Pancreas — TransplantLyfe


Retinal screening

Transplant Patient
Updated February 5, 2024 in Pancreas


Today I had my retinal scanning (eye exam), and wow it is impressive how many gadgets those docs and technicians manage.

Regular vision check, OCT, field of vision, retinal photography etc etc.

It takes more than one hr of different tests (plus wait time for eyes to dilate) until you see the retinal doctor and he or she gathers all the information to share.

I had type 1 diabetes for 21 years before I got my pancreas transplant and my eyes were pretty damaged by that time. All the ups and downs of blood sugar and blood pressure caused the retinas to leak and bleed. Now, most of the back of my eyes is dead tissue that cannot bleed or leak, but also cannot see. I have a small area around the center for vision, the macula which is still healthy and for that I am grateful! On the vision test, with correction, I am still 20/20 if I look straight ahead.

But wow there is not much healthy tissue left after all the laser and the anti-veggie treatments. 2mm or so that I have to protect for the rest of my life.

Thus the 3/year retinal screening!

it is something about the eyes - someone once said that they feared losing their vision more than dying and I do understand that! Losing your independence and losing the appreciation of beauty and growth.

I dream of the day when retinal transplants are a reality!

Until then, screening and treatments are a must.

1 - 2 of 2 Replies

  • AliEm14Expert
    Transplant Patient

    My dad had a cornea transplant when I was in high school, and I was his primary caregiver. I remember learning so much about the eye (more than I probably ever wanted to know!)

    The funny connection is the eye doctor who did his cornea transplant follow up is the same doctor who monitors me for my post transplant screenings! I've never had fantastic eyesight, but watching my dad navigate the world really gave me a new appreciation not only for the eye and all it does

    February 5, 2024
  • KarinExpert
    Transplant Patient

    Beautiful! Yes - corneas can be done, lenses can be replaced but no one has cracked the retinas yet…

    February 5, 2024
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