Planning your Operation


What do you need to consider prior to surgery?

It is important that we have knowledge of any prescribed medications you are taking. You will probably be asked to continue taking these in the usual way, but some medications can cause complications during any surgical procedure.

As most vitrectomy surgery is carried out under local anaesthesia, there are no restrictions on what you may eat and drink prior to admission. Written information will give additional advice should, for example, sedation be required.

Repair of a retinal detachment involves filling the vitreous cavity (the hollow space behind the lens of the eye) with an inert gas, the purpose of this is to re-attach the area of detached retina.

The day after surgery the eye will be almost completely full of gas, which makes vision so blurry that it is almost useless. Vision gradually returns as the gas bubble re-absorbs and the vitreous cavity refills with naturally produced aqueous fluid.

It is important to remember that many activities of daily living will be compromised by the poor vision in your operated eye and for the first couple of weeks it will be impossible to drive.

Your ability to cope with everyday tasks will at that point depend upon vision in the fellow eye. For those patients whose central vision in the fellow eye is compromised, it is important to think about planning meals and arranging some help about the house for the first couple of weeks.

Once a decision has been made to proceed with surgery, our secretarial team will liaise with you to arrange a convenient date on one of our operating lists. This will be at one of the private hospitals in the Southampton or Guildford areas.

You will receive confirmation of your admission date and time from the hospital bookings department, together with a health questionnaire and some general information about your chosen hospital. The procedure is usually carried out as a day case, with a hospital stay of several hours.

Remember, you should not drive yourself to the hospital. You may want a relative or friend to accompany you, or to drop you off and return to collect you when you are ready to go home. Alternatively if you find getting to and from the hospital difficult, we may be able to offer assistance. Please alert the secretarial team if this is the case as the hospital bookings office is not able to help with transport arrangements.

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