Aesthetic appaearance after scleral buckle surgery

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Hi all 

I'm new here and had scleral buckle surgery for a retinal detachment 5 weeks ago now. I'm 20 and had a long standing retinal detachment in my eye for 2 years before it required surgery as it was getting worse. The operation was a success which I was relieved to hear and vision wise I am just suffering from a bit of double vision which I have been told is normal and should ease off over time. 

However my main problem is with the appearance of the eye following this procedure. I went back to the hospital today as the bottom outer corner of my eye, where the buckle was fitted,  has turned into a massive lump that is a greeny colour in appearance. Surrounding it is still very red and my eye is still not fully open. The doctor reassured me that this was normal, saying that the redness was due to a haematoma which would go down in time. This was a relief as I thought I had an infection. However the huge lump which is causing my bottom eyelid to bulge out and not be open properly,  I was told, would remain that way. He said that the buckle was still visible but would become less visible as the white grows around it..however he said the lump would stay! 

This has truly upset me as my eye is a completely different shape from the other and will remain like that as long as the lump is there. The doctor I saw was not a retinal specialist however he did ring a colleague who confirmed that this was not concerning. I am awaiting my 8 week check up where I will ask how much I can expect the lump to go down. But in the mean time im freaking out that my eye will never look normal again and am on here looking for others who can give me their own experiences of how their eye looked once it was fully healed. I would really appreciate this so I can get peace of mind/prepare for the permanent changes to my eye. 

Thanks in advance 

Abi smile

1 like, 58 replies

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58 Replies

  • Posted

    Sorry I forgot to say that the top lid is also very droopy..does anyone know from experience if this ever returns to normal? 
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  • Posted

    Hi abi I don't have anyexperience of this but I do know that they can deal with droopy eyelids 

    I would like to tthink that they will also realise how distressed you will feel about your appearance

    Remind them of your age and that your appearance is very important to you

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  • Posted

    Hi Abi,

    I'm 22 and had the buckle fitted 5 weeks ago, and am really anxious about how misshapen my eye is and how droopy my eyelid is. As you posted this over a year ago, how does your eye look now? Have you had to have corrective surgery for ptosis? I know I have to be patient but it would be great to hear how the past year has been for you.



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  • Posted


    Looking for info on eye pain and buckle removal but spotted questions on appearance so thought worth sharing my experience to date.

    I am a 39 yr old make. Had scleral buckle surgery 5 months ago and was also concerned about appearance soon after.

    For the first few weeks the eye looked partly closed and pointed in the wrong direction. After about 6 weeks it gradually started to point in the right direction but the eye still looked swollen and partly closed. Five months in it looks a lot better. It is still noticeably a different shape (think I have a large buckle and it sticks out when I look to my left) but I am told it isn't that noticeable to other people.

    My double vision hasn't gone and I am waiting for a follow up appointment/surgery - not sure if this is related.

    The only time it is very noticeable is when I am tired - is swollen and puffy. Stay positive, was told it can take 6 months for the muscles to heal properly from the surgery

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    • Posted

      Hi there,

      It's been 8 months since my surgery now and my eye looks much better, with the lids returning to normal which is a relief.

      I'm in a similar position as you - the buckle sticks out when I look to my right (though people reassure me it's not noticable) and I still occasionaly get pain when I look to my far left or right.

      When the buckle is sticking out as I look around, it almost 'clicks' as it moves past my eyelid, causing discomfort. I get double vision when I wake up in the mornings and when I'm tired, is yours constant? 

      I'm discharged from the hospital now (after having several laser top ups in my other eye) but when I was last there I asked about getting the buckle removed. Two doctors said it would be fine and quite straight forward - as long as the scar tissue was well formed and that I wait a year or so. My surgeon wasn't as keen however. He said it was possible to remove it but there are always risks attached and the procedure could lead to another detachment (as expected).

      I'm thinking of waiting until August 2017 to have it removed, as it will be two years since my surgery at that point. I can't bear the idea of feeling the great big lump in my eye for the rest of my life! So fingers crossed.

      I hope your double vision/eye pain improves and that your follow up gives you all the answers you need, please do update with any news!

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    • Posted

      Hello, I know I'm seeing this YEARS later. I just got a scleral buckling done along with a vitrectomy and I

      m having a super droppy eyeloid. Since you've gotten the surgery done years ago, can you confirm your eye has gon eback to looking normal and not droopy?

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    • Posted

      yes i would recommend my eye feels alot better and movement is better, but my eye has stayed a little different shape which wont change and i do want to say there is always a chance of redetachment but i wouldn't change my choice

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  • Posted

    Just spotted this thread. 40yr old healthy male, had scleral buckle surgery in November 2015. Can associate with a lot of the comments below so thought that I would share my experience 15 months on.

    6 months after was very concerned about limited movement and double vision. One option was to have the buckle removed but it has gradually improved since then. Still have limited eyeball movement when looking to the left but hopefully this continues to improve. I also have the issue where the buckle pops out and is visible but I tend to move my head now rather than eyes

    It also took at least six months for more eye to look somewhere close to normal.

    Tired eyes. I still get this. Watching TV in the evening is the only time my double vision returns. U think this is the muscles on the bad eye as a result of the stretching in surgery. Hopefully this will gradually improve but I still occasional wear glasses that block one eye out. Hoping this gets sorted but I accept more surgery to remove the buckle will make it worse

    Droopy eyelid comment. Took a long time for eye to look OK. At 40 yrs old I'm sure my appearance will take longer than someone younger with less collagen. My right eye does look more aged - eye bag, wrinkles etc which I assume is a result of being stretched in surgery. On the whole not the end of the world.

    My eye is also a different shape as a result of the buckle. This does annoy me when I see pictures and I am quite self conscious about it but on balance would rather this than blind in one eye.

    In the whole I'm glad I didn't push for the buckle removal and would advise anyone to give it at least 18 months. It still frustrates me - it is painful/aches when I'm tired or when I have cold/flu

    Hope this helps anyone just had surgery

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    • Posted

      Do you get headaches as well? Is the eye pain/tiredness worse after close up work? If so, you may look into Convergence Insuffiency as a possible diagnosis for your current ailments. 
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    • Posted

      Hi, I'm Leah. I'm 17 years older and was 16 when I had my surgery. I have had no visual change since my surgery, it's still terrible. It always red and people tend to make fun of it and say it looks creepy and they don't like it. It's been a year since you posted this and I'd like to know, visually and physically, how much has your eye improved? Being 17 and a junior in high school, this is kind of a big deal because people ask questions and it's really embarrassing. 

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    • Posted

      I just commented this elsewhere but I was going into the 7 grade when I had my surgeries in my left eye and I know so well how it feels to go through that insecurity. Hopefully, you feel like your eye looks better by now, but if it doesn't just know I'll be sending good vibes as a 27-yr old whose eyes never looked the same again and has been through insecurities like prom pictures and first dates when guys ask about it. When I feel extra bummed about it I put on some amazing lipstick and bomb ass highlight and focus on playing that up! 

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  • Posted


    I’m 24 almost and had bilateral retinal detachment when I was 19. 

    I had scleral buckles in both and had them removed with healthy retinas after a couple of years and a few surgeries to readjust in between. Now I have 20/20 vision after lasik surgery so I know I am very lucky.

    But my right eye completely changed shape and now I have two different shaped eyes with one that sits further back and looks slightly inwards, droopy eyelid etc. (The scleral buckle was very tight in my right eye). From having big brown eyes to pink eyes that look a bit crossed and as a young girl obviously it has been very difficult as the doctors say there is nothing they can safely do to improve the aesthetic. Following in case there is some miracle treatment you guys know of! 

    I hope your eyes healed well and that you are doing well, in five years I haven’t met anyone as young who had retinal detachment so this is cool smile 

    All the best x

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    • Posted

      Hi I am a few years older, but still young compared to most older folks sitting with me in my retina specialist waiting room. hehe. My left eye is totally wonky after the few vitrectomies and scleral buckle I had when I was about 12.  Intellectually I know it doesn't matter and I should love myself for whats on the inside and not focus on my flaws and blah blah blah, but I would be lying if I said it hasn't caused me anguish throughout the years. It's not the end of the world, but I am deeply insecure about it and just try not to think about it. I hoped acceptance would come with age and maturity but I all I can do is hope there will be something  I can do cosmetically to fix it in the future. My doctor says there is nothing to be done. I went to go see a surgeon who said he could sew the eyelid of my OTHER eye to close that larger eye a bit to better match the smaller one, but it's my only good eye so I can't afford to take any risks. aaaaanyways I beat you both as the youngest since i was 12! 

      That is so wonderful that you ended up with such great vision! 

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