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Home » Can You Watch Tv After Vitrectomy | What To Know About Face Down Positioning After A Vitrectomy Surgery Best 272 Answer

Can You Watch Tv After Vitrectomy | What To Know About Face Down Positioning After A Vitrectomy Surgery Best 272 Answer

Are you looking for the topic “Can you watch TV after vitrectomy – What to Know About Face Down Positioning After a Vitrectomy Surgery“? We answer all your questions at the website in category: You will find the answer right below. The article written by the author Retina Consultants of Texas has 35,450 views and 302 likes likes.

Watching TV and reading will cause no harm. Your vision will remain blurred / poor for several weeks. Often the vision is distorted after surgery. This will vary depending on the type of operation, e.g. if a gas bubble is inserted into the eye, as the bubble shrinks you might see the edge of the bubble.You will need to be careful not to get any soap or water in your eye. You may want to use a face cloth to gently wash your face. Wear sunglasses during the day. You may have to wear an eye patch or shield for a few days.It may take around two-four weeks or even more to get a clear vision after the vitrectomy procedure. The clarity of the vision after the procedure may be affected by the following factors: The eye drops used to dilate eyes during surgery may also cause blurry vision.

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It is common for patients to feel intimidated and scared when they hear they need to be facedown for several weeks, following a vitrectomy eye surgery. Dr. Richard Fish takes you step by step through the process so you know what to expect and can feel confident about the care you’ll receive.

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What to Know About Face Down Positioning After a Vitrectomy Surgery
What to Know About Face Down Positioning After a Vitrectomy Surgery

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What can you not do after a vitrectomy?

You will need to be careful not to get any soap or water in your eye. You may want to use a face cloth to gently wash your face. Wear sunglasses during the day. You may have to wear an eye patch or shield for a few days.

How long does it take to see clearly after vitrectomy?

It may take around two-four weeks or even more to get a clear vision after the vitrectomy procedure. The clarity of the vision after the procedure may be affected by the following factors: The eye drops used to dilate eyes during surgery may also cause blurry vision.

What are the restrictions after macular hole surgery?

You must not fly or have dental work while a gas bubble remains in your eye. You may return to work usually 1-2 weeks after the surgery. If your work involves physical activity or driving, we may need to restrict your work activities, or you may need to remain off work longer.

What can you not do after macular hole surgery?

While you have any gas remaining in your eye after your surgical macular hole treatment, you must not fly or travel to high altitude destinations, as this will expand the bubble in your eye. When the bubble expands, this can increase your eye pressure, causing pain and other negative effects.

How long is vision blurry after vitrectomy?

Blurry vision after a vitrectomy is possible and may last for 2 to 3 days. However, blurry vision may last longer if you have both a vitrectomy and retina surgery. After the procedure, some people also experience a sandy or scratchy feeling in the eye. This is likely to clear up within a few days.

When can I sleep on my back after vitrectomy?

POSITIONING: Patients who undergo vitrectomy with gas bubble will need to position either right side down, left side down, or face down for 1 week after surgery. Dr. Dahr will give you more specific positioning instructions right after surgery. Face down positioning can be uncomfortable.

Can you see the gas bubble in your eye?

When you look through a gas bubble, vision is very poor – you can often only see movement. The edge of the gas bubble is seen as a black line at the top of vision. As the bubble absorbs this line descends through the field of vision. Depending on the gas, it can take between 2-6 weeks for the gas bubble to dissolve.

Can I drive with gas bubble in my eye?

If you have a gas bubble in your eye, you CANNOT legally drive until the gas bubble is gone.

Does vitrectomy remove all floaters?

An ophthalmologist removes the vitreous through a small incision (vitrectomy) and replaces it with a solution to help your eye maintain its shape. Surgery may not remove all the floaters, and new floaters can develop after surgery. Risks of a vitrectomy include bleeding and retinal tears.

How long does it take for macular hole to close after vitrectomy?

A macular hole can often be repaired using an operation called a vitrectomy. The operation is successful in closing the hole in around 9 out of 10 people who’ve had the hole for less than 6 months. If the hole has been present for a year or longer, the success rate will be lower.

How long does it take for vision to improve after macular hole surgery?

In this study, similar results were obtained with the current series of 59 patients undergoing macular hole surgery. Macular hole surgery lead to a significant increase in visual quality of life noted at the 3 and 12 months follow up visits.

How long after a vitrectomy can you drive?

Driving after vitrectomy surgery is best avoided for two weeks. It is better to wait for complete visual recovery and take your doctor’s permission before resuming driving. Recovery is better with good quality postoperative care.

How do you wash your hair after a vitrectomy?

You may shower and wash your hair carefully the day after your surgery. Do not scrub your head vigorously. Avoid getting soap and water in your eye.

How do you survive face down after eye surgery?

Making Your Face-down or Sideways Recovery easier:
  1. Sitting: Fold your arms on a table and lay your forehead on your arms.
  2. Lying down: Lie face down on a pillow; have the recovering side of your face hang off the edge of the bed. …
  3. Anytime: Use special equipment that can make it easier to stay face down or sideways.

What can I watch after retinal detachment surgery?

You may have some pain in your eye and your vision may be blurry for a few days after the surgery. Your eye may be swollen, red, or tender for several weeks. If your doctor used a gas bubble to flatten your retina during surgery, you may have to keep your head in a special position for a few days or longer.

Can You See Normal After Vitrectomy? Procedure & Side Effects

The vitrectomy is done for the following conditions:

What is the vitrectomy procedure?

Vitrectomy may be performed as an emergency procedure or a planned procedure.

The procedure is done under local anesthesia. You will be given drugs that make you sleepy. The operation is done with the help of a microscope. The eye surgeon makes three cuts on the whites of the eye, around the iris (colored part of the eye) each cut 3mm apart. The cuts are called sclerotomies. Each cut is used for a specific function.

Through the first cut, a balanced salt solution is pushed into the eye, so that the eyeball shape does not collapse as the vitreous is removed.

The second cut is used for inserting light, for better visibility of structures.

The third cut is used to insert the instruments inside the eyeball. These instruments cut and suction the jelly-like vitreous humor out of the eye.

A laser probe may be used during the procedure to seal a macular or a retinal hole. It may also be used to burn away any abnormal blood vessels over the retina. If there is bleeding or infection inside the gel, it is also suctioned out. Sometimes, a gas bubble or silicon droplet is injected inside the eye after vitrectomy to provide better support to the retina.

The eye is bandaged with sterile gauze and an antibiotic ointment.

The silicon droplet if inserted is removed after a few weeks in a separate surgery.

The purpose of vitrectomy is to re-establish a transparent medium for the light to travel from the lens to the retina (which transmits the image to the brain).

FAQs After Retina Surgery

You should wear the eye patch for the first night after surgery. You do not need to wear an eye patch after the patch is removed by your doctor at your first post-operative appointment (usually the day after surgery) unless specifically directed to by Dr. Stelton.

Will I have pain after surgery?

Some discomfort is normal and expected following surgery. Discomfort should gradually decrease with time. Tylenol should be sufficient to relieve any pain. Prescription drops will help with pain as well. Wearing sunglasses can help with photophobia after surgery.

How much drainage should I expect?

A mild-moderate amount of discharge during the first week is expected. Gradually the drainage will decrease. The lids can be cleaned using a clean washcloth or Kleenex. Wipe the eyelids gently from the nose outward.

Will there be swelling? Will my eye be red?

Swelling is normal for about one-two weeks after surgery and will gradually decrease. Swelling may worsen or last longer if you are instructed to maintain any face-down positioning after surgery by the doctor. The eye will be red after surgery. You should see the redness gradually decreasing over the next 3 to 4 weeks.

Will I need to use eye drops?

You will be given different kinds of eye drops after surgery. The directions will be on each bottle. One drop (Durezol or prednisolone, milky fluid) is for inflammation after eye surgery. The other drop is an antibiotic to prevent infection and promote healing. The antibiotic drop (clear) will be used for 7 days after surgery only. The steroid (milky drop) will be used for 3-6 weeks typically. Occasionally a third drop may be prescribed to control the pressure in your eye.

You will be using eye drops for approximately 4 to 8 weeks. Always wash your hands before using drops or ointment. Simply pull down the lower lid and squeeze one drop into the eye. Follow the instructions on the bottle. Be careful not to touch the dropper to your eye or eyelid. Dr. Stelton will change your drop regimen at each office visit depending on your recovery.

How long will it take for my vision to improve?

The first day after surgery your vision will be worse because of the eye medications and inflammation from the surgery.

Frequently, air or gas bubbles are injected into the eye at the time of surgery. This will blur your vision significantly at first, but your vision will gradually improve as the bubble dissipates. You may notice floaters after surgery. These symptoms usually decrease with time. Double vision can occur and will usually resolve over the first few days. If double vision is bothersome, patching the eye may help. You can purchase eye patches from your local drug store.

Your vision should gradually improve, but it may take up to six months or longer to regain your best vision. Visual recovery is variable depending on the severity of your case.

Are there any physical restrictions after retina surgery?

If an oil or gas bubble was placed in your eye during the surgery, you will be asked not to sleep on your back until the bubble has totally dissolved or the oil is removed surgically. In addition, you are restricted from flying until the bubble completely dissipates.

You must not fly or have dental work while a gas bubble remains in your eye.

You may return to work usually 1-2 weeks after the surgery. If your work involves physical activity or driving, we may need to restrict your work activities, or you may need to remain off work longer. You may watch TV, look at magazines, or work on puzzles. Reading may be uncomfortable for several days but using the eye will not cause any damage.

You will want to take it easy. If you must go outside wear sunglasses to avoid getting any dust or dirt into the eye.

For the first 2 weeks, do not bend below your waist, move suddenly, do any straining or lifting more than 10 lbs. Bending should always be from the knees, to keep your head above the heart.

Dr. Stelton will be very specific with your positioning requirements after surgery if it is required.

Are there any driving restrictions?

Generally, driving can be resumed in several days if you have good vision in your other eye. If you do not feel comfortable or safe to drive, DO NOT DRIVE. Your depth perception may be decreased, so you will want to try driving during the day and in light traffic.

When can I shower and wash my hair?

You may take a shower or bathe when you get home. Try to not get water or soap directly into your eye. Wash your hair with your head tilted back to avoid getting water or shampoo in your eye. Do not use make-up, mascara, creams or lotions around your eye for several weeks. You may NOT go swimming or emerge your face in water until instructed by Dr. Stelton.

What if I need another type of surgery after my eye surgery?

If you require to have another surgery under general anesthesia and have a gas bubble in your eye, have your surgeon contact our office prior to any surgery. If surgery is elective, you will need to wait until the bubble has dissipated and you are cleared from Dr. Stelton before having any surgery under anesthesia.

Macular Hole Treatment,Surgery

How Is The Macular Surgery Done?

After you have been given your local anaesthetic, you will be wheeled into the operating theatre and an iodine solution will be applied around your eye to clean the area and prevent infection. Next, a plastic drape will be placed over your eye and face in a way that will still allow you to breathe easily. After ensuring you’re getting enough oxygen and air, a hole will then be cut in the drape to provide access to your eye for the macular hole repair. A microscope will also be positioned above your eye for magnification, and a light will be switched on. You might see this light at first, but it will fade after several minutes.

During the vitrectomy for your macular hole, you will experience several different sensations. You will feel my hands resting gently on your forehead and sometimes on the bridge of your nose. Sometimes, you may feel a trickle of fluid down your face. While this may feel uncomfortable, it is nothing to worry about. You’ll also hear the theatre staff talking and various sounds produced by the vitrectomy machine.

Before the surgery commences, I will make three small holes (ports) in the white (sclera) of your eye. The first of these will have a constant flow of fluid passing through it for ‘infusion’, while the second is used to insert a fibre-optic ‘light pipe’ into your eye for adequate illumination. The third port is used for all other instruments that are required during the macular hole repair, including the ‘cutter’ for removal of the vitreous and forceps for removal of the membrane on the retina’s surface (otherwise known as the ILM).

The next stage of the macular surgery is to replace the fluid within your eye with air. While this is occurring, you might be able to hear a whistling sound. At the end of the operation, this air will be replaced with gas.

Watching TV After Retinal Detachment | Associated Retina Consultants

The retina is the part of your eye that sends images to the brain through your optic nerve and is essential to your vision. Retinal detachment is a serious condition that occurs when the retina pulls away from the back of the eye and its blood supply. Without a blood supply, the retinal cells will start to die. This condition can cause permanent damage to your vision if not treated promptly. Reattaching the retina quickly is essential to prevent serious complications.

Retinal Detachment Surgery Options

There are several types of surgery to repair a detached retina. Different types of retinal detachment require different kinds of surgery and different levels of anesthesia.

One method of retinal detachment repair is pneumatic retinopexy. In this procedure, a gas bubble is injected into the eye. The bubble presses against the detached retina and pushes it back into place. A laser or cryotherapy is then used to reattach the retina firmly into place. The gas bubble dissolves a few days following the procedure.

In more severe cases, a procedure called a scleral buckle may be performed. During a scleral buckle, a flexible band is placed around the eye to counteract the force that is pulling the retina out of place. The fluid behind the detached retina will be drained, and the retina should return to its normal place in the back of the eye.

A vitrectomy is a procedure done to repair serious retinal detachments. It requires removing the vitreous gel inside the eye. The vitrectomy may release tension on the retina, allowing it to move back into its proper position where it can be reattached. Once the vitreous is removed, a gas bubble is placed inside the eye to keep the retina in place until it is healed.

One to two weeks of recovery time is typically required after retinal detachment surgery. If the surgery involved inserting a gas bubble into the eye to apply pressure to the retina, the patient must often spend much of the recovery time facedown.

While patients can often resume normal activities within one to two weeks of retinal detachment surgery, follow-up visits typically take place over the next one to three months, and the patient’s ability to travel may be limited for longer as well. During the recovery period, patients should avoid certain activities including watching TV, driving and heavy lifting. Patients with nonactive jobs can typically return to work after two weeks.

If not treated quickly, a retinal detachment can cause partial or total vision loss so prompt treatment is essential. If you notice changes to your vision, do not delay in seeking treatment. Contact Associated Retina Consultants at 602-242-4928 or Associated Retina Consultants to learn more.

Dr Donaldson – Retinal Surgery Post-Op Instructions – Terrace Eye Centre

We sincerely hope that your surgical experience with us has been a good one and exceeded all of your expectations. Retinal surgery is extremely delicate, complicated surgery, and your careful attention to post-operative care of the eye is important to help achieve our goal of attaining the best possible outcome from your surgery.

It is extremely important that you read these instructions carefully the day before your surgery and again after your surgery. If anything is unclear, or if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.


PLEASE ARRANGE FOR SOMEONE TO DRIVE YOU HOME after your surgery. For your safety, the hospital will not allow you to drive home alone or catch public transport, (including taxis) alone after sedation or anesthesia. If you have a general anaesthetic, you must have an adult at home with you for the first 24 hours, however even after local anaesthesia we strongly recommend that all patients have an adult at home with them for the first 24 hours after surgery.

Post-Operative appointments


Preventing infection

Eye protection


Eye Drops


When can I resume normal activities?

Common clinical questions post surgery


It is normal for the eye to feel very itchy, watery and scratchy after surgery. This should slowly get better, day by day. It is normal to feel like there is sand or a foreign body in the eye. Sometimes this is due to mild swelling, sometimes due to special stitches on the surface of the eye, and sometimes due to collections of mucus. This is normal, and subsides with time.

For the first couple of days after surgery, it is not uncommon to notice some blood in the tears, on the patch, or on your pillow on waking. This is normal, and is not vision threatening.

Rapidly increasing pain, nausea and vomiting or rapidly decreasing vision is NOT normal. Should this occur, the surgeon should be called immediately. Please do not wait until your next appointment.


Most patients will experience some mild discomfort or mild pain after returning home. The best thing for this is to take some Panadol, Panadeine or another non-Aspirin prescribed pain reliever. Preferably do not take aspirin or other anti-inflammatories such as Voltaren or Ibuprofen as these may slightly increase your risk of bleeding. If pain becomes severe or is associated with nausea and vomiting, call your surgeon.

NB .Do not take strong painkillers eg Panadeine, on an empty stomach, as this very commonly results in nausea and vomiting

If you notice any dramatic sudden change in your vision, please call your surgeon. It is important to contact our staff without delay if you experience any of the following:

Pain not relieved by normal analgesics.

Sudden dramatic change in vision including blurring, cobwebs, flashing lights, dark curtains or dark clouds.

Prolonged nausea or vomiting.

Injury to the eye.


Eyelid swelling after retinal surgery is relatively common, especially if you are positioning with your face down. This is usually normal and slowly decreases over 2-4 weeks. If the swelling is progressively getting worse and is associated with increasingly severe pain and redness with reduced vision, call the office urgently.


Redness is normal after retinal surgery and gradually diminishes over time. This is similar to bruising on the skin and slowly resolves on its own.

If your eye is becoming progressively more red, and is associated with increasing pain, or nausea and vomiting, please call your surgeon.


Some patients may notice a patch of red blood on the outside of the eye, in the tears or on the pillow. This is normal after retinal surgery. Call the office though if it does not stop within a few hours or there is a large amount of ongoing bleeding.

Northern California Advanced Surgery Center

Following retinal surgery, it is important for you to follow a few instructions to maximize the success of surgery and to make for a smooth recovery.

Minimize activity the day of surgery following your operation. You may walk, read, and watch TV, but it is important to follow any positioning requirements that your surgeon may have given you. You can resume your normal diet but start with light foods and drink first. Do not drink alcoholic beverages for 24 hours after your surgery. Do not perform any “jarring” or strenuous activities like jumping, running, or straining until your surgeon has given you permission.

Keep the eye patch and shield on until the morning after surgery. Take the patch and shield off the morning after surgery and begin using your post-operative eye drops as directed. It is normal to see mucus and bloody discharge on the patch. The eye shield is not required after the first day following surgery, but it is OK to tape the shield in place between eye drop applications.

It is OK to take a bath or shower the day after surgery. You may wash your hair.

The following symptoms are normal after surgery and may continue for days or weeks afterwards: – Blurred vision that is often worse immediately after surgery than before. Vision GRADUALLY improves and may take several months for maximum improvement – Floaters – “Lights” in the vision – Eye irritation, often described as a “scratchy” sensation as if something were in your eye – Light sensitivity – Double vision – Mild “ache” of the eye or around the eye often made worse with eye movements

It is normal to see the following signs after surgery and for days to weeks afterwards: – A black eye – A red, bloodshot eye – Puffy eyelids and face – it is OK to use ice-packs or cold compresses twice a day. – Excessive tearing, bloody tears, mucous discharge, and crusting of the eyelids – “Bumps” on the white part of the eye to either side of the colored part of the eye.

It is NOT normal to experience severe pain after surgery. Severe pain of the eye, a severe headache, nausea or vomiting should be reported to your surgeon. Contact the office or, if the office is closed, call 916-379-7470 and ask to speak to the surgeon on call.

You may need to maintain a special position after surgery if a gas bubble is injected. Your retinal surgeon and nurses will have discussed this with you and provided you with a separate instruction sheet. Please refer to that instruction sheet for details regarding positioning requirements and restrictions.

You will be required to use eye drops after your surgery. Please read and follow the separate instruction sheet provided for eye drop usage. Bring all of your eye drops to each of your follow up visits. If you are using other eye drops, such as glaucoma drops, you should resume them the day after your surgery unless your surgeon has specifically asked you to stop.

Your surgeon may advise that you take time off of work to recover from your surgery. The amount of time off of work will depend on your surgery and the type of work that you do. If you need to apply for disability, please contact your place of employment. They may require that you submit disability forms and they will provide those forms or will advise you on where to obtain them.

Do not drive the day of surgery. We discourage driving until your surgeon has deemed it safe for you to do so.

Resume your normal medications immediately following surgery. Blood thinning medication (Warfarin, Coumadin, Aspirin, Plavix, Ticlid) can be restarted after your surgery. You may resume your normal diabetes medication when you have returned to your usual diet, usually within a few hours after surgery. If you have questions, your surgeon can advise you on restarting your medications or may ask that you consult with your internist, family doctor, or diabetes doctor to advise you.

Vitrectomy Surgery: Risks and postoperative care

Vitrectomy is a surgical procedure in which the vitreous gel that fills the posterior chamber/cavity of the eye is removed to treat eye problems associated with retina or the vitreous. This surgery offers better access to the retina of the eye for different treatments like repair of retinal detachments, removal of scar tissue and treatment of macular holes.

Once vitrectomy is complete, the ophthalmologist or eye surgeon will replace the natural vitreous gel with either a saline solution or gas bubble or silicone oil. This helps the retina to stay in position.

Figure1. Vitrectomy surgery- schematic

Complications Related To Vitrectomy Surgery

Complications and risks are part of vitrectomy surgery. Like any other surgery, vitrectomy too involves some risks and complications:

Cataract: Is the most common sequelae after vitrectomy surgery. After vitrectomy surgery cataract progresses at a higher rate than eyes which have not undergone vitrectomy surgery.

Retinal tears: can form during the surgery which will be treated with the laser during surgery. At the end of vitrectomy surgery, the retinal periphery is carefully inspected to look for any retinal tears that were unnoticed.

Retinal detachment- preventable by careful examination at the end of surgery for retinal tears and treating them with the laser.

Eye infection/ endophthalmitis


Glaucoma – increased intraocular pressure (IOP). Vitrectomy surgery per se does not cause glaucoma but the intraocular tamponading agents left in the eye sometimes at the end of surgery like silicone oil and expansile gases like sulfur hexa fluoride (SF6) and perfluoropropane (C3F8) can cause glaucoma. All the patients post vitrectomy surgery are routinely evaluated for intraocular pressure at each follow-up visit.

Advances in techniques, tools, and understanding of complex eye diseases have made vitrectomy surgery more successful in recent times.

What is the difference between vitrectomy surgery and Vitreoretinal surgery?

Vitrectomy refers to the clearing of the vitreous gel from the inside of the eye. Most of the retinal diseases require many more procedures after vitrectomy is done to treat the condition. All the additional procedures performed after vitrectomy was done together form vitreoretinal surgery. Therefore, vitrectomy is only a part of the whole vitreoretinal surgery.

Macular hole:

After vitrectomy requires simple ILM peeling (thin superficial acellular layer over the retina that is removed with forceps), large holes sometimes require inverted ILM peeling with stuffing of the peeled ILM inside the hole followed by gas injection.

Figure 2. ILM peeling for macular hole

Retinal detachment (rhegmatogenous):

After vitrectomy requires the fluid gas exchange to remove the subretinal fluid to attach the retina. After fluid gas exchange laser photocoagulation around all the retinal breaks and weak areas in the retinal periphery is done. This is followed by gas or oil injection.

Diabetic retinal detachment (tractional retinal detachment):

After vitrectomy requires membrane peeling (refers to all the techniques to remove the membranes pulling the retina), achieving haemostasis (controlling bleeding commonly encountered during surgery) followed by laser photocoagulation (pan-retinal) followed by gas or oil injection.

Essentially all the procedures performed after vitrectomy to address the disease together are called vitreoretinal surgery.

What to Expect After Vitrectomy Surgery?

Vitrectomy surgeries are performed by retina specialists, ophthalmologists with special training in the management of vitreoretinal diseases. Vitrectomy surgeries are done as a day care surgical procedure. Day care surgical procedure involves admission to the hospital for a period of 5 to 6 hours during the day and the patients are discharged at the end of the day. Overnight stay is never required in a day care surgery and most of the eye related surgeries are performed as day care surgeries.

After the surgery, the eye is patched with a protective bandage and shielded to protect from any type of eye injury.

Aftercare is essential for the successful outcome of the surgery which includes:

Travel safety:

After complete eye checkup, patients can leave the hospital and go home in an hour. However, as the surgery involves the use of light sedation, you will need a family member or driver to take you back home.

Eye patch:

As per the ophthalmologist’s instruction do not forget to wear the eye patch for the first night or as directed by the eye doctor after surgery. If your eye patch is removed by the ophthalmologist one day after surgery, you might not need to wear the eye patch yourself.

Eye protection:

It is recommended to wear your sunglasses or prescription glasses during the day. Wear the eye shield over the operated eye at night and when sleeping for the first week after vitrectomy surgery. Avoid travelling by flight for a few days post operation.

Figure 3: Post-operative eye shield to be worn at night for 1 week after surgery


If the gas bubble or silicone oil is used in eye treatment, your ophthalmologist will ask you to follow certain important instructions. These include head positioning like face-down or time duration for which you need to follow the instructions; do not ascend to higher altitudes, etc. It is essential to follow these instructions as the oil or gas bubble helps to press the eye retina back to its normal position until the eye heals.

Figure 4. Face down / prone positioning after vitrectomy surgery

On your first postoperative visit, your eye surgeon and the hospital staff will review instructions related to positioning, medications, drops, use of the eye patch, and routine activities. Driving after vitrectomy surgery is best avoided for two weeks. It is better to wait for complete visual recovery and take your doctor’s permission before resuming driving.

Recovery is better with good quality postoperative care. Although the removal of the vitreous gel and a vitrectomy surgery has little to no effect on the overall eye health, it is best to take proper care of the eye. Surgery for some eye diseases like macular holes that were once considered incurable is routinely performed with excellent results due to vitrectomy.

Visual recovery after vitrectomy / vitreoretinal surgery

Visual recovery depends on the type of the disease, presenting vision and the vision just before the onset of the disease as well as the time lapse between the onset of symptoms and the day when the surgery is performed.

For example, for all the retinal detachments, rhegmatogenous as well as diabetic tractional retinal detachments duration of visual loss is an important factor in better visual recovery. Earlier the surgery is performed the better.

Similarly in macular hole surgery the size of the macular hole and the duration of macular hole are important factors in estimating the visual recovery. The smaller the macular hole and less is the loss of visual acuity the better are the chances for complete visual recovery.

Visual recovery after vitreoretinal surgery depends on various other factors and varies from case to case and it is best discussed with the retina specialist before the surgery.

Patient Instructions — Retina Macula Institute

FAQ: Home Rest After Surgery

Once you leave the hospital, your recovery will become primarily your responsibility. Your physician and nurse will have explained how to care for your eye at home, and given you “Discharge Instructions”. Please refer to your “Discharge Instructions” for specific care procedures. The following Q&A section, addresses the most common concerns of Retina Macula Institute patients, following retina surgery. Please call the office at 310-944-9393 if you have any additional questions or concerns.

• What can I do? The first week after your surgery, it is important to take it easy; walk and move your head slowly. Pamper yourself and get a lot of rest. Avoid excessive reading or TV watching. Unless otherwise instructed, you may increase your activity after four (4) weeks but still avoid heavy lifting; that is, anything more than 20 pounds. Avoid any strenuous activity that requires straining and causes the veins in your neck stand out.

• Can I exercise? No. You should avoid exercising for at least 2 weeks following your surgery. You may resume normal activities, little by little. After week 1, you may start by walking as much as a mile. You may advance to 2 miles, in the second week and can typically run by week six. This is unless your retina specialist has advised you to the contrary.

• On the day of my surgery can I remove the eye patch? No. Do not remove the eye patch. Our trained team of experts will remove it the day after your surgery.

• How do I use my patch and shield? You should sleep in your metal shield at night for two (2) weeks to avoid injuring or putting pressure on your eye while you sleep.

The hard shield will be given to you in your kit. The eye shield should be taped in place by diagonal strips of tape, which run from the forehead to the cheek, passing over the affected eye.

You need not wear the shield during the day unless you feel more secure with it on. Instead, you can wear your glasses to protect your eye from injury.

Some watery discharge and mucous secretion is to be expected, but yellow or foul smelling drainage should be reported to your doctor.

• How do I use my drops? The 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.

Keep your eye closed for one full minute, following the drops. Allow at least three minutes between each drop. Always wash your hands before and after using drops.

Avoid contaminating the bottle tips. Bring your medications with you to the office for each visit. Continue to use your medications until your doctor instructs otherwise. Resume the use of any eye medications that you were on before surgery, unless instructed otherwise by your doctor.

• What is normal postoperative discomfort? Many people experience minor postoperative discomfort. Soreness, redness, tearing, and sensitivity to light is normal and will gradually decrease as you recover.

• You may use over-the-counter non-aspirin analgesics (Tylenol, etc.) and warm compresses to relieve minor discomfort. Use prescription pain medications as instructed by your physician. An occurrence of rapidly increasing pain is not normal. If this should happen please call us immediately at 310-944-9393 and your doctor will be paged.

• Can I shower and wash my hair? You may shower and wash your hair carefully the day after your surgery. 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.

• Will I have to position face down? Only if a gas bubble is placed in the eye during surgery for a macular hole and/or for a retinal detachment repair. 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. If you have had a macular hole repair, you will be asked to take advantage of this splint-like effect by laying yourself in a face down position until the bubble clears. You will also be required to sleep in a face down position.

While you are recovering in a face down position, you may only get up for meals and to use the bathroom. You may stretch and move as you need but do not lie on your back. Try to maintain a head position, parallel to the floor and looking down.

Most patients rent a face-down positioning device such as a massage table or chair. You will be given a device rental order and should have this ready prior to your surgery.

The gas bubble is gradually absorbed and, in most cases, will be significantly diminished in 3 to 4 weeks. Because the gas is susceptible to expansion at high altitudes, which can be hazardous to your vision, you will not be allowed to fly until the gas bubble has absorbed. This usually takes a minimum of six (6) 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 alarm.

• What can I expect about my vision? You may expect a gradual improvement in your vision. Immediately after surgery, your vision may be blurry, due to the gas bubble, topical eye ointment, dilation or tearing. The retina heals slowly so you should experience a slow steady progress. Four (4) weeks after surgery, the improvement should be significant, especially if you had a gas bubble procedure. Within six (6) weeks you may be close to your final postoperative vision. However, the retina can continue to heal and vision improve for a year or more, following surgery. Do not be discouraged. Be patient and vigilant. We encourage you to evaluate your vision regularly and inform your physician if you experience any negative changes.

• Can I drive? It is best 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. Your automobile insurance agent may be able to advise you, as well. If you are relying on the vision of only one eye, remember your depth perception will be impaired and your field of view will not be normal.

• When can I go back to work? If you have a “sit-down” type job, you may return to work around fourteen (14) days, unless otherwise instructed by your physician. If you have any doubts about your ability to resume work, discuss this with your physician. You may be entitled to up to 6 weeks off from work following your surgery. Ask your surgeon before returning to any physical activity, which requires straining or rapid movements. Do not engage in heavy labor, heavy equipment operation or yard work for at least one month.

• When can I resume sexual activity? Discuss this with your retina specialist during your first post-op visit.

• When am I checked after surgery? Your first post-operative appointment will be the day after surgery at one of our office locations. Subsequent visits will be scheduled during this appointment. Our surgery scheduler will make the 1st appointment prior to your surgery. At the time of your post-op visit please bring all eye drops, both new and those used pre-surgery. For your convenience we have attached a map, detailing the location of your next visit. It is very important to keep all post-operative appointments as scheduled. With any surgery there is potential for complications. The doctor can treat these problems most effectively, earlier rather than later, preventing the complications from becoming more severe. If you have any questions, please call the office and ask to speak with any of our friendly staff members. We are here to help! Just ask ☺.

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