I have battled with Graves Disease for the past 2...
I am scheduled for Orbital Decompression Surgery with Dr. Robert Kersten at UCSF Medical Center. He will be creating more space for my eyes by decompressing the lateral wall and floor of my orbital socket. Additionally, he plans to perform fat removal.
I'm not sure if it was a good or bad decision to have both eyes operated on separately, but the right eye surgery is September 13th and the left will be October 2nd. I plan to update this site with pictures of my progress. I have posted pictures of my eyes prior to Graves and currently. Please share your experiences and ask me as many questions as your heart desires.
Last but certainly not least, please keep me in your prayers as I move forward with my procedure.
Day 1 Post Right Eye OD Surgery
Post op Day 11
I feel comfortable going into my next surgery for my left eye. I'm very anxious to not look like a gOoglly eyed emoticon anymore!!
Post op day 10 photo
5 days Post Op 2nd Surgery
10 days post op left OD
My time off is over
Things that I learned:
1. Be patient and let the healing process take place. Doing too much too fast only extends rehabilitation time.
2. I had 2.5 weeks off after each procedure. 2 weeks would've been sufficient, 1 week would've been pushing it.
3. You absolutely need help after the procedure for atleast 3 days. My husband took great care of me and made sure to keep me on schedule with my drugs.
4. The surgery was not painful for me. The worse pain I experienced was maybe a 4/10 right after the procedure. I took OTC Tylenol most days. I took Oxycodone for the first week just at night.
5. Sleeping with my head elevated helped tons with the swelling. I iced every 30 minutes for the first 4 days then switched to heat as needed. I used frozen peas in sandwich bags for ice. I rotated about 4 bags.
My right eye was more of a complicated case so the healing was longer. But using this schedule, most of the swelling was down after 1 week in my left eye.
Well those are all the tips I can think of right now. If I remember anything else I'll update the blog. Thanks for all of your kind words and encouragement. You have no idea how much that means to me. I feel like I can go out of the house and have people stare at me wondering why my eyes are the way they are....were :-) It is a big adjustment when you're accustomed to looking one way and then everything changes. I just Thank God there is a procedure that can reverse most of the damage.
If I can be of help to anyone suffering from Graves please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I've attached my latest progression shot.
Dr. Kersten has the credentials that any patient would be happy to see from their surgeon; but it is a pain in the rear to see him for appointments. Be prepared to wait a minimum of 2 hours once you arrive for your appointment. Since he is ALWAYS behind schedule he is not as attentive, explanatory/detailed, or warm and fuzzy as one might want from a doctor. As rushed as he may seem during the appointments, I find that he gave me just enough to make me fully confident that he will take care of me while under the knife. If you are searching for an Occuloplastic Surgeon to answer your million questions and with exemplary bed side manner, he is not the one. If you value the comfort of years of experience/knowledge, I would try him out.