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Retinal Detachment

How will I know the operation has been a success?

This can be defined both in terms of anatomical success (a fully reattached retina) and visual success. We tend to measure anatomically success at approximately 2-3 months following surgery with gas, or after the oil has been removed. If your retina were to re-detach then multiple operations may be required for final reattachment. Approximately 99% of retinal detachments

How much time off will I need after the operation?

This will depend on multiple factors including your occupation, the level of vision in your other eye, whether you must drive for a living, the type of operation performed, and which type of gas or oil was used. I will tailor this advice to your circumstances, but it is generally prudent to allow at least

When can I resume exercise?

It is safe to perform light exercise after surgery. I will individualise the advice relating to more vigorous exercise when I review you at your post-operative visits.  

When can I shower and wash my hair?

You can shower and wash your hair from the day after your procedure, however, it is advisable not to allow water to enter the eye for approximately 2 weeks following surgery. This can be avoided with simple measures including wearing swimming goggles during showering or washing your hair backwards in a sink similar to hairdressers.  

Can I fly after the operation?

You must not fly at any point if there is any residual gas in your eye. Once the gas has fully absorbed, then may fly.  It is safe to fly if you receive an oil bubble to reattach your retina. It is not advisable, however, to schedule any foreign travel for immediately after eye surgery,

When can I drive, and do I need to inform the DVLA about your surgery?

Generally, it is inadvisable to drive whilst there is gas in the eye due to the sudden loss of vision in one eye, and the often distracting nature of a partially absorbed moving gas bubble within the eye (see gas section above). It will be safe to drive once the gas bubble has completely absorbed, and if

Gas or oil in the eye?

In most cases, it will be sufficient to use a gas bubble to reattach your retina. There are 2 types of gas bubble commonly used in retinal detachment vitrectomy surgery:   SF6 gas which can stay in your eye between 2-3 weeks before completely absorbing  C3F8 gas which can remain between 8-10 weeks before completely absorbing.  For up to half of this time, you will have

How long does it take for the stitches to dissolve?

I generally employ modern sutureless microincision techniques for performing vitrectomy surgery, which does not usually require the use of stitches. |Sometimes stitches are required, however, and always so if a scleral buckle procedure is performed. These may take anywhere between 2-5 weeks to completely dissolve.

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