July 21, 2015 I visited PA Retina Specialists. Dr. Prensky says the vitreous detachment and hemorrhage is coming along slowly and that most of the debris in my right eye should eventually resolve itself. Eye pressures were good. We did not discuss the blind spots around the central vision in my left eye. I was told they would call to set up a six month appointment. At that time, hopefully, the right eye issues will be mostly resolved so I plan to discuss the central vision problem in my left in depth to see if there is a possible solution or if this is just the way it has to be. Retinal scans have looked good according to the Dr. Prensky so I haven’t heard an explanation for the three blind spots around my central vision in my left eye and the waviness and distortion it causes. My next appointment with PA Retina Specialists, Dr. Prensky, is 2/25/16.

On 2/25/2016 I visited PA Retina Specialists, Dr. Prensky. Initial tests revealed that pressures (13 and 16) and vision 20/25 was OK in both eyes (at times when avoiding opaque and blind spots were possible). Dr. Prensky looked at my right eye once again and the blood and other opaque floaters and debris have not gotten any better. He recommended that I have a vitrectomy to remove the blood and opaque floaters that have not resolved. My wife made a scrunch face when hearing about the needed surgery. I ask if he thought they might resolve with more time and he said it was unlikely since it has been 10 months since the PVD with hemorrhage. I scheduled a vitrectomy with a capsulotomy (to resolve the cloudiness from post cataract surgery) on 3/4/2016 at the West Shore Surgery Center. I ask about complications and he said there was less than a 1% chance of retinal issues (where have I heard THAT before!). I will need to wear an eye patch overnight after surgery and remove it in the morning and begin the post surgery eye drops. This time one steroid eye drop prescription will cover both anti-inflammatory and antibiotics.

It’s now 3/4/2016. I got a call yesterday to report to the surgery center at 6:30 AM. We arrived shortly before that and after initial paperwork I was taken back to prepare for surgery at about 6:45 AM. I was told that the surgery was scheduled for 8:00 AM. After changing into the hospital gown and having the IV put in, blood pressure sleeve secured and tabs stuck to my chest and side I began receiving two sets of eye drops at 7:15 AM. They invited my wife back to sit with me shortly before instilling the first set of drops. I would receive two more sets of eye drops at 15 minute intervals and about 7:50 my wife was sent back to the waiting room. Shortly thereafter they took me into the OR. The procedure was pretty quick. I remember being given drops in each eye and feeling a mild pinch as I was given a shot somewhere near the eye but there was no pain during the procedure. I was awake the whole time and remember hearing some sounds a couple of times. They put some gauze over my eye and a plastic eye shield over that. There was some very slight pink leakage. After the procedure was over I was taken to recovery where I saw the clock read 8:20 AM. I drank some fluids and was given post-op instructions and an appointment for 10:00 AM tomorrow morning and headed home. Since the surgery center is only about ten minutes away we were home by 9 AM. I slept a little in the afternoon but was feeling good enough to go to dinner with some friends that evening. I took an ibuprofen before dinner just in case any pain would start to arise. Even though I had no pain, before bed I took a Tylenol and resumed my aspirin regimen as directed.

It’s now Saturday 3/5/2016 and my wife removed the patch about 7 AM. There was no further leakage and there is virtually no swelling or pain. The white of my eye is a little red. After my eye drop was put in I tried looking around. It’s very foggy at this point with little cell-like particles floating around. Since my eye is dilated and the drops help to keep it slightly dilated and the extra light is also ensuring the fogginess is more pronounced than normal. It’s now 9 AM. It appears the cell-like particles are dissolving somewhat but the eye is still very foggy, even more so than when I took the patch off. I’ll know more after my appointment today. The visit with doctor Prensky went well. He checked my eye pressure and it was 16. I told him about my concern for the fogginess and he held up his hand about two feet from me and ask me if I could see the number of fingers as he changed them several times. I told him the correct number and he said that’s all he was really concerned about today as far as my vision acuity. He said there was a little blood in the eye from the incision but that the fogginess and blood would mostly resolve in 3-4 days. He told me to call the office on Monday and set up an appointment for the following week and that he wouldn’t need to see me until then unless I had excessive bleeding, headaches not controlled by OTC medicines or any flashing. We headed to the diner after the appointment and I took an ibuprofen gel tab as I had a slight headache (maybe from the numbing drops he put in) as it felt like a little squeezing. Even though I had very little pain, I continued to take an ibuprofen gel tab every 4 hours and a Tylenol and aspirin at 10 PM before bed to stay on top of anything that might come up. The fogginess improved a little throughout the day and when I woke up Sunday morning it was still foggy but better than Saturday. On Monday I called the PA Retina Specialist for an appointment and was given 2:45 Friday 3/11/2016.

It’s now Friday 3/11/2016. The vision has been improving about 10-20% each day since I took off the eye patch. There are still thousands of black specs and gray specs but they seem to be getting less in number and smaller with each passing day. My appointment is later today at 2:45 with Dr. Prensky at PA Retina Specialists. I was pleased to find out that my vision in each eye today was 20/20. The pressure in my right eye was good at 16. Dr. Prensky is very happy with the results of the vitrectomy. I can resume all activities immediately (except swimming). I can reduce the drops to twice a day for another five days and can then discontinue them completely after next Wednesday 3/16/2010. It appears that the end of my almost two year saga is in sight (no pun intended!). As the vision in my right eye improves it is making up for the central vision deficiency in my left eye. Hopefully, after the floater specs disappear I should have 20/20 vision or better while using both eyes. I am hopeful that sometime in the future the problem with my left eye will resolve on its own, otherwise, I will still have some difficulty with tasks requiring focus and precision using only the left eye. I have another post-op with Dr. Prensky scheduled for 4/4/2016.

The post-op appointment with Dr. Prensky at PA Retina Specials on 4/4/2016 went well. Eye pressure was good and seeing 20/25 in left eye and 20/20 in right eye. The tiny floaters in my right eye are mostly gone. I can still see some when looking into the sky but they don’t affect my vision at all.

My next appointment was with Dr. Sieber of Schein Ernst Eye on 7/12/2016 and it went fairly well. I still have a very slight astigmatism remaining in my right eye but not enough to need any correction as I am seeing just fine out of that eye. According to Dr. Sieber my reading was surprising good for someone who has had retinal surgery and corrective multifocal lens implants. Eye pressures were good and vision was 20/20 in my right eye and 20/30 in my left eye. There was a shadow on the eye chart so with my problem left eye I had some trouble reading the chart. He didn’t dilate my eye because I was due for a post-op check-up for the vitrectomy and capsulotomy with the PA Retina Specialists on 7/26/2016. I made an annual appointment for 7/18/2017 with Dr. Sieber.

On 7/26/2016 I went to my appointment with Dr. Prensky of the PA Retinal Specialists. Once again my vision was 20/20 in my right eye and about 20/30 in my left eye. Eye pressure in both eyes was 14 and my eyes were dilated. I also had a retinal scan. Dr. Prensky was please with the surgery on my right eye. My left eye still has blind spots with distortion and I did hear him say something about the macula to the tech but he assured me that everything was fine and that I didn’t need to come back for a year. Hopefully, this is the last of the surgeries and that the right eye remain healthy and retains good vision as I am depending on that eye for the sharp focused central vision as my left eye is still very imperfect. I still suspect at some point in the future another retinal/macula surgery will be required on my left eye, especially if the vision in my right eye were to deteriorate.

That ends my eye surgery saga. Stay tuned for future developments should they arise.

Summary of notable eye problems/diagnoses/surgeries/procedures:

7/7/14 cataract surgery right eye

7/21/14 cataract surgery left eye

7/26/14 shower of floaters in left eye

7/26/14 shots in left eye and culture taken for possible infection

8/8/14 torn and partially detached retina diagnosed

8/10/14 surgery with vitrectomy for torn and detached retina on left eye

12/18/14 post cataract clouding diagnosed in left eye

3/25/15 post cataract slight cloudiness diagnosed in right eye

4/1/15 YAG laser surgery for post cataract clouding on the left eye

4/28/15 shower of floaters in right eye

4/29/15 post vitreous detachment (PVD) with vitreous hemorrhaging diagnosed in right eye

2/25/16 vitrectomy advised for unresolved PVD/hemorrhage causing opaque floaters in right eye

3/4/2016 vitrectomy for PVD hemorrhage opaque floaters with capsulotomy (to clear up post cataract clouding) in right eye


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