This is my story regarding floater removal.
It is not meant as a personal attack or criticism regarding any individual or establishment but as a warning to others under going the same operation. My situation maybe rare but it is not unheard of and it is also not commonly discussed. I have yet to find anyone who has gone through the same procedure and come out with the end result that I find myself with. There have been times when the pain and discomfort I find myself in has left me feeling low, depressed and even suicidal. It has lead me to suffering immense mood swings and directly affected the lives of my family and friends. The impact the results of this operation had on me lead me to even committing acts of uncharacteristic violence and temper culminating in me being arrested and convicted of criminal assault. At 43 years old with a clean criminal record up to this point, I can only put this down to the operation.
In July 2005 I had an appointment at the local hospital to investigate the floaters in my left eye. After seeing one consultant who informed there was nothing to be done, and being the documentation relating to the subject I was sent home. The floaters got gradually worse and I ended up going back to the same hospital to see a different consultant. He informed me that these floaters could be removed and that it was a text book operation. I was told that he could do the operation. I asked him what risks were involved and he told me there was no more than a 10% risk but told me that in my condition there should be no problems. I of course took him to his word, taking him to be a responsible health professional and having no reason to doubt his skill or honesty. In October 2005 I received a date for the operation to have the floaters removed. I went in on the 18th, had the operation and was discharged the same day. I was required to return the next day for follow up checks. The surgeon checked the condition of my eye, where I was informed there was "good news and bad news". The good news was that the floaters were removed but the stitches within my eye were leaking. I was told that I had to be operated on immediately and so went down for another general anisthetic, which I have since learned in itself is not advisable, (to have two generals so close together). At this point I was already in considerable pain and so thought that this would obviously be the only course of action left open to me. After the operation on the 19th I was again discharged and asked to come back the next day for again the routine checks. On the 20th I met the same consultant again only to be informed that there was another major problem with my eye that would require immediate intervention. The situation as it was explained to me was that every eye has a small 'pump' behind it that keeps the eye 'inflated' at a pressure of between 10 to 20. The pressure within my eye had dropped to zero and hence the eye was shrinking and so he needed to carry out a third operation in an attempt to correct this. So on the 20th I received a third general anisthetic in 3 days. This time I was kept in for observations. After receiving a steroid injection I made daily visits to the hospital for observations on the internal pressure of my eye. This stayed at 2 for about 3 months. I asked him what had gone wrong and was informed that during these operations most surgeons operate to a standard depth within the eye. In other words the surgical equipment penetrates the eye to a set measurement within certain limits. It appears that unlike the majority of eyes this particular surgeon had operated on, which were more or less round in shape, mine was slightly more oval and it seems the instruments penetrated to deeply and may have punctured the cerial body. Within the 3 months following this I suffered a mental breakdown. The pain I experienced was indescribable. At this point I asked to be referred to Moorefields eye hospital in London to see if there was anything there that could be done for me. At Moorefields I spoke to a Professor there who informed me that I needed a fourth operation to save the eye and again this had to be carried out as soon as possible. After this I was discharged and returned home, where the pressure was monitored daily still but remained at 2 for a couple of months. After 3 months I returned to Moorfields and had to undergo a procedure which involved pumping silicon into my eye while awake. The procedure had to be repeated three times, each time the pressure within the eye was increased to 20 but dropped rapidly down to 2. On the third attempt the pressure reached 20 and held. The pain was incredible and I was informed as a result the eye had been 'pushed back' on to the retina. I returned home for 3 months, over which time the pressure gradually fell again within my eye back to 2. My mental state was deteriorating daily. I found myself very emotional, my wife had to take leave off work to stay with me, I had to leave work as I couldn't leave the house. My home life took a massive downturn from this as you can expect. After this I returned to Moorefields and was told that the silicon injections had not worked and I had to undergo a difference procedure where a gas bubble was to be inflated inside my eye. The result of which meant that I had to lie face down all day and night and could only lift my head for around 5 minutes out of every hour. At this point I was increasingly emotional and this was putting more and more stress on my home life. After a month of this the gas bubble had dissolved and I could then stand normally. It turned out that this procedure had also failed and left my eye back to an internal pressure of 2.
After about 18 months from the first operation I experienced some of the worst pain in my life. It was so severe I had to call an ambulance to take me to the local hospital. After an examination I was told that the cereal body had started to function again but the internal pressure in my eye had spiked up to 56. I was given an intensive session of medication including morphine to ease the pain and try to reduced the internal pressure of the eye to a more normal level.
From that stage to the present (2009) I am in constant daily pain. I am on a cocktail of medication including very high strength pain killers including morphine, a tense machine and weekly visits to an acupuncturist to try and ease some of the pain I experience. The affect this has had on my wife and children, the other members of my family and my friends I can only guess at.
I can only suggest to anyone out there, from my experience, do not have the floaters removed. My left eye is next to useless as far as seeing out of is concerned. I am constantly in pain. I cannot work, as my profession of a fitness instructor is now out of my reach. If you are still considering having your own operation after reading this please feel free to email on contact me if you want to discuss things further. And even more so please, and I cannot stress this enough, please, discuss all the possible complications with your surgeon before you sign any consent forms. Find out what that 10% is and what exactly are the complications.