Appointments: (405) 713-4410

Vitreoretinal Surgery instructions and expectations

The phone number of the Integris Baptist Surgery Center is 945-4212.  The location is Building B, 3rd floor.  The address is 3433 NW 56th, Oklahoma City 73112.

Arrive at the surgery center 2 hours before your surgery start time.

Do not eat or drink after midnight the night before surgery.

Take your essential medicines in the morning with just a sip of water.

Always bring a friend or relative to take you home after surgery.

Always plan on coming to the office the day after surgery so that Dr. Dahr may check your eye.

If you live far away and would like to stay in a local hotel overnight, Integris Baptist offers an on campus hotel that is nice. Rates are comparable to the hotel-motels located on NW Expressway, in the range of $70-$80 for the night. Located on the first floor of building B, it is called the Medical Plaza Hotel. The phone number is (405) 945 4460 and the address is 3433 NW 56th Street, Suite 100. The drop-off is the same as the Building A/B dropoff just off NW 56th street. 

Instructions for after surgery

Our phone number is (405) 713 4410If you have significant discomfort, pain, or other concerns, please call.   For after hours calls, the answering machine will provide you with an emergency number to call (the message is not checked until the next business day).

FOLLOW-UP VISITS: Dr. Dahr will, at a minimum, see you 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, and 3 months after surgery. In special circumstances for patients who live far away, the local referring eye doctor may perform the 1 month and 3 month checkups. Some patients may need more frequent visits in the postoperative period, as often as several visits in the first 10 days. 

POSITIONING: Patients who undergo vitrectomy with gas bubble will need to position either right side down, left side down, or face down for 1 week after surgery. Dr. Dahr will give you more specific positioning instructions right after surgery. Face down positioning can be uncomfortable. If face down positioning after surgery is anticipated, we recommend you consider leasing special chairs and pillows that make positioning more comfortable. Click here for information on that equipment.

Patients who undergo scleral buckling surgery alone are usually instructed to sleep with their head up on 2 or 3 pillows and to avoid sleeping on the side that was operated (e.g. if right eye had surgery, do not sleep on right side).

ACTIVITY:  In general, you should “take it easy” at home for a minimum of 2 weeks after surgery. You should avoid jumping, jarring, jogging, yard work, or athletic activity for 4 weeks after surgery.

AIR OR GAS BUBBLE:  If an air or gas bubble was placed in the eye at the time of surgery, then it is important for you not to lie on your back or fly in an airplane until the bubble has dissolved.  Also, you cannot receive nitrous oxide anesthetic while the bubble is still in your eye.  If you require surgery before the gas bubble dissolves, please have the anesthesiologist call Dr. Dahr (405-713-4410) before surgery.  Dr. Dahr will tell you when the bubble is no longer present.  

Patients with an air or gas bubble will often see one or more bubbles (round shadows) moving in the bottom portion of their vision.  Sometimes there is one bubble which later breaks down into multiple smaller bubbles. Sometimes there are multiple bubbles which later coalesce into a larger bubble.  

APPEARANCE:  Your eyelashes were likely trimmed in the operating room just prior to surgery.  The eyelashes usually grow back
after 3 weeks.

Eyelid swelling and redness are to be expected after vitreoretinal surgery.  Sometimes the swelling is pronounced and sometimes the entire white of the eye will turn completely red.  The eyelid swelling usually resolves after 4 weeks and the redness usually fades after 6 weeks.  Some patients have a “black” eye” appearance which goes away after 3 weeks.  

DOUBLE VISION:  Some degree of double vision is not uncommon after surgery, especially if a scleral buckle was placed.  It usually results from swelling or eye muscle weakness.  The double vision usually subsides after 3 to 5 weeks.  Wearing the eye pad will help alleviate the symptom.  If the double vision lasts longer than 3 months, then a prism in the eye glass may be helpful.  If it lasts longer than 6 months, then eye muscle surgery with an ophthalmologist who specializes in "strabismus" may be considered.

DRIVING:  You should not drive for at least 1 to 3 weeks after surgery.  In order to drive, your vision in the operated eye should have recovered and/or your other eye should be a good-seeing eye, and you should no longer be taking a narcotic.  Talk to Dr. Dahr during your office visit as to whether it is an appropriate time to resume driving. 

EYE DROPS:  If you were taking drops or ointments in the unoperated eye prior to surgery, then resume them after surgery.  Dr. Dahr will prescribe multiple drops for the operated eye.
Space these drops by about 5 minutes.  Sometimes the drops sting, especially the red capped drops.  If you run out of a postoperative drop, then stop that drop and contact our office by phone during office hours.   

EYE PAD:  The bandage Dr. Dahr placed directly after your surgery should remain on the eye until he removes it the following day. If you have a tendency to rub your eye, consider wearing the plastic shield over your eye when sleeping for at least 2 weeks to protect the eye. During the day wear your glasses or the plastic shield to protect the eye from accidental bumps.  

GLASSES:  You will likely need a new eyeglass lens for your operated eye, especially if a scleral
buckle was performed.  It is best to wait 3 months before asking your referring doctor to prescribe newglasses.  If your job requires good vision in both eyes, then you may want to get new glasses sooner. However, if you get new glasses before 3 months, your prescription could still change and another pair of glasses may eventually need to be prescribed.

ORAL MEDICATIONS:  Unless otherwise instructed, resume all medications you were taking just prior to surgery.

Dr. Dahr may prescribe prednisone to reduce inflammation, Diamox to lower the eye pressure, or a narcotic ( Oxycodone) to control pain.

Prednisone may, among other things, increase your need for insulin if you are diabetic, increase your appetite, change your mood, cause an electrolyte imbalance, or make it difficult to sleep.  Prednisone is generally safe when taken for only a few days or weeks.  Serious side effects such as permanent hip joint degeneration occur rarely.

Diamox is a water pill and will make you urinate frequently.  Diamox may, among other things, cause tingling in the hands and face, nausea, fatigue, or low blood potassium level.  Diamox is generally safe, but can cause severe anemia in rare cases.

The narcotic medication Oxycodone can help control pain, but it is addicting.  Always try a single Tylenol and rest before advancing to the narcotic.  Do not take more than 2000 mg of acetaminophen in a 24 hour period, to avoid damaging the liver. Do not take a narcotic with alcohol or sleeping medication.  Never try to
drive after taking a narcotic since it can cause sleepiness.

PAIN:  The amount of pain after vitreoretinal surgery varies greatly from patient to patient.  Some patients have little or no discomfort while other patients have significant discomfort and/or pain.  The pain usually starts to subside after 5 to 10 days.  Rest is critical to control the pain.  

SUNLIGHT, MILD WIND, & MILD DUST:  These elements will make your operated eye
uncomfortable. Avoid significant dust exposure.

SUTURES (STITCHES):  Dissolvable sutures were used to close the skin of your eyeball.  These may cause a scratching or sticking sensation.  Sometimes you can see the stitches (small dark spots on the white of the eye) when looking in the mirror.  These sutures dissolve or fall out on their own by 6 to 8 weeks.

TEARING AND DRAINAGE:  You can expect drainage (sometimes bloody) from your operated eye and tearing from both eyes for several days after surgery.

VISION:  Vision if often quite reduced after vitreoretinal surgery.  This may be
due to inflammation, hemorrhage, an intraocular gas bubble, and other factors.  The vision may not start to clear for several weeks.  Persistent flashes of light and floaters (spots, cobwebs, etc.) are not uncommon after surgery.  If you have an air or gas bubble you may see shadows that move as you move your eye. These will gradually get smaller and disappear between 1 week and 3 months after surgery.

WASHING:  It is OK to shampoo your hair and shower (or take a bath), but avoid getting water in your operated eye for 10 days after surgery.

In most cases, women may apply makeup after 4 weeks and have a hair permanent after 6 weeks.

WORK:  You should plan at least 1-2 weeks off from work.  Some patients may resume all activities including heavy lifting at 4 weeks following surgery.