What to Expect Post Retina Surgery

Are you having surgery to fix a retinal detachment or tear? Not sure what to expect in the days following the procedure? It’s great that you are taking this initiative as there is some downtime required. At Empire Retina, we usually recommend giving yourself 2 to 4 weeks to fully recover before returning to your normal activities. Don’t be discouraged! Use this time to rest, relax, and focus on your recovery.

Each patient is different, and your doctor will give you specific instructions. In general, here is what to expect when having retina surgery for a retinal detachment, macular hole, or vitreous hemorrhage.

Post Retina Surgery Recovery

Expect your eye to be red, swollen, or tender for a few weeks. This is normal as your eye heals. To reduce discomfort, your ophthalmologist may recommend wearing an eye patch. It may feel strange at first, but this will help keep your eye comfortable and protected. Also, your doctor may send you home with eye drops to prevent infection.

Some symptoms will depend on what was done during the surgery. For example, if your eye doctor used a gas bubble to keep your retina stable, you will have to keep your head in a certain position for the first few weeks or days. Be sure to attend all follow up appointments.

Some symptoms are not normal and a sign that something could be wrong. If you notice any of the following, call your eye physician right away.

-Thick discharge coming from the eye

-Redness or swelling around the eye

-New or worsening eye pain

-Vision changes

-Flashes of light or floaters


Caring for Yourself at Home

As you return home from surgery, there are things you can do to keep healthy and boost your recovery.

-Rest. Your eye needs to heal. Avoid lifting heavy objects or doing things where you move quickly. Cleaning and gardening are off the list, so take a vacation from your chores!

-Take time off work. You may need to take a couple weeks off from work, but this all depends on the type of work you do, how you feel and your recovery.

-Slowly return to driving. Your eye doctor may say that it’s okay to drive when your vision returns.

-Eat a healthy diet. When the body is recovering, it’s helpful to eat a healthy diet that consists of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and protein.

-Use ice. If you have pain or swelling in the eye, put a cold pack on the eye for 10 to 20 minutes at a time, every 1 to 2 hours.

-Avoid soap. You can shower and wash your hair and face, but avoid getting soap in the eye.

-Wear sunglasses. If you’re out and about, wear sunglasses.

Before you know it, your eye will be healed and you’ll be able to return to your normal activities. To learn more about retina surgery and what the procedure entails, call Empire Retina Consultants today.