Recovery From Laser Eye Surgery for Torn Retina

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The surgery for a torn retina is done with a freezing technique called cryosurgery or with laser surgery. This procedure can often be performed right in the doctor's office without the need for a hospital stay. Your recovery from the surgery may be uncomfortable for a few days, but medications help to lessen the pain. A retina repair surgery prevents the inevitable blindness that will occur if a torn or detached retina is not reattached.

After Surgery

  • You may need pain medication after the surgery and your doctor will prescribe these drugs. The surgery may require the doctor to remove the vitreous gel from the eye and replace it with a gas bubble to push the retina back into place at the back of the eye. If you have a gas bubble injected during the surgery, the doctor will recommend that you keep your head in a particular position for a short time.

    You may also have to keep your eye protected with a patch after the surgery. You will be advised to move your head slowly and avoid watching too much television or reading in the first few weeks after the surgery.

Vision

  • It may take a while before your vision is restored after a retina laser surgery. Some patients take months to see an improvement to their vision. Get a new prescription for your eye glasses after the surgery to improve your vision. Some patients do not restore their vision after the surgery at all. This is usually because of a severe detachment that has been present for a while.

    Your doctor may recommend a second procedure to restore vision if the retina repair is not successful. A detached torn retina will lead to a vision loss if it is not attached to the back of the eye wall. Even with a second surgery, some patients are not able to restore their vision.

Return to Normal Activities

  • The post-operative instructions vary widely from patient to patient undergoing retinal surgery. The beginning stages after your surgery are the most important for your recovery. The doctor may restrict your normal activities such as lifting to keep the surgical site protected after the procedure.

    Follow your doctor's instructions after the surgery and take medications as prescribed. All surgery carries a risk. You should continue medications for other conditions. Eye drops that you used before surgery may not be used unless directed by your eye doctor.

    Do not return to normal activities until the doctor has instructed you. Heavy lifting more than twenty pounds should still be avoided during this time. Any activity that requires you to strain may affect your retinal surgery.

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