The Today co-host suffered from a form of retinal detachment after her son hit her in the eye with a toy train

By Julie Mazziotta
December 02, 2019 11:38 AM

Savannah Guthrie’s eye is slowly but steadily improving from a form of retinal detachment thanks to near-daily laser surgeries.

The Today co-host, 47, has been “basically going every day for more lasers” to repair her right eye, which tore after her 2-year-old son Charley accidentally hit her with a sharp toy train.

Guthrie counted it up, and over the last week she’s gone to the doctor for five laser surgeries to reattach her retina, with the first being the most intensive.

“The first laser I actually did I had to go under for, it was kind of an emergency, like they rushed me in there, they shot me up with the big laser, and they were actually not sure it had worked at all, and they thought I was going to have to have this surgery,” the mom of two explained on Monday.

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But Guthrie was “really lucky,” ophthalmologist Dr. Annie Negrin said, and doesn’t need to undergo retinal surgery, which would require her to lie face down every day for 1-3 weeks.

“For the last week, the doctors have been like, ‘[grimacing] I hope we don’t have to do surgery,’ ” Guthrie said. “And I did not google it, because I was like, I don’t need to. But when I read about it this morning, that retinal surgery is like, major, and you have to be [completely still].”

Instead, the repeated laser surgeries work to reattach the retina, Negrin explained.

“Basically the eye jiggles, and the retina is like saran wrap, so when you get hit, saran wrap can very easily tear, can get a hole in it, and that’s not a good thing,” she said. “Laser, if you have a small enough tear, laser can basically weld down the outside of the tear to prevent more fluid from getting underneath and more of the retina detaching. So the laser is a really neat way to take care of it. If the tear is small enough, you don’t actually have to go to the operating room.”

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Guthrie said that her vision is definitely improving, but still fuzzy.

“It’s weird because the vision doesn’t have a lot to do with the injury, but the vision is getting better every day, but I’m still blurry,” she said. “Right now, it’s like having one contact in and one out. When it first started though, it was a complete blur, I couldn’t have seen anything.”

Negrin said that it will take time to heal, but that Guthrie shouldn’t have any long-term damage.

“We just need to wait a couple weeks for it to heal,” Negrin said. “Your eyesight should get a lot better, because right now what happened is they welded it down and the blood vessels are growing back in, the retina wasn’t detached for very long and it’s starting to get its blood supply. You should do really well.”

 

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