Bay Area Retina Associates
Bay Area Retina Associates
Bay Area Retina Associates
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Before surgery:

Our office will arrange for you to have a pre-operative history and physical with either your primary care physician or an internist on staff at the hospital where your procedure will be performed. This appointment will take place no more than seven days before your scheduled surgery. You must go to this appointment or your surgery will be rescheduled.

Please bring ALL of your medications with you to this appointment. Insulin dependent diabetic patients may have their regular insulin dosage changed the day of the surgery. Discuss this with the doctor at the time of your history and physical appointment.

An appointment to have certain blood tests may be made before your surgery. If your doctor or the hospital does not require this, routine blood tests will be done the day of surgery.


The day of surgery:

Most surgeries are performed on an outpatient basis, meaning that you will go home after surgery and not spend the night in a hospital.

Do not eat or drink the day of your surgery, until after the surgery is completed. You may eat or drink up until midnight the night prior to surgery. If you eat or drink prior to surgery, you will not be able to receive anesthesia and your surgery will be cancelled. There is an exception to this rule: you may take your normal morning medications by mouth with a sip of water. Please consult your doctor if you have questions about which medications to take the day of surgery.

Please alert your surgeon if you take blood-thinning or anti-platelet medications such as aspirin, Coumadin (warfarin), or Plavix (clopidogrel). You will not necessarily need to stop these medications prior to surgery, but your surgeon must be aware if you take such medications.

Most retinal surgical procedures take 1-2 hours, but your total time at the hospital or surgery center will be considerably longer due to safety checks, pre-operative preparations (changing into a gown, placing an IV), discussions with the surgeon and anesthesiologist, preparation of the operating room, anesthesia recovery time after surgery, and a review of post-operative instructions before leaving the facility.

You must bring a driver with you on the day of surgery. You may not drive yourself home from surgery due to post-anesthesia effects, regardless of the type of anesthesia you receive. In most cases, you will not be allowed to check in for surgery unless the person driving you home is present.


After surgery:

Your surgeon will place a patch and hard shield over the operated eye at the end of surgery. The patch and shield will stay in place until you visit our office the day after surgery. You will not need to use any eye drops the day of surgery; the only medication you will need is pain medication as needed.

Your surgeon may ask you to maintain a specific position following surgery. Common positions include face down, right side down, left side down, and head elevated (upright). In cases that require post-operative positioning, correct positioning is critical to the success of the surgery. Please make sure that you and your family understand the surgeon's instructions before leaving the surgical facility.

On the first post-operative day, the patch and shield will be removed in our office. It is normal for the eyelids and the white part of the eye to appear red and/or swollen. The redness and swelling will gradually go away over several weeks. Your eye may feel irritated, with a foreign body sensation. This sensation may be due to absorbable sutures placed on the surface of the eye during surgery, or it may be due simply to surgical manipulation of the eye which results in an irregular surface for several days after surgery.

Your surgeon will review your post-operative eye drop regimen during your office visit the day after surgery. In most cases, you will be asked to use one drop twice a day and a second drop four times a day. The frequency of these drops is gradually reduced during the weeks following surgery. The eyedrops prescribed after surgery will usually include an antibiotic to reduce the chance of infection; a steroid drop to reduce swelling and accelerate healing; and a dilating drop to prevent painful spasms and other problems while the eye is healing.

Redness, swelling and irritation should gradually decrease during the days and weeks after surgery. If you experience increasing redness, increasing swelling, new or increased pain, or significant discharge from the eye, please call our office immediately. It is common to experience mild mucous build-up in the eye in the morning after waking up, but it is not normal to experience continuous mucous build-up during the day, or to experience dark, cheesy or foul-smelling discharge. While the chance of infection after surgery is less than 1 in 4,000, we advise our patients to have a low threshold for calling our office with any questions after surgery.

Certain activity restrictions will be prescribed in order to protect your eye while it heals. Avoid strenuous activities, heavy lifting or any activity that may cause eye discomfort. You may shower, shampoo, wash your face and shave as needed. Do not get water directly in the eye. Watching television, using a computer or reading will not hurt your eye. If you have had a gas bubble put into your eye, you may not fly or travel to high altitudes until the gas bubble is gone.


Surgical facilities

The surgeons at Bay Area Retina Associates operate at a variety of hospitals and outpatient surgery centers in order to provide a wide range of surgical services in locations convenient for our patients. Please click below for more information about each facility.

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