Stitches

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Val G
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Stitches

Postby Val G » Tue 14 Mar 2006 8:05 pm

At my 3 months post graft check today my consultant said that my stitches would not be removed unless they caused any problems with astigmatism. Has anyone else had stitches left in, permenantly!

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Per
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Postby Per » Tue 14 Mar 2006 8:18 pm

The policy at my clinic is that if vision is very close to perfect when the stitches are to be removed, they leve it to disappear by itself. Otherwise they remove it 18 mths post op.

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Asif
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Postby Asif » Tue 14 Mar 2006 9:13 pm

I am 8 months post graft and I still have all 16 in place. None have yet been removed as my astigmatism is fairly low. What is your vision like at the moment, I would think you may have some stitches removed around the 6-7month mark depending on your astigmatism and topography.

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Val G
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Postby Val G » Tue 14 Mar 2006 9:29 pm

My vision is loads better than pre op but still not very 'useful'. I have a continuous stitch.

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Postby Andrew MacLean » Tue 14 Mar 2006 9:53 pm

Your stitches may be the dissolving kind that sort of remove themselves. That would mean that the surgeon had no need to pull them from your eye.

I think they start to disappear after 3 years or so.

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GarethB
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Postby GarethB » Tue 14 Mar 2006 9:57 pm

Val,

I think at some point eveb a coninuous stich is removed as the stitches become brittle with time. Or at least they did when I was grafted 16 years ago.

It does take three years or more for it to happen in the cases I have heard about.

Most other cases where stitches are removed single or continuos is more commonly between 12 - 18 months.

I had single stitches taken out one or two at a time to control astigmatism. My sight was pretty stable after 9 months so the remaining stitches that could be removed were done 6 months later to give the graft in the other eye time to settle.
Gareth

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Rob Armstrong
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Postby Rob Armstrong » Tue 14 Mar 2006 10:13 pm

"At my 3 months post graft check today my consultant said that my stitches would not be removed unless they caused any problems."

I was told the exact same thing! Only mine were individual ones.

About three years down the line, having only had a couple of tight/loose ones removed, they all started snapping at quite regular intervals. I've lost count of how many times I've been the rapid access clinic of late! (Put it this way, I don't get asked for my details at reception anymore - last week I was greeted by "Hi, Rob - you back again?!")

It's not even one visit per stitch, (if only, it'd been over and done with months ago) apparently they are starting to dissolve and have gone all brittle.

This means that when they try to pull out a broken one, they often just snap small pieces off. They get as much as they can out, and then tell me that it's not protuding anymore and that it should "snap back" below the surface and not give me any more problems. But unfortunately that doesn't appear to be true.

Fed up with it all, I asked last week whether they can just take the remaining 5 out - I countered the claims of not wanting to risk causing an infection with that letting me walk round with a broken stitch in my eye more often than not can't be doing me any favours either. And that it had become apparent that it wasn't a matter of "if" they would break but "when".

The consultant still wants to leave them in as long as possible, as they are worried about making my cornea too flat and potentially making my eyesight worse (not going to argue with the experts, however my eyesight has steadily improved as the stitches have come out and they're going to have to come out at some point soon).

They wanted to take a topography to assess if the stitches are actually holding the cornea in tension to help them decide, but as per usual the machine is broke (actually the cable is frayed, has been for ages - at one end it looks like it's just a serial connector and a VGA one, but it goes to a custom connector at the other end. Otherwise I'd just go get them new leads for less than £10, apparently the custom one cost over ten times that!)

They said they would take one stitch out, but they left some of the stitch behind, "Don't worry", they told me, "It will snap back and won't give you anymore problems". Yeah right.

They told me to come back in 4 weeks, I told them that from recent experience I'd probably be back before then.

Guess where it looks like I'm going to have to go tomorrow?

That'll be 3 visits in less than 2 weeks. My new boss will be so pleased.....


Aaaarrrggghh!!!!

(End rant).

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Postby Andrew MacLean » Tue 14 Mar 2006 10:16 pm

This raises in my mind another question. Why don't they just pull them out? Can it be that the very business of tugging at them can alter the shape of your cornea?

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Rob Armstrong
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Postby Rob Armstrong » Tue 14 Mar 2006 10:51 pm

My angle of astigmatism was 42 degrees the other day, (but they've never got the same reading twice out of me.) Which just happens to be exactly perpendicular to my remaining stitches. (2 at the top, 3 at the bottom I believe)

I learned last week that this top/bottom split means I've got mixed astigmatism - top of my eye is long sighted and the bottom short sighted!

It also happens to be a pretty extreme angle apparently, so when the optician tried me with glasses the same day she got it pin-sharp but everything was skewed out of square!

Apparently I only need a mild prescription, so luckily I've been getting by day to day unaided - (even coped with being a graphic designer since last week!) It's just my constantly shifting angle of astigmatism. I've had a few pairs of glasses since my graft, but often they barely have time to make them and it's changed again. If I rotate them in front of my face at a certain point they work again.

Last year there was even talk of working out the extremes of my shifts in astigmatism and giving me a prescription slap bang in the middle, with the hope that they would work most of the time!

Since then my vision has improved though, but most times when they test my vision it is below par because of the irritation caused by the "splinter" in my eye.

I had an eyesight test in January under "normal" circumstances for a change and to my amazement got to the bottom of the chart - that's partly why I want the stitches removed more than ever.

And it's not like I've gone to the hospital at the slightest thing - even though they say not to hesitate to get in touch if I have ANY worries, I'm still a bit wary, even more so because I am there so often. I've even been known to photograph my eye to make sure I've actually broken a stitch before ringing them! But by now it's such a familiar sensation I know straight away...

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Postby Andrew MacLean » Wed 15 Mar 2006 7:14 am

Rob

Sounds like you have made fantastic progress. I can fully understand why you want not to dispense with the remaining sutures.

Andrew
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