Important Information – Please Read Carefully!
Before Your Surgery
Appointment time/food & beverage consumption: You have received your surgery date. On the day before your scheduled surgery, we will call you with instructions on what time to arrive (if you surgery is scheduled on a Monday, you will receive this call on the Friday before). You will also receive instructions on what to do with your current medications. Do not eat or drink anything at least 8 hours prior to your scheduled surgery time with the exception of a sip of water taken with your regular medications. Please arrive 1 hour prior to your scheduled surgery. You must have someone drive you to and from your surgery.
Clothing: Wear clothes that do not need to be pulled over your head and remove all make-up, perfume and body lotion prior to your arrival.
Eye care medications: Unless you have been instructed otherwise, continue your normal eye drop routine the evening before surgery and the morning of surgery. You will be given a prescription for eye drops to be used in the operative eye four times a day, the day before surgery.
Please arrange for an adult to transport you to and from surgery. The person may stay in the family reception area during surgery.
After Your Surgery
Vision/eyeglasses/patching: Immediately following surgery your eye will be patched. The patch and overlying metal shield typically stay on until the doctor sees you the next day. Therefore you will be totally dependent on your other eye for vision until the patch is taken off. Even when the patch is removed, your vision may be less sharp than it was before surgery. This blurred vision is normal and lasts for several days or even a few weeks. It is important to wear some form of eye protection at all times. Generally, this means wearing glasses during waking hours and the shield while sleeping.
Pain control: It is common to have some discomfort after surgery. Typically this is mild but the level of pain varies with the type of procedure performed. Unless you have a specific allergy, Tylenol may be used for mild pain, stronger pain medicine will be prescribed as needed. Severe and persistent pain is unusual after surgery. If you have severe pain, please call us immediately.
Activity: Following surgery, it is best to avoid significant exertion such as running, jumping, swimming or prolonged bending. You may walk, read, watch television and do light household activities. You should generally avoid any heavy lifting during the first week following surgery (nothing heavier than a small bag of groceries for example). The placement of a gas bubble in the back of the eye is sometimes necessary during vitreo-retinal surgery. You will be informed if this is needed and you will be instructed on what position to keep your head after the surgery to let the bubble work effectively. If you have a gas bubble in your eye you should refrain from flying in an airplane, going to a high altitude in the mountains, going underwater diving or undergoing general surgery with the use of nitrous oxide anesthesia.
Hygiene: You may bathe and shower. You may wash your hair with your head held upright or back, but avoid prolonged bending forward. It is important to wear the shield for protection. Additionally, use a shower mat to improve traction and prevent slipping. You may shave and wash your face but avoid any direct pressure on the eye. If the eye collects matter, you may gently clean it with a warm, damp washcloth or cotton balls. Avoid using any eye irrigation solution that is put directly into the eye.
Office Visits: You can expect to have several office visits following vitreo-retinal surgery; typically, three to five visits during the first month are needed in order to monitor the eye drain very closely. After these initial visits, the number or frequency of the visit varies depending on your post surgery progress. Some of these visits may be with your primary eye care physician.
Eye Drops: Following surgery you should continue with any drops that you were using in your other eye. Most patients are given new drops for their operated eye which are used for a short time after surgery to help the eye recover. These new drops are used frequently at first and then are slowly tapered. Please bring all of your eye drops to the office on each visit. All medications unrelated to your eye, for example heart or blood pressure medicines, should be continued following surgery.
Any surgery causes significant anxiety and concern. Our office staff would like to help ease this anxiety in every way possible. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns. We are here to help you in any way that we can. We sincerely appreciate the privilege of caring for your vision.