Retinal detachment happens to about 1 in 10,000 people each year and surgery to reattach the retina is successful in 80 to 90 percent of patients with a single procedure, according to the Williamson Eye Institute. If your retina detaches, you'll most likely have surgery within 1 to 10 days, which may not give you long to prepare. Fortunately, recovery from the procedure isn't lengthy and complications are rare.
Pain and Aftercare
You shouldn't experience severe pain after retinal detachment surgery, but your eye may be a bit sore and swollen. Over-the-counter pain medications are usually sufficient, but some doctors offer prescription painkillers and eye drops to reduce swelling for a few days after surgery. Your doctor may give you eye drops and a patch to wear after your surgery to keep your eye clean and protected. Don't rub or scratch at your eye for at least two to six weeks, cautions the National Health Service. While some drainage is normal, let your doctor know right away if your eye is draining excessively or if the discharge has an odd color or smell, as these can be signs of infection. You'll follow up with your doctor the day after your surgery and several times over the next few months to check your recovery progress.
Rest and Positioning
You'll need to rest for the first week after surgery. Keep screen time to a minimum to prevent eye strain, and don't do any heavy lifting. Some procedures involve a gas bubble being placed in the eye to keep the retina tight against the inner wall of the eye. If your procedure involved a gas bubble, your doctor may advise you to lie with your head facing down as much as possible for up to 2 weeks after your surgery. Your surgeon may advise you to keep your head down even when walking or sitting. Face-down mirrors will allow you to watch television and see around you so you can get around safely, explains the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
Driving and Working
Your doctor will test your eyesight and depth perception during your followup appointments and let you know when it's safe to resume driving. If you have a sedentary job, you'll likely be able to return to work within 2 weeks of your retinal detachment surgery, according to FCI Ophthalmics. If your work is more active, check with your surgeon on when you can safely return.
Persistent vision changes may occur after surgery. Talk with your eye doctor about whether you need new glasses to help correct blurred vision or other changes to your eyesight. Keep your eye clean and let your doctor know if you experience any signs of infection, such as excessive redness, swelling or drainage. While rare, some patients experience increased pressure in the eye, bleeding in the retina or behind the retina, drooping of the eyelid or cataract.
Talk with your doctor about any concerns and ask any questions you have before your retinal surgery to make your surgery date as low stress as possible.
Check out companies like Coastal Eye Group PC for more information.
When I figured out that I had vision problems, I was really nervous about wearing glasses, getting contacts, or undergoing eye surgery. I didn't know what to choose, how comfortable I would be, or what to do about the upcoming changes in my life. In order to make sense of my new lifestyle, I made an appointment with a trained optician in my area to have a little chat. I mentioned my fears, and he talked with me about all of the different options available. It was incredible to see how much of a difference the right advice made. I was fitted with custom glasses, and my journey is detailed on my website. If you are nervous, read on to learn why you shouldn't be.