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"Are sealed retinal holes still cause for concern?"
My mom recently had surgery to close a macular hole in her left eye. My question is what are the long-term risks now? Does she have to take special care of that eye forever? Is there a risk that the hole will reopen? Is there a risk that she'll get a similar hole in the other eye?
All great question. Some of them I can answer for you in terms of the average patient without your mother's past medical history and personal macular hole history in mind. Only your mother's ophthalmologist can give you accurate, personalized information about you mothers future eye health. Q1: What are the long term risks of the surgery? The most common long term risk for macular hole surgery is the development of cataracts which may require removal at some point. The immediate risks which your mother may not be susceptible to is infection and retinal detachment. These usually occur close to the time of operation. Some ophthalmologists ask their patients not to fly on any commercial jets in the months following the procedure. Q2: Does she have to take special care of the eye? This is a question that needs to be directed to the ophthalmologist that performed the procedure because post-procedure eye care is patient specific Q3: Is there a risk that the hole will re-open. This depends if there were any post operative complications and how long she had the hole prior to the surgery. The longer the hole was there, the less likely it is to heal perfectly Q4: Is there a risk that she'll get a similar hole in other eye? Yes. The risk varies from patient to patient, but on average the risk of a contralateral macular hole is ~10-15%. This risk needs to be discussed with her ophthalmologist.
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