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?

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Eye Conditions group.

@bobbyo

Hi, I am scheduled for a Floaters Only Vitrectomy (FOV) and a concurrent Capsulotomy for Posterior Capsular Opacity (PCO) on my left eye on December 3rd. As I understand it, PCOs are very common in post cataract patients and capsulotomy is a simple YAG laser procedure. I was encouraged to go forward with the FOV by Dr. Sebag, on-line articles and my ophthalmologist/vitreo-retinal specialist. The surgery has been described as 99 percent effective and this runs similar to cataract surgery success profile. Also, the fact that I will have capsulotomy FIRST should afford me excellent chance of -0- floaters after the FOV.

Of course, I am very thankful to you for starting and expanding this discussion group. Your reports have been very helpful in my decision. I am very hopeful of a positive surgery result and I will be in touch. Happy Thanksgiving

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@bobbyo, Best Wishes to you!

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@susan2018

@bobbyo, Best Wishes to you!

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Hi Susan,

I had my FOV on my left eye 2 weeks ago. As I told you, I was entering that surgery with a PCO (posterior capsular opacity, aka “secondary cataract”), which my retina surgeon said he would take care of during the FOV. So, the procedure was done with a local anesthetic and took him about 10 minutes. They placed a patch on my eye the day of surgery and removed it the next day in his office. At that point, I was, largely, pleased with the result. I was was seeing about 20-20 but told him there were some (maybe, 5-15) “spec-sized” floaters that were obvious to me. His response to my concern was that these would go away in a couple weeks.

I had my followup 2-week appointment yesterday and the doctor was very pleased that he saw no floaters in his exam and my retina was “flat” which is good. He saw no evidence of any eye conditions/diseases. However, I said that the “specs” remain and that is a bit concerning since the expectation he set was that there would be -0- floaters. We talked and he agreed that these specs will be eliminated by their passing through the trabecular meshwork and out of the eye. Additionally, the fact that the new saline fluid infused into the vitreous cavity during surgery is more liquefied than my original vitreous fluid, allows ANY floaters/debris to move more easily OR settle to bottom of the eye. This was VERY encouraging to me going forward. With that, my hope is that I will be floater-free in that eye in the coming weeks or months! I’ll update you and everyone on my progress!

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Hi! So glad to hear your news. I had one “floater” in one of my eyes after FOV. The first eye done was completely clear, the second left a gossamer appearing fragment floater. The surgeon could NOT see it, but I could. He said it would settle. It took a very long time—many months, but it did eventually mostly go away. Would return once in a while but I grew accustomed to it and it didn’t affect or obscure my vision. I notice scattered specks one in awhile in very bright light but again, one adjusts to those. Best to you in the future.

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@susan2018

Ophthalmologists can’t see what we see. They like hard evidence of an issue, it’s hard for them to fully rely on subjective data, the patient report. My thought anyway. And even harder to justify surgery for something they can’t document by test or scan or observation. But my vitreoretinal specialist understood. Of course there are risks to surgery, for example, retinal detachment. Hence the need to trust your surgeon.

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Yes, Need to trust your Dr if not will not ever have faith in him at least my feed back I have dry eyes take Xiidra amazing they have worked very well not sure if winter but do not have dry eyes as much unless it is because im using xiidra BID

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Happy New Year ( eve) Susan, i’ve been suffering from intermittent vision impairment and it got so bad that I could read or write here so I've been MIA for a few month. Collen added me to this group before Christmas but only now have I ventured back. I read you post but part of my impairment is that ( for instance it appeared at first that 4 members replied ) that seemed doable since the longer I read there's a hastening of my impairment. Quickly I realized that you have pages of replies which was a little discouraging because I want to read what everyone said.

I'm guess that I have about 10 more minutes then it's Psychedelic City. The kaleidoscope will start and reading is not possible.

I read that you had cataract surgery first. What was your original experience? Did you see several ophthalmologist before having surgery?

Before I fade away I want to ask you were you surprised by all of the replies? I promise to read them all when I can but can you tell me if there are other members with similar experiences and are there others with similar symptoms but different DX and or remedies?

I want to get this part in. I saw so many eye doctors who saw me when I was 20/20 and one when I was experiencing the impairment while in the ER for a different reason. My doctor did the old fashion eye exam with a wall chart and line on the floor. He said I was “ legally blind “ then released me into the night so I had to drive 40 miles home. I call it driving by Braille. Two days later I was examined and told “ you have amazing vision for a man your age “ and no matter how I told him I've heard that many times but two nights before the ER doc said I was legally blind. He shrugged off as “ too much time in the ER and if he wasn't an opthomalogist then he's not an expert.

Maybe I can do some of the things I've learned to help clear my vision.

TTYL

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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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Thanks Collen for adding me to this group. It's a strange sense of excitement and calm finding other with similar problems; not alone in this X that no doctor seems to understand what one is going thru.

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@susan2018

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 like that you said you can only report on YOUR “ experience “ One reason I want to read ALL posts is to make mental notes about everyone's “ experience “

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@dragl1959

Go get another opinion, my cataract surgeon referred me but some doctors don't listen or really look!

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It made me laugh: “ some doctors don't listen “ talk about an understatement m777, How about this one :
“ the X is all in you head “ or “ I think your ‘ problem ‘ is ‘ you think too much ‘ “ I often envisioned a GP/PCP/MD/DO saying “ Ya know Mr. Einstein, ‘ you think too much ; but everything is relative: Go Figure’ “ Albert writes down: E=MC 2

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@marjou

Am still dealing with problematic eye floaters and cloudiness that it feels like I can only see from one eye. At times I don't feel safe driving. A couple of weeks ago I insisted on getting an appointment with retinal specialist who said he did not detect retinal detachment but see him again in 2 months. Very frustrating and costly.

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I can't count the number of ophthalmologista that I've seen over a 5 plus year period of time. A couple points that seemed obvious to me but because this is medicine in the 21st century. Tell you PCP a problem that outside their purvey and they're trained to “ refer “ but your sick today and your referral is in 3 months. I like to say to the PCP “ but this Eclipse is TONIGHT! and won't happen again in 800 years “ not one doctor ever gets the metaphor.
I did an obscure search on the net and found a doctor in Richmond VA. I called, explained to the nurse, she put the doc on the phone and said : “ start at the beginning and tell me EVERYTHING” Every doctor who ever said those exact worlds to me turned out to be like a southeastern. These words stood out to me:
1 we can say the you have at least two vision issues going on: one is obvious ; cataracts and 2 at least one other thing that is not obvious, so there maybe be multiple things going on and the goal is to name them all” “ Since every positive exam says that you “ cortical cataract “ are too small to operate (( risk factor ) I suggest you stay away from ophthalmologists who make their money from cataract survey and routine exams and some from the sale of glasses; don't go to them for an opinion. I suggest you search for a neuro-ophthalmologist. There are not many of us. You can see me but you may need to be hear a week or more and bring a driver with you. I'll do a search in your area and call you back.

I'm not saying the a N-O is the answer but they don't asses patients the same way. In most cases they don't do cataract surgery. His other advice was DO NOT HAVE THE CATARACT REMOVED! That can obscure the unknown issues and in fact make the other conditions worse or cause new problems that you don't have. I love this Doc!

Certainly you can do a search for one then call and see if he’ll talk to you before making an appointment. Maybe he’ll be a Mensch? I wish you the best in the new year and forever!

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@stuckonu

I can't count the number of ophthalmologista that I've seen over a 5 plus year period of time. A couple points that seemed obvious to me but because this is medicine in the 21st century. Tell you PCP a problem that outside their purvey and they're trained to “ refer “ but your sick today and your referral is in 3 months. I like to say to the PCP “ but this Eclipse is TONIGHT! and won't happen again in 800 years “ not one doctor ever gets the metaphor.
I did an obscure search on the net and found a doctor in Richmond VA. I called, explained to the nurse, she put the doc on the phone and said : “ start at the beginning and tell me EVERYTHING” Every doctor who ever said those exact worlds to me turned out to be like a southeastern. These words stood out to me:
1 we can say the you have at least two vision issues going on: one is obvious ; cataracts and 2 at least one other thing that is not obvious, so there maybe be multiple things going on and the goal is to name them all” “ Since every positive exam says that you “ cortical cataract “ are too small to operate (( risk factor ) I suggest you stay away from ophthalmologists who make their money from cataract survey and routine exams and some from the sale of glasses; don't go to them for an opinion. I suggest you search for a neuro-ophthalmologist. There are not many of us. You can see me but you may need to be hear a week or more and bring a driver with you. I'll do a search in your area and call you back.

I'm not saying the a N-O is the answer but they don't asses patients the same way. In most cases they don't do cataract surgery. His other advice was DO NOT HAVE THE CATARACT REMOVED! That can obscure the unknown issues and in fact make the other conditions worse or cause new problems that you don't have. I love this Doc!

Certainly you can do a search for one then call and see if he’ll talk to you before making an appointment. Maybe he’ll be a Mensch? I wish you the best in the new year and forever!

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@stuckonu I’ve seen your posts but am unable to fully respond at this time. Yes, read through the posts as you are able to get the full story. I did have cataract surgery first as that was an issue. But the deteriorating vitreous in my eye was a separate problem unrecognized by the ophalmologist. It was the referral I got to a retinal surgeon (who understood what I was complaining of even though he said he couldn’t see it himself) that led to my Vitrectomy in both eyes—problem solved!

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Hi again Susan, As you can see I've made my way through most of your replies from others and added a few thoughts and some info about my own “ problem “ so far it's an unnamed baby; more like a 5 year old brat! But if you noticed I've been typing a long time and my vision is holding up. I will explain but like you mention the “ your experience is YOURS” mine is mine and I found a far out university ophthalmologist who has afforded me some leverage that I can only wish to get from other doctors. I think M777 mention that “ sometimes doctors don't listen “ I mentioned that “ doctors refer “ I had my first visit with her in June my eye exams was 20/20 left 20/40 right. She did detect something called “ cornia edima “ and RX'd antibiotic / steroid drops. 4x a day for a week then 1x a day til our next appointment. But the drops were near miraculous. I didn't need glass to watch TV, drive, or read a paper back early in the day. After cutting back on the dose I started struggling a little. But over the phone I reasoned: if I could see clearly with drops then my cataracts can't be THAT much of the issue. I told her what the N-O told me. But she wanted me to see the young cornia specialist but warned me to to be offended by his bedside manner.
I HATED my appointment with him. He quickly told his assistant to schedule cataract surgery. I asked him about the corn is edema? He commented” I don't know what the hell she's talking about “ Unprepared I asked not to be dialated but they dialated me twice and he complained that he still couldn't get an accurate measurement. My appt was at 2 PM I was the last to leave at 5 PM. I was blind and driving. I sat on the curb and called 2 friends for a ride but neither was there. The Doc, the nurse, and the front desk lady walked out saw me sitting on the curb as the sun was setting; none of them asked” are you okay “ so I drive home 5 miles painful sun blinding me, weaving off the edge of the road, people blow the horn at me, I as most missed the turn on to my cutoff street and landed in a soybean field. But home and was blind for a week.
Monday the phone started reading for surgery and covid test and I just said CANCELLED.
WHEN I talked to the first doc I asked if she spoke with the cornia doc. Her answer: “ No, but I read his notes “ I asked if they word in the same building. She said yes but doctors depend on NOTES NOT CONVERSATION.
Talk about lights flashing in my brain.

There's a part 2 What happened when I went to another University doctor with RAVE REVIEWS.

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@stuckonu

Hi again Susan, As you can see I've made my way through most of your replies from others and added a few thoughts and some info about my own “ problem “ so far it's an unnamed baby; more like a 5 year old brat! But if you noticed I've been typing a long time and my vision is holding up. I will explain but like you mention the “ your experience is YOURS” mine is mine and I found a far out university ophthalmologist who has afforded me some leverage that I can only wish to get from other doctors. I think M777 mention that “ sometimes doctors don't listen “ I mentioned that “ doctors refer “ I had my first visit with her in June my eye exams was 20/20 left 20/40 right. She did detect something called “ cornia edima “ and RX'd antibiotic / steroid drops. 4x a day for a week then 1x a day til our next appointment. But the drops were near miraculous. I didn't need glass to watch TV, drive, or read a paper back early in the day. After cutting back on the dose I started struggling a little. But over the phone I reasoned: if I could see clearly with drops then my cataracts can't be THAT much of the issue. I told her what the N-O told me. But she wanted me to see the young cornia specialist but warned me to to be offended by his bedside manner.
I HATED my appointment with him. He quickly told his assistant to schedule cataract surgery. I asked him about the corn is edema? He commented” I don't know what the hell she's talking about “ Unprepared I asked not to be dialated but they dialated me twice and he complained that he still couldn't get an accurate measurement. My appt was at 2 PM I was the last to leave at 5 PM. I was blind and driving. I sat on the curb and called 2 friends for a ride but neither was there. The Doc, the nurse, and the front desk lady walked out saw me sitting on the curb as the sun was setting; none of them asked” are you okay “ so I drive home 5 miles painful sun blinding me, weaving off the edge of the road, people blow the horn at me, I as most missed the turn on to my cutoff street and landed in a soybean field. But home and was blind for a week.
Monday the phone started reading for surgery and covid test and I just said CANCELLED.
WHEN I talked to the first doc I asked if she spoke with the cornia doc. Her answer: “ No, but I read his notes “ I asked if they word in the same building. She said yes but doctors depend on NOTES NOT CONVERSATION.
Talk about lights flashing in my brain.

There's a part 2 What happened when I went to another University doctor with RAVE REVIEWS.

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@stuckonu The first lesson with eye specialist appointments is to always expect to have eyes dilated! They really should tell one to consider whether you’re going to need a driver and should always give you some sunglasses to wear if you didn’t bring your own.

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