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Retina Care

The practice of Hadi Zambarakji

Patient Information Sheet Following Vitreoretinal Surgery

What to expect following vitreoretinal surgery

  • Mild ocular discomfort and irritation especially if you have sutures in place
  • Red eye
  • Blurred vision (the level of vision depends on the initial retinal problem and if air, gas or silicone oil were used as part of the surgery. If air or gas were used as part of the surgery, the vision will be very blurred until the tamponade agent (air or gas)  has reabsorbed. If silicone oil was used as part of the surgery, the vision will be a little clearer, but nonetheless will remain blurred until the silicone has been removed.


  • Do not rub your eye! Even a small wound can rupture if you try hard enough.
  • Avoid contact sports, diving, bungee jumping and heavy lifting.
  • Do put your shield on at night for one week.
  • Do put your drops in regularly.
  • Do keep the operated eye clean.
  • Do resume gentle exercise.
  • Do keep mobile.
  • Do use your vision if comfortable.
  • You may take a shower, but a bath is not advisable during the first 2 weeks after surgery. You can wash your face (and shave normally), but do not rub or press on the eye. Keep water out of your eye when washing your hair.
  • You mush wash your hands before instilling your eye drops and take any other prescription as prescribed.
  • The vision that you have in your eye is likely to be poor with a gas bubble in your eye. It is, however, usually possible to see something. If the vision that you have gets worse. You must get in touch with your Doctor urgently.


Infection after surgery:

Infections are always a cause of concern. The risk of this is very low, about 1 in 1000. These are most common during the first week after surgery, but low-grade infection can be delayed. Infections can be successfully treated with antibiotics but these need to be administered promptly. It is important to contact your Ophthalmologist if any of the following warning symptoms or signs of infection develop:

  • Decreased vision
  • Increasing eye pain
  • Increasing eye redness
  • Increasing eyelid swelling
  • Sticky discharge
  • The eye may look red and be slightly painful after the operation. If the pain gets worse following discharge from hospital, you must get in touch with your doctor urgently


Post operative posturing:

When you have been discharged after your operation, you may be asked to continue to posture until your return for your first follow up appointment.  If you have been advised to posture, it would be important to appreciate that the success of the operation will depend on your ability to posture as instructed by the consultant.  Your position will depend on where the bubble of air, gas or oil has been placed at the time of surgery so that the retina will remain flat.  The gas bubble may be seen as a black line, and gets smaller as it is absorbed by the body.  Do not expect to see very much from the eye while the bubble is present.  You should comply with the following advice:

  • Follow the posturing instructions for 45 minutes in every daytime hour with your head in the position described by your doctor.
  • Sleep on the side recommended by your doctor or nurse.
  • With a gas bubble in your eye you must not fly in an aeroplane, go to high altitude or drive a car. In addition to this, if for any reason you have to have a general anaesthetic, you should inform the anaesthetist that you have a “gas bubble in the eye” as the anaesthetist would have to change the drugs that they use in the anaesthetic.
  • After you have been for your first post-operative visit, your consultant will advice you about returning to your normal routine. This generally means that you can return to work if the work is not heavy. You may take light exercise and the only special precaution you should take is to avoid direct injury to the eye. If you have any particular queries please ask you consultant.
  • In the event that you notice any deterioration of sight or increase in pain, you should urgently contact your consultant.


Telephone numbers

Please call Vickie Hopkins and Alessandra Giordani 07947 578480 (mobile).



Prepared by Mr. H.J. Zambarakji
Consultant Ophthalmic surgeon



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