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Eye and Vision Care

Loose Sclera After Vitrectomy for Tear



I had vitrectomy right eye for a tear on Wed (tonight is Sat) and gas bubble was placed in eye. Had Thursday exam & eye looked good. Only prob to me was bright light that kept me from sleeping Wed. night. Thurs nite I was laying on right side with patch on eye (only position I am able to sleep)and after half hour clear fluid drained from eye down my cheek and bright light inside eye went out. Sat up to check and light slowly came light... when I lay down more clear fluid drained down my check and light goes out. After this I did it a third time and just slept for 4 hours as I felt I was not going blind. Took 20 minutes for eye to regain light/vision in am. After 3 attempts and Doc office not calling me back Friday, I called the on-call doc and she said I should sleep in upright position in lazy boy, hold head slightly down when walking, and go into office Monday to have it checked. Early tonight Saturday my eye started hurting like something was in it and dry/irritated but was not actually dry and my head on that side hurt. I looked in mirror and the sclera was loose and had large loose wrinkle showing above lower lid. When I pulled lid down to check there was a fold of loose sclera hanging in the lower lid. The On-call doc said to use Predforte 6 times a day rather than 4, cold compress for swelling, and go to office Monday. It was all just sign of swelling.

So I am feeling this "flap" of loose skin in my eye and it is physically irritating (irritated/sore/aches but not red) as well as mentally tasking. I just want to be sure everything is ok. I do not see any signs of swelling (ie eye is not larger). Why would sclera get loose rather than tight when eye swelling ? Or does only sclera swell? I am concerned and just want to be sure everything is ok as I have 48 hours of this to endure before I can see doc on Monday. And will the sclera return to normal or always be loose (yikes)?

Otherwise I can see out of space above the gas bubble altho blurry and light streaks/fog (bouncing off bubble I assume) (no flashes) and bubble is now down to 1/3 so seems no problems there.

Thanks for any info that so all this makes sense or info that will help put my mind at ease that all will be ok until Monday.

(I am 66 and already had cataract surgery earlier this year)


Since I am not a retinal surgeon, I do not feel qualified to answer your question. So I'm glad you did receive advice from the doctor on call who obviously did not feel this was an emergency situation.

It sounds like fluid is leaking from your eye, and this could mean that your surgical wound is not tightly sealed. You should remain as still as possible over the weekend and see your eye surgeon on Monday. There is always a chance of getting an infection inside your eye if the wound is not tightly sealed, so be sure to keep your face clean and do not engage in any strenuous activities.

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Response by:

Robert D Newcomb, OD, MPH, FAAO Robert D Newcomb, OD, MPH, FAAO
Professor Emeritus of Clinical Optometry
College of Optometry
The Ohio State University