Ophthalmology & Optometry/detached retina surgery
I have a 65-year-old female friend who had a partial retinal detachment 3 weeks ago. She is -2 with 20/20 corrected vision. Apparently she has a small amount of cataract which does not decrease her acuity. The doctors at St. Lukes in FL plan to use a laser to reattach the retina later this week. They say it is at hour 11 on the clock. They want to remove the lens of that eye so that the laser can do its job better. Then they will install an artificial lens. As you know there is a risk involved with lens removal. One such risk is a bigger chance of further retinal detachment. I wonder if removal of the lens is really necessary?
This is a tricky situation.
On one hand you have a diagnosis of a cataract, which does have a possibility of only getting worse with time.
Yes, I agree her visual acuity is fine at 20/20 corrected; however, the cataract if it is located outside the central vision (where visual acuity is checked), then may get mature, hard over time and may result in a difficult surgery.
Is this lens removal necessary along with the retinal surgery?, this depends on the type of surgery being done.
If there is a proper 'retinal detachment' and they are going to perform a vitrectomy, then yes, it needs to be removed, even if there was no cataract!
If they are planning an Argon laser only, (which is not usually for a detachment, but for just weak areas called lattice degeneration), then lens is usually not removed.
So, Im a bit confused regarding what they have suggested.
To avoid any misunderstanding maybe you can check the exact name of the surgery she has been advised to undergo?