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How much time off will I need after the operation?

This will depend on multiple factors including your occupation, the level of vision in your other eye, whether you must drive for a living, the type of operation performed, and which type of gas or oil was used. I will tailor this advice to your circumstances, but it is generally prudent to allow at least

When can I resume exercise?

It is safe to perform light exercise after surgery. I will individualise the advice relating to more vigorous exercise when I review you at your post-operative visits.  

When can I shower and wash my hair?

You can shower and wash your hair from the day after your procedure, however, it is advisable not to allow water to enter the eye for approximately 2 weeks following surgery. This can be avoided with simple measures including wearing swimming goggles during showering or washing your hair backwards in a sink similar to hairdressers.  

Gas or oil in the eye?

In most cases, it will be sufficient to use a gas bubble to reattach your retina. There are 2 types of gas bubble commonly used in retinal detachment vitrectomy surgery:   SF6 gas which can stay in your eye between 2-3 weeks before completely absorbing  C3F8 gas which can remain between 8-10 weeks before completely absorbing.  For up to half of this time, you will have

Will I need to use eye drops after the operation?

Drops are prescribed to be used for several weeks following the procedure. Additional drops will be prescribed if the pressure in your eye is found to be excessively high at any point. If oil is used, I generally require you to use a few drops a day until the oil bubble is removed. 

Will I experience pain after the operation?

There may be some discomfort initially which generally becomes less on a day-by-day basis. Scleral buckling surgery tends to produce slightly more discomfort than vitrectomy surgery. Simple oral analgesia such as paracetamol for a few days is usually sufficient.  It is common to experience mild itching for 1-2 weeks following surgery.  

What can I expect after the operation?

You will be able to go home 1-2 hours after a local anaesthetic, and slightly longer after a general anaesthetic. The eye pad is removed the next day and you can start instilling your eye drops. There may be a small amount of discharge at this stage. Initially, your vision is likely to be worse

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