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timtam 09-29-2007 11:35 AM

Macular Hole Questions
It appears I have a tiny macular hole in the retina of my right eye. Will be seeing an opthamologist who I'm assuming will recommend surgery to repair or reseal the hole. I understand the patient has to remain in a prone position for one to three weeks following the procedure. I would genuinely appreciate any feedback or suggestions from those who went through this as well as those who passed on the surgery and have chosen to live with hole.

Jenna73 10-08-2007 10:16 PM

Re: Macular Hole Questions
Hi, my 62yo mother had this surgery last year. She was told by her dr to position her head down for a few hours per day for 2 weeks. My mother did 5 hours per day for 2 months. Needless to say, her macular hole is sealed! As you know, this surgery rapidly induces cataract, and requires a cataract removal surgery almost as a post-op treatment. My mother did not have cataract prior to the macular hole surgery. However, she developed such a DENSE cataract that she needed an implant. It's been 1.5 yrs since her surgery...
My mother had perfect vision all her life. Last year she was just starting to OCCASIONALLY wear reading glasses for this or that. She initially went to the eye dr. because she was not seeing things properly out of her left eye (with the macular hole). Images were a bit distorted. 1.5 yrs later, after all her troubles, she STILL has distorted vision. She says that she would not have had the surgeries if she knew that this is the end result of all the troubles of recovering and etc. She sees differently than even the first time she could not see properly. She gets a bit dizzy often, and her depth perception is a bit off (not a problem before). And this now is putting stress on her 'good-eye', and her vision is deteriorating. Everyone's result varies. But the dr. gave my mother a scare that if the macular hole was left untreated, she could eventually have detachment of the retina.. a bigger problem. Even after all the surgeries, I think she really regrets having the surgery done. It's created more complications for her. Like I said, everyone's result varies... I know someone else who had the surgery TWICE. She went through it once, and did not follow the post op instructions dilligently. He hole did not seal, and eventually had to have a 2nd surgery. She said her results were good. Best wishes to you.

timtam 10-11-2007 10:46 AM

Re: Macular Hole Questions
Many thanks, Jenna73, for taking the time and effort to respond. Your mother's experiences with this as well as your invaluable observations will assist me in coming to a decision.

wwwhy 10-21-2007 11:09 AM

Re: Macular Hole Questions
i wonder your decision, have you had the surgery?
i have the same problem and doctor told me the same things but i am not sure and want to see the others experiences.
it will be so helpfull if you tell me whats your experience ..
best wishes...

Frittzi 10-22-2007 10:21 AM

Re: Macular Hole Questions
I had my MH surgery almost 6 yrs ago. If you are not sure about your surgeon, do get a second opinion. I had a wonderful retinal surgeon, Dante Pieramici, of Santa Barbara, Ca. Firstly, there was no pain, not ever. I was face down for a long time, as my doctor put a very large gas bubble behind my right eye, so I could make it back home, going over the mountains, but it is do-able and most important for healing the hole completely.. I rented my face down equiptment for the bed, (I slept at the foot of my bed, with my head in the face rest) and the chair (highly recommended). The mirror for watching TV was way too small to see much, so my son-in-law rigged me up a large mirror and it was just like being face up, plus I could visit with those around me.......your neck, shoulders and back will get tense from being face down but do ask for neck and shoulder rubs...the most important thing is not to cheat on keeping that head way down where you're suppose to keep will just be the loser....the eye does heal, and after a few months I was back to driving my car, with improvements happening all the time. Reading is still distorted, but my left eye takes over and they work together very well.......I do have floaters, and at times, what I refer to as, brightly colored lightning flashes, although not often for those, but the floaters are usually there, but they are just small dots...... ...If I can be of help to anyone, I will be glad to ans. questions. You can do it!

timtam 10-22-2007 10:52 AM

Re: Macular Hole Questions
Bless you, Frittzi, for the feedback and encouragement. I just don't think at my age (65) that I will be able to successfully go through three weeks of prone positioning 20 or more hours a day. If I was 35 or 45, even 55, maybe. I don't think I can handle it now. Did you consider the double surgery (before and after) using silicone oil that does not require the post-operative three-week prone position? And, by the way, if there ever was a post-operative procedure that screamed out for a decent drug(s) to help you through it, this is it; yet, the opthamologist I'm seeing prescribes Tylenol. Good grief! Give me a break. Also, describe these things referred to as "floaters." There is a very tiny circle that floats across the affected eye. It started about three months ago. Is that what a floater is? Thanks again for sharing.

Frittzi 10-23-2007 10:45 AM

Re: Macular Hole Questions
My floaters are small black dots, like a period.....and sometimes they are small clear circles with a black outline....being in the outdoors (sunlight) seems to bring them out more, but they are not a constant thing. Lately I have been seeing a white light in the right hand corner of the macular eye, it's only instantaneous, like a bright flash, but even that is not very often...I have also been known to swat at, what I thought were gnats, but they were just those dog-gone floaters.ha
I was 68 when I had my surgery and if there were other options available at the time, I was unaware of them, my macular hole had been in the works for quite a few years, but my outcome is still considered very good....also if you have catarac surgery, you can still have floaters in the eye that didn't have the hole in it. My left eye has a dandy floater right in the middle of the eye, sometimes it moves downward and out of my view, but mostly, stays right in the middle of my "good" eye!!
I do not have regrets for having the "hole" sealed, and sure being face down can be a pain, but I was alowed 10 minutes out of every hour to eat, shower, and do whatever, and believe me, that 10 minutes goes by very fast!
I hope this has helped!

Liane 10-23-2007 09:36 PM

Re: Macular Hole Questions
Hello all. I had surgery 3 years ago for a macular hole, at the age of 52. I remained face down for 2 weeks, and also rented the equipment which helped considerably. The air bubble remained for a few weeks, and it was very annoying, as it blocked my vision. My vision has improved, although I still have a "ripple" effect in that eye. If I had not had the surgery the hole would almost certainly have gotten worse. I understand that the silicon treatment requires a second surgery to take it out afterward, and that is enough to consider alternatives. Are you having the surgery?

timtam 10-24-2007 07:36 AM

Re: Macular Hole Questions
Thanks, Liane, for responding. I am having a very difficult time deciding whether to have the vitrectomy (either type). In addition to my age as a factor there are so many unknowns. For example, you stated that the macular hole you had was certain to become larger. From the research I've done it is my understanding that that is an unknown. A substantial percentage remain the same size for life, some do become larger with the potential for worse complications, and a small percentage reseal spontaneously after a period of time and without any medical or surgical intervention. The same goes for getting a hole in the other eye. Most of the research seems to indicate that it is uncommon--even rare--that a macular hole will develop in the other eye. Yet my opthamologist contradicted those findings when he diagnosed my condition. At this point, I am awaiting his full written report. I will review it carefully as well as seeking as much information as possible before coming to a final decision. I may even consider a second opinion.

Liane 10-26-2007 05:18 PM

Re: Macular Hole Questions
Hi again. A couple of questions--Are you seeing a retina specialist, and have you had all the tests, like the photo of the retina etc? I, like Fritzzi, didn't have any pain. My husband put the eyedrops in for me, which have to be administered regularly. I too have a small dot in my good eye, which the doctor thinks might be a floater, but it is clear, not black. I also go back regularly to the eye doctor, every six months at first, and now a bit longer. And I have had cataract surgery too. Let us know of your decision.=L.

timtam 10-27-2007 07:28 AM

Re: Macular Hole Questions
Yes, Liane, to both questions. Initially, I was referred to a specialist (opthamologist) by my PCP because I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes. The good news that resulted was that I had no diabetes-connected eye problems; the very bad news was detection of the macular hole. I was then referred to another opthamologist-surgeon who performs the vitrectomy if I eventually choose to go that route. He confirmed the existence of the macular hole and recommended surgery in the next two or three months. One of the most frustrating things that occurred as a result of all that testing was his inability to accurately detect how old or what stage the macular hole is in. From what I understand this is a crucial factor in determining if and when surgery should take place. He's assuming it's not in an early stage from the shape of it. From a practical, unprofessional standpoint, I'm guessing it is in an early stage based on the appearance of that floater which surfaced only about three months ago. I have scheduled another appointment next month to go over the details of the second opthamologist's report with the first opthamologist. What is learned and what is clarified at that consultation will directly affect whether I have the surgery or not. I appreciate your interest and will try to return to this site when appropriate. It's not easy, by the way, especially when one only has very bad news.

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