Savannah Guthrie had her third eye surgery in 17 months in hopes of finally repairing the damage caused when her son Charley threw a toy train at her and tore her retina.
The 49-year-old Today presenter did not appear on the show on Tuesday morning and later revealed on Instagram that her absence was due to “ one last tiny eye surgery, ” which took place in New York Presbyterian.
Mother-of-two Savannah’s latest procedure comes more than a year after she suffered temporary vision loss and a torn retina when her youngest child Charley, now four, “ threw a train at her. ” She has already undergone retinal detachment surgery and follow-up cataract surgery, as well as multiple laser treatments to repair the serious damage caused by the accident.
Back to business: Savannah Guthrie had third eye surgery 17 months after son Charley threw a toy train at her and tore her retina
Oops! The Today anchor’s eye problems started when her now four-year-old son Charley accidentally threw a toy train (pictured) that tore her retina in late November 2019
However, Savannah seems to think this latest procedure will mark the end of her long medical journey – which was further delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw her cataract surgery delayed until July last year.
Savannah shares a black and white photo of herself modeling a clear eye patch after the last surgery and wrote, ‘Another tiny eye surgery and I’m back to work !!!’
She then paid tribute to her ophthalmologist, Dr. Ashley Brissette, who helped her return to full health.
It’s been nearly a year since Savannah’s last eye surgery, which took place in July 2020 after several postponements during the pandemic.
At the time, the Today anchor admitted she was quietly struggling with her vision, which had been left ‘distorted’ and ‘blurry’ as a result of her injuries.
“It’s been a long time, I’m super excited,” Savannah said of the procedure. ‘I feel like it’s Christmas morning because if they remove this cataract, I’ll actually be able to see, and I’m having a hard time seeing.
‘[My vision] is a little distorted and then it has a wavy thing, and now I have this cataract, which is a big blurry spot. Once they remove that blur I think it will be a lot better. ‘
Anticipation: In July, Savannah shared her excitement at the prospect of having surgery to correct her cataract, a procedure that had been delayed due to the pandemic
Difficult recovery: Prior to the cataract procedure, Savannah had to undergo retinal reconfirmation surgery and several laser treatments
The TV host rushed to add that her symptoms were incredibly ‘common’ – and that many people who undergo retinal reconfirmation surgery get cataracts.
“So apparently when you have that retina reconfirmation surgery it’s very, very common to have cataracts, that’s what happened to me too,” she explained.
A cataract is a cloudy area in the lens of the eye that occurs when proteins begin to break down and clump together. Cataracts can make a person’s vision blurry, blurry, or less colorful and lead to problems reading or doing everyday activities.
Most cataracts are age-related, according to the National Eye Institute (NIH), but they can develop for other reasons, including eye injuries and eye surgery.
Cataract surgeries are incredibly common – so common that Savannah’s co-host Carson Daly jokingly asked her if she wanted to show the procedure live on the airwaves.
“Uh, no, because they cut my eye, so I didn’t think our viewers really wanted to see that,” Savannah said with a laugh.
Savannah co-anchor Hoda Kotb said she has witnessed her boyfriend struggling to watch for the past year.
‘A difficult time is quite an understatement. I don’t know if you guys noticed, but Savannah, sometimes she holds her papers like that, “Hoda said, pulling her paper to her face,” and she reads with one eye. ‘
Too Cute: Before going to surgery, the mom took to Twitter to share a sweet photo of her son Charley playing the Operation game.
The surgery only takes about half an hour, and Savannah hopes for a short recovery and back to work in a few days.
“I’m not coming back tomorrow because I have a bandage, but maybe later in the week,” she told her opponents.
Before going to surgery, the mom took to Instagram and Twitter to share a sweet photo of her son Charley playing the Operation game.
“On the way to cataract surgery!” she wrote. This was an expected complication after retinal detachment. Very hopeful to see [100 per cent] and back to work this week! ‘
What are cataracts?
A cataract is a cloudy area in the lens of the eye that occurs when proteins begin to break down and clump together.
Cataracts can make a person’s vision blurry, blurry, or less colorful and lead to problems reading or doing everyday activities.
Most cataracts are age-related, but they can also develop for other reasons, such as eye injuries and eye surgery.
Cataract surgery is safe and corrects vision problems caused by cataracts.
Source: National Eye Institute (NIH)
Today’s star eye problems started when her son Charley accidentally threw a toy train in late November 2019 that tore her retina. Although her first surgery restored her temporary vision loss, her eyesight was no longer what it used to be.
“My eyesight isn’t great,” she said People in April. “I have to undergo a few follow-up operations, which is a shame but not unexpected.”
Savannah, whose surgeries had been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, explained that her eyesight “isn’t where it was,” and she thinks “it’s getting worse.”
“Ultimately, I am hopeful that if everything goes back to normal I can plan those operations and I hope there will be a big improvement,” she said. “I don’t think my eye will ever be the way it once was, but I think it will be much improved.”
Although she had to wait until the summer to plan her follow-up surgeries, she admitted that she was incredibly grateful to have had her first surgery when she did.
“It saved my eye,” she said. ‘If I hadn’t been able to have that surgery, I think I probably would have lost my sight in that eye. So yes, I am very, very grateful and this is just one of those things. It’s annoying. It’s a story that goes on and on. ‘
Doctors initially hoped to be able to repair her torn retina with multiple laser sessions, but it was eventually decided that surgery was her best option.
‘The hardest part is sitting still, keeping your head bowed. You get a kind of neck and back pain, ”she said during her prolonged recovery after surgery. “I can’t say it was easy … but it’s manageable and it’ll all be fine.”
Not over yet: Savannah (pictured after her eye injury in December) had to postpone her follow-up surgery due to the pandemic
Repairing the damage: Savannah’s retina is shown before (left) and after (right) her surgery
When Savannah returned to work after the New Year, the Today show interviewed her surgeon, Dr. Donald D’Amico of Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City, to better explain what he did to repair her torn retina.
Her retina was torn. The retina lines the inside of the back of the eye like wallpaper, ”he said. When the retina is torn, it starts to fall off the back of the eye and you lose vision.
“Fortunately for Savannah, the tear was on the side of her retina and not in the center, so the prospect of her central vision returning is very good.”
A gas bubble was placed in the back of Savannah’s eye to slowly reattach her retina to the back of her eye, so she had to lie face down most of the day.
“You’re thinking about how you’d put a poster on the wall,” said Dr. D’Amico. ‘We all hung a poster on the wall with glue. You have to hold it for a few minutes or seconds for it to stick.
“The bubble keeps the retina in the eye, and as the bubble goes away as the body absorbs it, the laser treatment and the freeze treatment create the permanent scar that keeps it stable.”