Below you will find an extensive list of common questions we receive from patients treated with laser therapy and patients who have undergone vitreoretinal surgery. If your question is not answered below, please contact our office with your concerns at 609-896-1414.
Post-Op Instructions: Laser Therapy
Are there any physical restrictions after laser therapy?
For one week after laser, keep your head up and move slowly; do not bend over or move suddenly and avoid straining or lifting heavy objects.
When may I return to work or my normal activities?
You may return to work or school the day following your treatment. If your work involves physical activity, you will need to restrict your activities.
What if I have to cough or sneeze?
Use cough syrups or other medications to control coughing and sneezing.
Will I have blurred vision and how long will it last?
Your vision may be blurry for two to three weeks or longer after the treatment. Usually, but not always, vision will then begin to slowly improve to the pretreatment level.
Will I have pain?
You may have some discomfort around your treated eye. Advil or Tylenol is usually sufficient to relieve the pain. Please contact us immediately if you have severe pain or discomfort.
Will my eye be red after treatment?
The eye may be quite bloodshot following treatment. No therapy is necessary for this. You should not experience drainage or discharge after the first day.
Do I need to wear an eye patch after the laser?
Your doctor may patch your eye after the procedure. If this is done, you should wear the patch for at least four to six hours. If no anesthesia was required, you will probably not be given an eye patch.
Will I need to use eye drops after the laser?
Your doctor will discuss the need for eye drops at the time of the laser treatment.
How long do I have to wait before wearing contact lenses?
Generally, you can wear your contact lenses once the redness has subsided. This is usually within one or two days after the laser treatment.
Are there any driving restrictions?
Someone should drive you home after the laser treatment. Generally, driving can be resumed the next day. However, if you are having vision problems, then you should wait several more days until you feel comfortable driving.
Post-Op Instructions: Vitreoretinal Surgery
Will I have pain?
Some discomfort is normal and expected following surgery. The first few days after surgery you may need to use prescription pain pills. Discomfort should gradually decrease and Tylenol, Aspirin or Advil should be sufficient to relieve pain. If the pain worsens, call the doctor.
Do I need to wear an eye patch?
You do not need to wear an eye patch at home, once the drainage has stopped – usually within 3-4 days. However, you may be more comfortable wearing a patch outside in the sun, when sleeping or napping, or in a dusty, windy environment.
How much drainage should I have?
You may expect a moderate amount of drainage for a week. Gradually, the drainage should decrease. The lids can be cleaned with a clean washcloth and gentle soap or diluted baby shampoo. Wipe the eyelids gently from the nose outward.
Will there be swelling?
Some swelling is normal for about a week after which it will gradually decrease. Applying a cool compress, using a clean washcloth, for 5-10 minutes several times a day may reduce the swelling and make you more comfortable.
Will I need to use eye drops?
You will be given several different kinds of eye drops. The directions will be on each bottle. The drop with the red top will keep your eye dilated and may make your eye more sensitive to light. Wearing sunglasses may help. Another drop is a antibiotic to prevent infection and the third drop is a anti-inflammatory to promote healing. Occasionally a fourth is used to control the pressure in your eye. You will be using drops from four to eight weeks. Bring all eye medications (drops, ointments, or pills) with you to each visit.
Always wash your hands before putting in the eye drops. You may wish to have someone else help you. Pull down on the lower lid and squeeze one drop from the bottle, being careful not to touch the dropper to your eye or eyelid. One drop is sufficient, but another may be used if the first did not go into the eye. It is often easier to put in the drops if you are reclining or lying down. Wait five (5) minutes after the first drop before using the second drop to allow the medications to absorb into the eye.
How long will it take for my vision to improve?
You vision should gradually improve, but it may take up to six months to regain your best vision. Frequently, air or gas bubbles are injected into the eye at the time of surgery. This will blur your vision significantly at first. As the bubble becomes smaller it will cause a black line in your vision that moves as you move your head. It may also break up into several smaller bubbles. It will take from a few days to a few weeks for the bubble to dissolve and be replaced by body fluid. You may notice floaters or double vision after your surgery. These symptoms usually will decrease with time. If the double vision is bothersome, patching the eye may help. If you notice a sudden worsening in your vision, call your doctor.