Eye Surgery Recovery

With ten eye surgeries under my scleral buckles, offering some advice on recovering from retina surgery seems fair. I’m not a doctor, so don’t take my tips as medical advice. I’m just trying to be helpful.

My recovery involved lying facedown for quite a while. Not everyone who has eye surgery needs to recover this way, but some will. It’s not like you will want to stay facedown after the first few hours, but eye surgeons aren’t wicked; facedown positioning helps the healing process.

Some ways to survive Facedown Hell:

  • Simple clothing. No buttons, zips, snaps. Break out those sweatpants and baggy pullover. You’re going to feel anything that’s not soft press into your skin after you stay prone for hours.
  • Consider renting a massage chair or table. Your doctor probably has info on this. If you can bolster your body while still being in the proper position for recovery, you will be more comfortable that toughing it out on a couch.
  • Drink with a straw. Moving my head around after surgery irritated my recovering eyes, but using a straw eased this.
  • Listen Up. Take advantage of anything you can listen to. Conversations, the TV, the radio, audiobooks. Preferably something funny. Boredom will arrive, and you want to have options ready.
  • Rest Up. You’re recovering from surgery. Rest. This is not the time to attempt to squeeze in other things.
  • Soft Foods. If you’re on steroid medication, you won’t have any problems with appetite. If you overdo it, you’re looking at some mean heartburn once you’re back in prone position. Try to pick easily digested foods. Snacking throughout the day rather than gorging at one point might help, too.
  • Manage the pain. Now is not the time to be a hero. Ask you doctor for pain management ideas. If you’re in so much pain that you’re not sleeping well, than you’re not recovering well. During a few of my recoveries, pain medication allowed me to gain a few more hours of sleep. Sleeping means healing in my book.

Here’s to hoping that none of you ever need this advice. File this away for the small chance you undergo eye surgery.

Have you recovered facedown? Share your tips.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. The tip about renting a massage table is quite clever. I find sleeping on my stomach difficult and uncomfortable after more than a few minutes, so having to lie that way for several hours would be almost unbearable. Should I ever need retinal surgery or have another procedure that requires me to lie face down, I will be sure to remember these tips. http://coastaleyegroup.com

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