Thursday, December 20, 2012

Cora's Post-op

Catchy title, eh?
But I digress...

Cora's post op appointment with the good Dr. S. was on Monday. The same day she spiked a fever for no apparent reason. yay. Said fever was completely unrelated to her eye though (according to the doctor who gave her a thorough exam), which made me feel better.

After looking my daughter's eyes over, Dr. S remains happy with the surgery. Although the fixed eye looks over corrected, that is intentional, he said. The muscles will "stretch" a bit (for lack of a better term, because they don't really stretch as much as they just settle out) and idealy that will leave her eye looking straight.

So my following questions for him were in regards to Cora's long term prognosis. Will the surgical change last? Will patching magically begin to have an effect on the strength of her eye? Will she begin to focus with her weak eye? Here is how he explained things:

Cora's situation is a bit of a "chicken or the egg" enigma. You see, if her strabismus (eye crossing) caused her amblyopia (brain eye connection issue), then the surgery may have solved the issue. However, if the amblyopia caused the strabismus, then we've only temporarily straightened a weak eye, which will fight to return to its crossed position. Weak eyes tend to wander and/or cross.

This is why we've been patching - to encourage that week eye to strengthen so that it would have less of a proclivity toward crossing and/or wandering. But unfortunately the 5 (nearly 6) months of patching we've done so far haven't had any effect on eye strength. Darn. That is surely disappointing.

So then, what about glasses? Because Cora is neither near sighted nor far sighted, glasses wouldn't do her any good. Any visual difficulty she has (we know she has some, but we won't know the extent of it until she can verbalize it through a visual exam) is caused by either the amblyopia, or the retina atrophy - neither of which can be either surgically repaired, or aided with lenses. Double darn.

So here we sit with our lone method of visual therapy: patching. This is what we'll continue to do for a looooooooong time, hoping upon hope that her eyes get stronger through this therapy, and that having them straight now will give them an edge on fixing themselves.

So that was long and technical, I understand. We'll go back in 6 weeks to take measurements again. By this point her eyes will have completely healed from surgery. After that we'll be on a 4-6 month routine of check-ups with our PO. And patch we shall.

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