Wondering if anyone has had an FOV, Floaters Only Vitrectomy

Posted by susan2018 @susan2018, Mar 6, 2019

I am wondering if anyone has had an FOV, Floaters Only Vitrectomy, and would be willing to share their experiences. For at least two years I was plagued with the constant irritating presence of gauzy, wispy, moving clumps that would obscure my vision and make reading and driving a tiring challenge. Prior to this I had had cataract surgery and a lens exchange surgery. Many, many follow up appointments and a second opinion did not pinpoint a reason for my continuing complaints. Although I did not complain of dry eyes, I was led to believe that was my issue and was treated with Xiidra and then Restasis and then even both at the same time, with no improvement in my symptoms. Finally a follow up appointment with a new ophthalmologist in the practice and my description of what I was seeing led to a diagnosis of a degenerating vitreous and a referral to a vitreal surgeon. Last week I had a vitrectomy to remove the vitreous. Despite the after effects of the surgery, the next day when the eye patch and bandages came off, I could immediately tell that my vision in that eye had cleared. It has been such a relief! I am hoping my recovery is uneventful and am now anticipating following up with the surgeon to schedule the procedure on my other eye. Has anyone experienced a situation similar to mine? Why would my problem not be recognized and diagnosed sooner? I have wondered if I simply was not able to describe my symptoms well enough or if ophthalmologists tend not to recognize or acknowledge how debilitating the condition can be. I understand that over time and with age the vitreous does degenerate for all people. Do only a few people experience what I did during that process or are there many people experiencing it’s deleterious effects on their vision and are just living with it, or as in my case, are not able to get a diagnosis from their eye care providers? I should add that I am in my early 70s and was extremely nearsighted my entire life. Anyone out there experience what I did?

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@colleenyoung

Hi @susan2018, Just checking in to see how you are doing. How is your eye? Did you get the other eye done yet?

@michaels777, how are things with your eyes? Any changes? Are you still on track to have surgery in June?

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@michaels777, @colleenyoung In fact, I had my second surgery in Edina MN last Tuesday, April 23. The first eye seems to have recovered nicely since the vitrectomy the end of February. All the blotchy moving gauzy blotches are gone from that eye, my “distance” eye, since I have vision correcting lens implants. I no longer fear that while driving they might float across my field of vision obscuring the road and traffic. Last week’s surgery was on my “near vision” eye, both a vitrectomy, removing the gel in the back of the eye, and an epiretinal membrane stripping from the retina. This membrane can form from seeding cells from a degenerating vitreous and can eventually cause distorted vision. So far so good on this one. I saw the surgeon the day after surgery, will again two weeks after, and then a month. The moving floaters in this eye had been particularly bothersome, causing effort with reading and it was immediately noticeable that they are gone. In place of the gel, a gas bubble is placed in the eye, which will dissipate naturally as my body replaces the space with clear fluid. The bubble is sitting down in my field of vision for reading so I am eagerly awaiting it being gone, about 1-2 weeks, if it goes like the first eye. I am on antibiotic and steroid drops and a weight restriction. The results of the vitrectomy surgery have been nothing short of a miracle, and I don’t use that word loosely. I do not understand why it took so long for my diagnosis. I went for two years plus with multiple ophthalmologist visits until a new opthalmologist referred me to a retinal specialist. After so many doctor visits and trying so many things with no relief, I almost didn’t make the effort to travel 150 miles to the retinal specialist office, not quite believing that there was an answer to my problem. Once I saw him, I proceeded quickly to surgery and now am so grateful for the help I got.

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@susan2018

@michaels777, @colleenyoung In fact, I had my second surgery in Edina MN last Tuesday, April 23. The first eye seems to have recovered nicely since the vitrectomy the end of February. All the blotchy moving gauzy blotches are gone from that eye, my “distance” eye, since I have vision correcting lens implants. I no longer fear that while driving they might float across my field of vision obscuring the road and traffic. Last week’s surgery was on my “near vision” eye, both a vitrectomy, removing the gel in the back of the eye, and an epiretinal membrane stripping from the retina. This membrane can form from seeding cells from a degenerating vitreous and can eventually cause distorted vision. So far so good on this one. I saw the surgeon the day after surgery, will again two weeks after, and then a month. The moving floaters in this eye had been particularly bothersome, causing effort with reading and it was immediately noticeable that they are gone. In place of the gel, a gas bubble is placed in the eye, which will dissipate naturally as my body replaces the space with clear fluid. The bubble is sitting down in my field of vision for reading so I am eagerly awaiting it being gone, about 1-2 weeks, if it goes like the first eye. I am on antibiotic and steroid drops and a weight restriction. The results of the vitrectomy surgery have been nothing short of a miracle, and I don’t use that word loosely. I do not understand why it took so long for my diagnosis. I went for two years plus with multiple ophthalmologist visits until a new opthalmologist referred me to a retinal specialist. After so many doctor visits and trying so many things with no relief, I almost didn’t make the effort to travel 150 miles to the retinal specialist office, not quite believing that there was an answer to my problem. Once I saw him, I proceeded quickly to surgery and now am so grateful for the help I got.

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@susan2018 It's great to hear that you are doing so well. I'm glad everything went perfectly for you, and that you will have the gift of good vision. It is amazing that this is possible. thanks for sharing your experience.

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Hi Susan and others who responded – I am dying to know who you saw for this surgery. I have been working with a team at Mass Eye and Ear who really don't want to do a Vitrectomy, and are talking in stark terms about how dangerous it is. Meantime, I am sooooo unhappy with my vision and it is eating at me day and night. Can you share who your docs are and where they are found?

Paul L.

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@paulloefstedt

Hi Susan and others who responded – I am dying to know who you saw for this surgery. I have been working with a team at Mass Eye and Ear who really don't want to do a Vitrectomy, and are talking in stark terms about how dangerous it is. Meantime, I am sooooo unhappy with my vision and it is eating at me day and night. Can you share who your docs are and where they are found?

Paul L.

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I want to be clear that I can only report my own experience with vitrectomy for floaters and make no recommendations to anyone as to what is appropriate for them. I am sure patient age, eye condition, and symptoms as well as surgeons’ experiences are major factors in decisions relating to surgery. That said, I just had my final follow up with my surgeon after my second eye was done. (Surgeon Dr Robert Mittra of VitreoRetinal Surgery with a number of offices throughout Minnesota) My surgery was in Edina MN, a suburb of Mpls. As I said before, my vision was dramatically improved the day after surgery, even with the gas bubble obscuring part of the visual field. My first eye done, my distance vision eye, is now perfectly clear. With this second eye, my near vision eye, I am left with what looks like a small tissue fragment, sometimes visible and moving when it is, appearing translucent and looking a bit like part of a gossamer dragonfly wing and sometimes appearing as a dark spot. I am told this may disappear in time and also that it is not visible to the surgeon. For me this is a minor issue and easily ignored when it appears. I am so grateful that my struggles with trying to see through the degenerating vitreous are over. It was an every minute of the day effort trying to clear my vision. And don’t even talk about driving! I wonder if the difficulty in getting this diagnosed and treated is that it relies on subjective data, patient reporting. And when we repeatedly complain and get frustrated trying to explain the problems we’re experiencing, we can tend to be thought of as a difficult and maybe even emotional patient. I think ophthalmologists need to do a better job of asking questions that help them with the diagnosis because it is truly difficult to describe. I was extremely nearsighted and wonder If you are because I understand that can be a contributing factor. I will check back to see how you are doing.

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I had the surgery less than a week ago. My vision above the bubble is amazing. I have not seen clear in ages just like most of you in these posts. Right now I have gone from a black line across my vision (like being half under water) to a smaller bubble with a new tiny bubble to the side. Has anyone developed a second little bubble? So far if the bubbles resolve I would highly recommend this. No more grey cotton masses floating in my vision and settling in my direct line of sight.

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This is what I am seeing now, post surgery with a second bubble,

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@dragl1959

I had the surgery less than a week ago. My vision above the bubble is amazing. I have not seen clear in ages just like most of you in these posts. Right now I have gone from a black line across my vision (like being half under water) to a smaller bubble with a new tiny bubble to the side. Has anyone developed a second little bubble? So far if the bubbles resolve I would highly recommend this. No more grey cotton masses floating in my vision and settling in my direct line of sight.

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Ain’t it amazing??!! Yes the big bubble breaks up into many little ones. Thus surgery is amazing. You’ll be so happy

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@susan2018

Ain’t it amazing??!! Yes the big bubble breaks up into many little ones. Thus surgery is amazing. You’ll be so happy

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Thank you. I was concerned that was not normal. My vision, not counting the bubble, is already so worth the procedure. Glad this is normal healing.

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@dragl1959 you’ll have many tiny bubbles darting about as the big one breaks down, and eventually they will dissipate. It truly was amazing, the moment they took the eye patch off the morning after surgery and despite the big bubble, to see clearly instead of seeing the world through what looked like a microscope slide of pond water. Best of luck.

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@susan2018

@dragl1959 you’ll have many tiny bubbles darting about as the big one breaks down, and eventually they will dissipate. It truly was amazing, the moment they took the eye patch off the morning after surgery and despite the big bubble, to see clearly instead of seeing the world through what looked like a microscope slide of pond water. Best of luck.

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Thank you. It is truly amazing. Now I need to not notice the floaters in the other eye! I think that one will settle down hopefully. I haven't seen clearly for almost 2 years.

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