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What Not To Do After A Vitrectomy

A Vitrectomy Surgery is an outpatient surgery that involves the removal and replacement of vitreous gel from the eye and attaching the retina. This procedure is done with the help of lasers for retinal breaks and injecting gas or silicon into the eye in order to hold the retina in place until it seals.

Before going into surgery, it is important to be prepared with all the proper information in order to feel as secure as possible and plan ahead. Asking the right questions before beginning the process can be how you understand the procedure better, so we have laid out some questions to get you started.

  • Do I need to prepare any food for after surgery?

  • Are there any foods, drinks, or medications that are off-limits during this process?

  • Do I have anesthesia options? Do I have options for silicone or gas?

  • How long does the surgery take?

  • What not to do after a vitrectomy

Before surgery, your ophthalmologist will be able to answer any questions you might have in order to finally answer one of the most important questions of all… “what not to do after a vitrectomy”. Post-surgery is when our bodies are most fragile, so it’s important to follow your ophthalmologists' instructions closely during this time period. We understand it is helpful to relax when there are minimal surprises so we have written out some potential preparations you can take post-surgery since figuring out what not to do is also about figuring out what you should do.

Right after surgery, it is essential to rest, this means making sure you have someone to take you home and care for you in the first 24 hours. If you don’t have access to help, it is best to prepare your daily routine before the surgery (organizing your meals/toiletries, entertainment, any appliances you might need; putting them within reach, etc.)It’s most likely you will need to resort to a specific position in which your ophthalmologist will explain the posturing of. Due to the need for posturing, consider using equipment to assist you (retina rest, summit, head rest, etc.) Your eyes are prone to infection during this period, so it is important to take your prescribed antibiotics, not get the eye wet, wash your hands, do not rub your eyes, remove any protective padding, drive, and attend your follow-up appointment until discussed with your surgeon.

In the days after surgery, you may be gaining confidence in your vision, but it’s not without reward to continue resting and avoid getting behind the driver's seat. After the first 24 hours, you may be able to drink and shower, but avoid eating big meals and engaging in physical activity.

Questions to prepare are valuable to know when asking your ophthalmologist directly due to the different details of each surgery. However, to summarize when asking generally what not to do after a vitrectomy…we can say better to be safe than sorry.

  • do not drive

  • do not engage in sports or heavy activity

  • do not rub or bump your eyes

  • do not get your eyes wet

  • do not eat large meals

  • do not consume anti-inflammatory drugs for pain relief (tylenol, ibuprofen, etc) on an empty stomach

Once you have discussed this with your ophthalmologist, you can resume a more active lifestyle, pause posturing, gradually get back to average meals, and drive.

If you believe you are due for an eye exam, please schedule a visit with Dr. El Annan at the Annan Retina Eye Center. Please call 346-222-6626 to speak to a member of staff who will be more than happy to help you.

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