Out-Patient Surgery and Post-Operative Instructions

We perform our surgeries at one of these two medical centers:

Northern Nevada Medical Center
2375 E. Prater Way
Sparks, NV 89434

Renown Regional Medical Center
1155 Mill Street
Reno, NV 89502


Day of Surgery

Prior to your surgery you will be given detailed instructions from our surgery scheduler. Most surgeries are done as an out-patient, meaning that you will go home the same day. Surgeries are usually performed under general anesthesia, as we have found that patients often prefer to be asleep for retinal surgery. You will receive prescriptions for eye drops that are to be started the day after surgery. You will also have an appointment in our office the day after surgery. Please plan on bringing a driver with you to surgery.

If you live outside the Reno/Sparks area and require accommodations, click here for a detailed list of hotels, motels and casinos.

Post Operative (after surgery) Instructions
We generally recommend that you keep your eye patch on until the morning following surgery at which time you may remove it and begin your eye drops. Some  drainage on the eye patch is normal.This drainage may continue for several days. Your surgeon may also instruct you to use ice packs or cold compresses for 10 to 15 minutes every hour while awake for the first postoperative day.

Eye Drops
Generally, you will take an antibiotic drop and an anti-inflammatory drop (steroid) every four hours while awake. You should wait several minutes between drops. You will use the antibiotic drop for 7-10 days and the steroid for about a month.

It is generally easiest to recline, pull down the lower lid and squeeze one drop from the bottle, without touching your lid.

Please bring all eye drops to every follow-up  visit.

Postoperative Positioning
You will be given instructions regarding the need for positioning from your surgeon and the postop care nurse. Some patients require placement of an intraocular gas or oil bubble.  This may require you to maintain a face-down position following surgery. It is very important that you follow these instructions in order to maximize your chances of a successful surgical result. We have some face down chairs in our office for loan that may facilitate such positioning. We also have information about leasing face down chairs and additional equipment that might help to make positioning as easy as possible.

Postoperative Pain
Some discomfort and eyelid swelling is expected following surgery. Generally, Tylenol and icepacks are sufficient to control pain and swelling.  If you have pain unrelieved by Tylenol, please phone our office.

Postoperative Limitations and Restrictions
If a gas bubble is placed in your eye, it can be dangerous to ascend to higher altitudes or travel by air. While you will be given detailed instructions regarding travel, in general DO NOT TRAVEL BY AIR OR DRIVE UP A MOUNTAIN PASS until cleared by your surgeon. Click here for our recommended travel instructions from Reno to Lake Tahoe.

In terms of daily activity, you should avoid strenuous exercise and heavy exertion for at least two weeks. You may engage in light activity including most routine chores. However, if you are asked to stay in a given position by your retina surgeon, you should maintain this position 90% of your waking hours for at least one week. You may resume sexual activities about one week after surgery.

Your Vision
Generally, the first concern is reestablishment of normal retinal anatomy. Once normal retinal structure is obtained, visual improvement may gradually follow. The rate of visual recovery is highly variable.  Some patients will continue to improve 6-12 months following successful surgery. If a gas bubble is placed in your eye, as it diminishes in size you will begin to see the edges of it. It is also normal to see many small bubbles. The bubble will be replaced by aqueous fluid from the eye.

Warning Signs
You should call us if you have severe pain, nausea, or a sudden drop in vision. We are on call 24 hours a day. If you experience a problem please call our office at 775-356-7272.

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