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Retinal Surgery — Home Care

After retinal surgery, it’s important to follow these home care instructions — until your doctor tells you otherwise.

Diet

You may return to your usual diet when you get home. Alcoholic beverages, if used, should be in moderation.

Activity

You may resume activities as directed by your doctor. This usually is as follows:

Immediately:

  • Riding in a car
  • Shaving (regular or electric)
  • Brushing teeth
  • Showering if wearing patch and using low
  • Shower head
  • Tub bathing (keep soap from the eyes)
  • Walking outdoors
  • Watching TV or movies

One to two weeks after surgery:

  • Driving (if you see well enough)
  • Light reading non-manual work
  • Sex
  • Showering
  • Shampooing hair

Ask your doctor or nurse when you may return to manual labor.

Four to six weeks after surgery:

  • Lawn mowing
  • Lifting heavy objects (more than 20 pounds)
  • Other heavy chores
  • Strenuous exercise or sports
 

  

Eye care

  • Apply eye drops. You will receive eye drops when you leave the hospital. Use as directed (see schedule below).
  • Wear an eye patch. You will receive an eye patch to protect your eye and help you feel more comfortable. Wear the patch day and night during the first week. After that, use
     the patch during the day, as needed, or as directed by your doctor.
  • Protect the eye bubble. Your doctor may have placed a gas bubble in your eye to help reattach your retina. If so, you will be told how to keep the bubble in position. The bubble will go away on its own in several days or weeks.

Until then:

  • Don’t lie flat on your back facing the ceiling.
  • Don’t fly.
  • Don’t drive to high altitudes.

Also, while the bubble is in place, contact your doctor before having any other surgery requiring a general anesthetic.

Clean the eyelids, as needed. You may gently wipe the eyelids with a clean tissue or cotton ball moistened with lukewarm tap water.

Special concerns

  • Pain: You may have occasional discomfort after returning home. Use any over-the counter pain medicine (except plain aspirin).  If pain is severe, call your doctor’s office.
  • Light flashes: It’s normal to have light flashes or other visual effects for some time
    after surgery.

Medication schedule

Medicine Times Per Day Medicine By Mouth
(circled) Left Eye Right Eye    
         
Hyoscine     Diamox  
Garamycin (Genoptic)     Other:  
Econopred (Pred Forte)        
Ciloxan        

 

If you are using more than one kind of eye drop, wait about five minutes between medications.

Follow-up care

When you get home, call your doctor’s office to schedule an appointment to be seen
 in ________ weeks.

 

Telephone: ____________________________________________

You have a follow-up appointment with:

Doctor:

__________________________________________________

Date and time:

__________________________________________________

Location:

__________________________________________________

Telephone:

__________________________________________________

Bring your eye drops and all other medications with you to each follow-up exam.

Emergency care

If you have an emergency, call your doctor. If you can’t reach the doctor, call the emergency
department.

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