After Surgery

The period of time immediately following surgery is the most critical part of the healing process. As your eye heals, you may experience slight discomfort and even symptoms that may temporarily affect your vision.

Please be advised that there is no cause for concern. However, if you experience these symptoms for longer than expected, please call our office right away.


Symptoms after Retinal Surgery:

  • Floaters are common after retinal surgery. Unless there is a drastic change in floaters, they are of no concern.
  • Flashing lights are common after retinal detachment surgery. New flashing lights after vitrectomy warrants a call to the doctor.
  • Pain varies from mild to moderate and will most likely be relieved with Tylenol. Severe pain or pain worsening several days after surgery should prompt a call to the doctor.
  • Gas inside the eye is seen as a line going across the vision which my shimmer or appear to be black or silver. As the gas is absorbed, the line gets lower in your vision and finally disappears. Just before disappearing, the gas may break into several smaller bubbles.


Eye Protection:

Wear your glasses during the day. At night, wear a shield without the eye pad for one week after surgery. Wear sunglasses when it is windy or very sunny.


The eyelids may be cleaned with a clean, soft washcloth and warm water. Wipe gently from the inner corner to the outside of your eye. Do not rub. Use a separate washcloth for your face. Do not put water directly into the operative eye.


Avoid strenuous physical activities for the first week. Do not lift more than five to 10 pounds. Avoid stooping or bending from the waist (unless asked to position face down). Check with the doctor regarding your return to work. To drive safely, you need good vision in one eye and no double vision. You may watch television as tolerated.

Gas Injection:

If you have has a gas bubble injected into your eye, you may be asked to keep your head in a particular position. Your doctor will explain the correct position for you. Do not sleep on your back. Do not fly in an airplane until the bubble is gone.

Eye Drop Instructions:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Tilt your head back and pull the lower lid down to form a pocket.
  • Place drops or ointment within the pocket inside the lower lid. Only a single drop of solution or a small bead of ointment is required.
  • Use a clean tissue to absorb excess (overflow only) of solution or ointment.
  • Wait at least five minutes between each drop.

Please contact our office if you have any questions after your surgery.