Recovery From Macular Hole Surgery


The retina of the eyeball is our camera for taking in our surroundings and sending sensory images to the brain. The retina is made up nerve cells. When some of these cells pull away they create what is called a macular hole. A macular hole can be caused by injury or by a medical condition. Or a macular hole can be simply a symptom of aging in the eyes. If you're having surgery to repair your macular hole, recovery can sometimes be difficult.

Face Down

During surgery, the surgeon will place a gas bubble in your eye. The gas bubble works to hold the macular area of the retina in place while the hole seals. But because gas rises, the bubble will move around. Thus it is extremely important that you spend as much time as possible for the 9 to10 days following surgery with your face down. This will allow the gas bubble to keep consistent pressure on the area.


It's not uncommon for the eye to be uncomfortable following macular hole surgery. Some of this is because the area around the outside of the eyeball and the eyelids is inflamed from the procedure. Over the course of a couple of days, the pain associated with the swelling will go away. A scratchy feeling or sharp pains for two or three days after surgery is not uncommon. This can be treated with over-the-counter analgesics such as acetaminophen.

Eye Patch

Immediately following your surgery, you will have an eye patch placed over the eye. This is done because the anesthesia that is used in the operation will numb the eye lid. This numbness and loss of feeling will cause the eye to stay open when harmful contaminates are nearby. Because the eye won't reactively close, an eye patch is put on to ensure no bacteria or harmful substances make it on to your eye. The patch should be worn until the first evening after your surgery when you are once again able to blink your eye.

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