Wednesday, February 23, 2011

February 23, 2011

Well it is 5:00 a.m and Dad, Mom and Terri just left to take dad to surgery today.  He will have a retinal re-attachment surgery on his left eye, an emergency process to hopefully restore or at least maintain the sight in his left eye.  This occured quickly over the past two weeks.  It started out with Dad feeling like something was in his eye for a day and seeing 'floaters'.  

As you age, your vitreous humor may change in consistency and shrink or become more liquid. Eventually, the vitreous may sag and separate from the surface of the retina — a common condition called posterior vitreous detachment (PVD), or vitreous collapse.
As the vitreous separates or peels off the retina, it may tug on the retina with enough force to create a retinal tear.  This is where we are now.
So dad will have the surgery this morning.  They will re-attach the retina, place what is known as a Scleral Buckling.  Scleral buckling is a common surgical treatment for a detached retina.  This procedure is done under local anesthesia, and you will also be given a mild sedative.  Your eye will be completely numbed and you will remain comfortable during your surgical experience.
Your surgeon will first treat the tear or detachment with cryopexy.  Depending on the severity of your detachment, he will then enclose all or part of the sclera – the white part of your eye, with a silicone band or buckle.  This buckle will be stitched to the sclera and will hold the retina in place.  Usually, the buckle will permanently remain in your eye. 

The doctor will insert a gas bubble in to Dad's eye.  This will actually serve to push the retina in to place and keep it there during healing.  Lasers will secure the retina but the gas bubble is like a band-aid until complete healing occurs. during the healing process, from 3-4 weeks, dad will need to keep his head down to the floor at all times.  You can imagine this will be a challenge!  We went to a store yesterday and rented some special equipment to help him sit during the days, eat, and sleep in that position.  

The chair comes with a mirror so that he can watch tv and interact with people.  The bed unit is similar but he will sleep on his stomach. Fortunately Dad has been a tummy-sleeper all his life so he should be able to get some rest even with his face stuck in a vice every night.

My sister is an angel.  She is raising 4 kids, has a full-time job, and works very hard.  She and her boyfriend Ryan are a HUGE blessing and I can't thank them enough.  

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