Information for Surgery Patients

Check with the surgery scheduler for anticipated surgery time and arrival time, and plan to have a driver for transportation.

Systemic anesthesia is administered during retinal surgery. While usually very light, it is still important to not have anything to eat or drink for 8 hours before your procedure. Having an empty stomach reduces the risk of complications during anesthesia.

It’s important to discuss all medications with your surgeon and prescribing physician prior to surgery. Here follows some general guidelines to discuss further.

Blood Pressure Medication: For surgery to be done safely, blood pressure should be within normal range. If your body is used to blood pressure medication being taken in the morning, it is sometimes recommended to take the morning dose with a small amount of water on the day of surgery. Before surgery, it is essential to discuss with the surgery pre-operative screening and primary care doctor.

Blood Thinners: If you take blood thinners (such as aspirin, Plavix, Coumadin, and Xarelto), please let your surgeon and prescribing doctor know. Depending on why they are needed, they may need to be stopped one week before surgery to minimize operative risk. Often an alternative medication can be used around the time of the procedure.

Diabetes Medication: Safe surgery requires blood glucose levels to be within normal range. Since it is essential to not eat or drink 8 hours before surgery, some diabetes medications can drop the blood glucose to too low without eating.
It is important to discuss with the primary care doctor the dosing of medication before surgery. Depending on the mechanism of action (how the medication works on a molecular level in the body), some medications are discontinued the night before or the dosage lowered to account for no food intake.

Most surgery is performed with the patient awake but with the eye numb and medication to help relax. Avoiding general anesthesia reduces the risk to your overall health and helps to speed up recovery following your procedure. You will need to lie flat on your back and remain still during your surgery. Patients with severe back pain, claustrophobia, or anxiety may require general anesthesia to perform their surgery safely.

After the procedure, the eye is covered with a patch. You will need to remain in the recovery area until the effects of the anesthesia have worn off. Once cleared, you will be able to return home.

Depending on the type of surgery, special positioning may be required for optimal retinal healing; you will receive instructions if any positioning is needed. Keep the eye covered with the patch overnight and keep it dry. One day after surgery, you will return to our office to have your patch removed.

Pain and nausea medication will be prescribed and can be used to minimize any discomfort. If pain or nausea persists, please call (817) 865-6800. You will also be prescribed eye drops for use after your patch is removed. You will be given an eye shield to protect your eye during sleep.

Rest and limit any physical activity. If a gas bubble is placed in your eye, a green bracelet will be given to you. Keep your bracelet on until the gas resolves. Avoid changes in altitude, air travel, and nitrous oxide anesthesia until the gas completely resolves.

Most important is to maintain any necessary positioning after the surgery. Each procedure is different, and the requirement will vary, but proper positioning is crucial for retinal healing.

Use eye medications as instructed. If multiple drops are prescribed simultaneously, separate them by a few minutes to prevent them from washing each other away.

Limit physical activity to things that are not strenuous or vigorous. Do not bend, strain, or pick up heavy objects.

Keep water out of the eye for the first week after surgery.

If provided, wear the eye shield to protect the eye during sleep.

Wear your regular glasses during the day. Most people are sensitive to light, and sunglasses may make bright environments more comfortable.

Keep wearing the green bracelet that signifies gas in the eye, and remember to avoid changes in altitude, plane travel, and nitrous oxide anesthesia.

A second follow-up appointment is generally scheduled in a week but may vary depending on the situation.

Once the eye stabilizes, if no special positioning is required, most people return to work and light-duty after their first postoperative appointment. If special positioning is required, it often takes longer to return to work and other activities to maintain the position for a more extended period.

You can start driving when the vision improves in the surgical eye. This often takes time, primarily if a gas bubble is used that will decrease your peripheral vision. Always keep safety first, and if the vision is limited have a driver bring you to your appointments.

The primary goal of retinal surgery is to restore retinal anatomy. After surgery, the retinal tissue has to regain its function. This process takes time, sometimes up to 6 months following surgery. The level of visual recovery is different for every person and will vary depending on the type of disease and any other underlying eye conditions.

Surgery Locations

The Retina Center of Texas has partnered with three facilities in the metroplex that share our commitment to quality and patient-centered care. The surgical suites at these locations are equipped with the most advanced surgical equipment available and staffed by skilled professionals to assist RCT surgeons.

Park Hill Surgery Center

Park Hill Surgery Center

3455 Locke Ave
Fort Worth, TX 76107
(817) 585-1900

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Arlington Memorial Hospital

Arlington Memorial Hospital

800 W Randoll Mill Rd
Arlington, TX 76012
(817) 960-6100

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Baylor Surgicare at North Dallas

Baylor Surgicare at North Dallas

12230 Coit Road Suite 200
Dallas, TX 75251
(469) 374-6400

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Texas Health Surgery Center Arlington

Texas Health Surgery Center Arlington

918 North Davis Drive
Arlington, TX, 76012
(817) 265-5565

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Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas

8200 Walnut Hill Lane
Dallas, TX 75231
(214) 345-6789

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