What are Possible Side Effects of Retinal Tear Surgery?

by Apr 19, 2024

What are Possible Side Effects of Retinal Tear Surgery?

Retinal tear surgery is a vital procedure aimed at repairing tears or breaks in the retina, crucial for maintaining optimal vision and preventing vision loss. While retinal tear surgery is generally safe and effective, it can be associated with certain side effects and potential complications. Understanding the common side effects of retinal tear surgery is essential for patients undergoing this procedure and helps in recognizing and addressing any postoperative issues promptly.


1. Vision Disturbances

After retinal tear surgery, patients may experience temporary vision disturbances, such as blurry or distorted vision. This can occur due to swelling, inflammation, or changes in the cornea or lens. In most cases, these vision disturbances tend to improve as the eye heals, but patients might require time for their vision to stabilize post-surgery.


2. Floaters and Flashes

Floaters are tiny, often thread-like specks that float across your field of vision, while flashes are brief bursts of light. These symptoms can occur as the vitreous gel inside the eye moves or pulls on the retina during retinal tear surgery. While floaters and flashes are common and often diminish over time, it is important to promptly inform your healthcare provider if these symptoms persist or worsen.


3. Infection

Infection is a potential risk following retinal tear surgery, although it is uncommon. Symptoms of infection may include increased eye redness, pain, swelling, or discharge. Antibiotic drops or medications are typically prescribed post-surgery to reduce the risk of infection. If any signs of infection develop, it is crucial to seek immediate medical attention.


4. Intraocular Pressure Changes

Changes in intraocular pressure (pressure inside the eye) can occur after retinal tear surgery. Elevated intraocular pressure can lead to discomfort, blurry vision, or even damage to the optic nerve if left untreated. Monitoring intraocular pressure postoperatively and adhering to follow-up appointments are essential for detecting and managing pressure changes effectively.


5. Retinal Detachment

While retinal tear surgery aims to prevent retinal detachment, there is a small risk of detachment occurring as a complication of the procedure. Symptoms of retinal detachment may include sudden flashes or floaters, a curtain-like shadow across your field of vision, or a significant decrease in vision. Prompt recognition and treatment of retinal detachment are crucial in preserving vision.


6. Scar Tissue Formation

In some cases, the development of scar tissue around the area of retinal repair can occur following retinal tear surgery. Scar tissue may affect the flexibility of the retina, leading to distortion or wrinkling of the retina. Regular follow-up visits with your eye care provider can help monitor any changes in the retina and address issues related to scar tissue formation promptly.


7. Persistent Symptoms

While some side effects following retinal tear surgery are temporary and resolve with time, persistent symptoms such as ongoing blurry vision, flashes, or discomfort should not be ignored. Communicating with your ophthalmologist about any persistent or worsening symptoms is essential for timely evaluation and appropriate management.

Before having surgery to repair a retinal tear, it is important to discuss the risks, benefits, and alternatives with your eye doctor to determine the best option for you. Many times, the risk of not having surgery for the retinal tear vastly outweighs the slight risks associated with the retinal tear surgery.


Our eye doctors at EyeDocs Family Eye Care in Brookville, OH excel in the prescription of glasses, contact lenses and the diagnosis of a variety of eye diseases. Call our optometrists at 937-770-1265 or schedule an eye exam appointment online if you would like to learn more about the side effects of retinal tear surgery. Our eye doctors: Dr. Kyle Maxam, Dr. Cara Wampler, and Dr. Brad Baughman provide the highest quality optometry services and eye exams in Brookville, Ohio.

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