Staff member with elderly patient icon arrows

Helpful Procedure Guidelines

In some cases, your eye condition may require surgery or an injection procedure. To ensure a successful experience, we recommend that you read and adhere to the following guidelines. If you have any questions, please reach out to a member of our caring call center team for personal assistance. We’re here to help.

blue arrow bg

Before Surgery

In some cases, your eye condition may require surgery. To ensure a successful experience, we recommend that you read and adhere to the following guidelines for your comfort and safety.

  • Please report to the hospital at the assigned time.
  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your surgery.
  • Do take your morning medications with a sip of water.
  • If you take insulin, take 1/2 of your normal dosage in the morning unless otherwise instructed by your medical or retina doctor. If you take blood thinners (aspirin, coumadin, ibuprofen, etc.), please consult with your medical or retina doctor prior to stopping them for the short term for surgery.
  • Wear loose-fitting, short-sleeved clothing.
  • Do not wear make-up or cold cream.
  • You will be given relaxing medicine for your surgery.
  • Your operative eye will be patched after surgery and the patch can be removed the following morning.
  • You will need to arrange a driver for the day of and a day after your surgery.
  • Please make an appointment with your general doctor to get a physical exam prior to your scheduled surgery. We may need to obtain blood tests and/or an EKG prior to surgery based on your doctor’s recommendation.
  • You will receive postoperative instructions and will be prescribed eye drops for use the day after surgery. Please bring these medicines and the instruction sheet with you for every post-operative exam.
  • Please call us if you develop a fever, red eye prior or a decline in vision prior to your surgery. We may need to postpone surgery.
  • Please call with any questions. We are happy to discuss them with you.

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 warrant 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 had 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 the 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.

After An Injection

Patients receiving intraocular or intravitreal injections as part of their treatment plan may experience acute symptoms in the days immediately following the injection.

Below are some guidelines for what to expect after your treatment and care instructions during the healing process.

  • Immediately after your injection, you will see floaters or black spots. This is the medication inside of the eye. If you received a steroid injection, it may take up to a week for the floaters to dissipate.
  • Your vision may remain blurry for a few days.
  • You may experience mild discomfort in your eye after the treatment. Keeping your eye closed or using artificial tears will help lessen any tearing or discomfort. Your eye should feel better within 24-48 hours after the procedure.
  • Your eye may be red at the injection site or you may have a hemorrhage under the outer membrane of the eye (on the white part of the eye). This is common and not considered a complication. This may take a few days to go away.
  • Do not wear eye makeup, use contact lens or swim for 3 days.
  • If the eye becomes light sensitive, painful or a decline in vision please call our office immediately.

If you experience abdominal pain associated with vomiting, abnormal bleeding, chest pain, severe headache, slurred speech, or weakness on one side of the body go to the Emergency Room or call 911. Please inform the ER physician of the medicine that you have received. As soon as possible inform your ophthalmologists of these problems.

Contact Retina Specialty Institute

Inherited retinal diseases require the treatment of a highly experienced specialist. At Retina Specialty Institute, our practice is dedicated to the treatment of all forms of retinal diseases and disorders. Our experts have deep experience in the diagnosis and management of inherited retinal diseases.

The doctors at Retina Specialty Institute have either authored or reviewed and approved this content.

Page Updated: