Frequently Asked Questions Concerning Eye Surgery
How long do I have to stop eating and drinking before surgery?
It is very important to have nothing to eat for at least 6 hours before surgery, this includes hard candies and chewing gum. Sips of water can be taken up to 2 hours prior to your surgery.
Should I take my Medications on the day of surgery?
There are some medications that you should take as you normally do before surgery. Please take any blood pressure, heart or breathing medications you are on with a sip of water.
If you are unsure about taking any medications please speak with your doctor or call the surgery center and ask to speak to a nurse.
If you are a diabetic please check your blood sugar. If your level is low or normal do not take your diabetic medicine but if it is running high take only half your normal dose. The doctor prefers your blood sugar be a little high as to being too low.
Following your surgery you can resume taking your normal medications.
What do I need to bring for the surgery?
Please bring the following:
- Your insurance card(s)
- Photo ID
- Co-pay or other payments (you will receive a phone call from the surgery center the day before your surgery indicating what amount you will be responsible for). Your payment must be made at the time of your surgery. We accept credit and debit cards.
- A current list of your medications along with the dosages.
- Your completed health history form
- A copy of your living will or advanced directives, if you have one.
- A copy of the power of attorney if applicable. Your health care power of attorney must be present and remain at the surgery center during the surgery.
- A responsible adult to take you home.
DO NOT BRING: Valuables, earrings, or necklaces.
What do I need to wear for surgery?
You will remain in your own clothes during your surgery so it is important that you wear freshly laundered, loose fitting comfortable clothing. A button down shirt is best as we will be putting blood pressure and heart monitors on you during your surgery. If you tend to get cold please wear warm pants and socks as well.
Why do I have to arrive at my surgery appointment so early?
Time is needed to complete the check-in process. There is additional paper work to be completed and pre-op eye drops have to be placed in your eye to prepare it for surgery.
How long will I be there for the surgery?
You should plan to be here about 3 hours on your surgery day; most of this time will be spent getting you ready for your surgery. Surgery times vary so ask your surgeon for an estimate as to the actual surgery time.
Please remember these times are only estimates. Events can happen to change this that can affect the total amount of time you will be here.
How soon can I go home after surgery?
Most of our patients go home 10 – 20 minutes after surgery. Patients will be monitored and once they meet the discharge criteria and are stable they can be discharged home.
What kind of anesthesia will I have?
The Anesthesiologist will evaluate the type of anesthesia that you will need to keep you comfortable during your surgery. Typically you will either receive a topical anesthesia, or a local eye block. Generally patients are awake during surgery so you can follow any instructions from the surgeon, but the medication will keep you relaxed.
Topical anesthesia involves anesthetizing your eye with eye drops or gel that is placed in your eye.
For an eye block the Anesthesiologist will drift the patient to sleep for a few minutes, during this time the eye will be numbed with a local anesthetic agent.
Will the surgery hurt?
You should not have pain during your surgery; you may feel touch and some slight pressure. If at any time you feel discomfort inform your Doctor as additional medications can be given.
Will I have pain after surgery?
Depending on the type of surgery you are having you may have some mild discomfort after surgery, if any at all. Most often over the counter pain relief medication will help. If you have a lot of pain that is not relieved with over the counter medication, and your doctor has not given you a prescription for pain medication, you should call your doctor’s office and report this.
Some patients may describe having a scratchy feeling or a feeling of having an eye lash in their eye; artificial tears will help relieve this.
Will I have a patch over my eye?
Most patients will have some kind of cover over their operative eye when discharged from the facility. Depending on your surgeon’s preference, the type of surgery, and the type of anesthesia, patients may have only an eye shield, while others may have a gauze pad and tape.
How long do I have to wear the patch?
Depending on the type of surgery as well as the anesthesia, you may wear the patch for a few hours to overnight. Your nurse will review this with you after your surgery. Many doctors ask that you wear an eye shield to protect the eye while you are sleeping for one week.
Can I drive myself home after surgery?
No, you must have a responsible adult to drive you home. The sedation that you will be given may affect your judgment and reaction times. You will be considered legally impaired. Do not drive, operate heavy machinery or make important decisions for 24 hours following your surgery. Additionally while you eye is patched you will feel off balance. Be careful when walking around so you do not fall.
How soon can I drive after surgery?
Plan to have someone drive you to your post operative appointment. Your doctor will determine when it is safe for you to drive again.
When can I start eating again after surgery?
You may go back to your normal diet immediately following your surgery. Remember to drink plenty of fluids. Do not drink alcohol for 24 hours following your surgery.
When can I start exercising again?
On the day of surgery you should take it easy. Refrain from lifting, bending, or strenuous activity until your follow-up appointment. At that time your doctor will give you individual instructions as to activity levels.
Can I have alcohol after surgery?
We advise that you wait until after your follow-up appointment before using alcohol. You will receive sedation during your surgery adding alcohol will increase the impact of the sedation. Your eye may be patched closed for some period of time after the surgery and this may make you feel off balance or unsteady, adding alcohol could add to this unsteadiness.
When can I shower, take a bath, shampoo, shave and swim?
We ask that you wait until after your doctor’s appointment the day following your surgery before you shower or shampoo. Be careful to not get water in your eye for the next week. No swimming for the next 2 weeks, or longer if directed by your eye doctor.
When can I start wearing make-up again?
Generally speaking we ask that you avoid wearing eye makeup for 2 weeks following surgery. This may vary depending on the type of eye surgery. Please check with your eye doctor before you start using eye makeup again. Once you do we recommend that you start with new mascara, as these products tend to harbor bacteria.
Can I wear my glasses after the surgery?
Sun glasses are recommended following cataract surgery. The eye may still be dilated and the sun will seem bright. If your eye is patched you will probably not be able to wear your eyeglasses comfortably over the patch.
Will I need new glasses after surgery?
Depending upon what type of lens you have chosen you may or may not need eye glasses for most things after surgery. If eye glasses are required the doctor will usually wait a few weeks after surgery until the eye has healed before prescribing eye lens.