can I do?
first week after your surgery, it is important for you to take
it easy; walk and move your head in slow motion. Pamper
yourself and get a lot of rest. Avoid excessive reading
or watching TV. Unless otherwise instructed, you may increase
your activity after four (4) weeks but still avoid heavy lifting--anything
more than 20 pounds. Avoid any strenuous activity that requires
straining--making the veins in your neck pop out.
do I use my patch and shield?
should sleep in your metal shield at night for three (3) weeks
to avoid injuring or putting pressure on your eye in your sleep.
You need not
wear the shield during the day unless you feel more secure with
it on. You may wear your glasses to protect your eye from
Wear a soft
cotton patch at home the evening of surgery and the following
day. Change the patch as needed due to tearing or discharge,
but at least morning and evening. You may wish to wear a
cotton patch a little longer, if your eye is watering excessively
or if sunlight bothers you.
discharge and mucous secretion is to be expected, but yellow
or foul smelling drainage should be reported to your doctor.
do I use my drops?
best method for using drops is to follow the " pouch technique".
Lean your head back or lie down. Pull your lower lid
down to form a pocket or "pouch". Look up.
Put one drop into the pouch, being careful not to touch
the top of the bottle to the eye, eyelids or eyelashes.
eye closed for one full minute following the drops. Allow at least
one minute between each drop instilled. Always wash your
hands before and after using drops.
the bottle tips. Bring your medications with you to the
office each visit. Continue to use your medications
until instructed otherwise by your doctor. Resume any eye medications
you were using before surgery unless instructed otherwise
by your doctor.
is normal postoperative discomfort?
have very little postoperative discomfort. Some soreness,
redness, tearing, and sensitivity to light is normal and will
gradually decrease day-by-day as you recover.
You may use
over-the-counter non-aspirin analgesics (Tylenol, etc.) and warm
compresses, a clean cloth rinsed in very warm (not scalding) water
placed gently over your eye, to relieve minor discomfort. Use
prescription pain medications as instructed by your physician.
If you experience severe persistent pain, please inform your
I shower and wash my hair?
may shower and wash your hair carefully. Do not scrub your
head vigorously. Avoid getting soap and water in your eye.
Do not let the water pound on your face. If you wear
a patch in the shower, remember to change it afterwards. Be
especially careful getting in and out of the shower, to avoid
falling or bumping your eye.
I have to position after surgery?
long acting gas bubble may be placed in the eye during surgery.
The bubble serves as a "splint" to help hold the surgically
repaired retina in place until it has had a chance to form a firm
reattachment. You may be instructed to take advantage of
this splint-like effect by positioning yourself in a certain face
down position until the bubble clears. You retina surgeon will
give you exact instructions before you leave the hospital.
are positioning you may be up for meals and to go to the bathroom.
You may also position sitting, in bed or on the couch. You
may stretch and move as you need but do not lie on your back.
Try to maintain your head in a position parallel to the floor
The gas bubble
is gradually absorbed and most cases will be significantly diminished
by two weeks. Because the gas is expandable at high
altitudes and this phenomena could potentially be a hazard to
your vision, you will not be allowed to fly until the gas bubble
is gone, usually a minimum of two (2) weeks. As the
bubble decreases in size you may see the edge of the bubble as
a shadow in the lower field of your vision. This is no cause for
can I expect about my vision?
may expect a gradual improvement in your vision. Immediately after
surgery you will not being seeing clearly. The retina heals
slowly; what you should experience is a slow steady progress.
Two (2) weeks after surgery you should be aware of a definite
improvement (especially if you had a gas bubble) in your vision
from the first few days after surgery. Within six (6)
weeks you can be close to a final postoperative vision but the
retina can continue to heal and vision may improve as long as
a year or more. If you required a scleral buckle to repair
your retina you eye will have become more nearsighted requiring
an adjustment in the power of your optical correction. You will
be able to get a new prescription to correct the difference from
your preoperative glasses at this time. Do not be discouraged,
be patient but also vigilant.
you to check your vision regularly and inform your physician if
you experience any decrease in your vision.
is better to refrain from driving until your vision has improved.
You may drive if the vision in your fellow eye is within the legal
limits for licensing in your state. You may wish to
check with your State Motor Vehicle Licensing Department for their
criteria or your automobile insurance agent may be able to advise
you. If you are relying on the vision of just one eye, remember
your depth perception will be impaired and your field of view
will not be normal.
can I go back to work?
you have a "sit-down" type job, you may return to work
between ten (10) to fourteen (14) days after your surgery, unless
otherwise instructed by your physician. If you have any
doubts about your ability to resume work, discuss this with your
Ask your physician
before returning to any physical activity which requires straining
or rapid movements. Do not engage in any heavy labor, operating
heavy equipment or yard work for at least one month.
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