Q:

What is standard aftercare during retinal tear surgery recovery?

A:

Quick Answer

Standard post-operative care following retinal tear surgery includes keeping the eye clean, protected and in the proper position. Individuals must also avoid high altitudes and activities that require excessive concentration.

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Full Answer

Following retinal tear surgery, the eye area becomes swollen and sore. Individuals may experience some discomfort, but very little eye pain is expected. Patients are advised to wear eye protection, such as an eye patch, to avoid placing unnecessary pressure on the eye during sleep and to keep the eye protected during the day. Applying the prescribed eye drops and ointments keeps the eye clean and moisturized.

Special head positioning may also be required for the first one to two weeks after the surgery due to procedures that introduce a gas bubble into the eye to push against the retina and hold it in place. Individuals who have this procedure must remain in a face-down position to keep the bubble in place.

Air travel or trips at high altitudes are prohibited or strongly discouraged because both cause expansion of the gas bubble and threaten the health of the eye. The gas bubble further causes blurred vision that lasts between two weeks and two months.

To limit irritations, patients must take precautions to avoid getting soap in the eyes when showering and resist using cosmetics, creams or lotions around the eyes. Patients must also limit activities that strain eye muscles, such as watching television and reading books, as well as strenuous physical exercise. Most individuals are allowed to resume normal activities within one month.

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