Home Care after Pediatric Eye Muscle Surgery
This handout will tell you how to care for your child after eye muscle surgery. If you have any questions, please ask your doctor or nurse. Our staff is here to help you.
What to Expect
Your child may have an eye patch over the operated eye. You can expect a small amount of bleeding from the operated eye. Call your child’s eye doctor if the eye patch is soaked with blood.
If your child does not have an eye patch, a small amount of spotty bleeding, swelling, and bruising is normal. If your child was sent home with an eye box, you can use the sterile solution and the sterile cotton balls if you need to clean the eyes. We suggest that you apply a cold, wet compress over the eyes to reduce the swelling, bleeding, and soreness.
To make a cold compress
- Always wash your hand before caring for your child’s eyes.
- Soak a clean washcloth or a packet of 4 x 4 gauzes in a bowl of ice water. Squeeze out the excess water and apply gauze over each eye. Change the washcloth or gauze when it is no longer cold, about 20-30 minutes.
If your child has an eye patch, do not use an ice compress on that eye. A dry, cold compress should be used over the patch.
What to Do
- If the eyes are sore, try to have your child remain quiet the first evening with the head raised to reduce swelling, bleeding, and soreness.
- Use the ice compresses as described.
- If your child wears glasses, they should be worn when he is up and around, unless your doctor has told you to do otherwise.
- You may be given a prescription for either eye ointment or eye drops. Begin using the eye ointment or drops ___________________. Use it ___________ times a day until your child’s eye doctor tells you to stop. The ointment or drops will help heal and prevent infection in the operated eyes.
Follow these steps.
- Wash your hands well with soap and water.
- If the medicine is an ointment, you may want to run the tube under a hot tap for a few seconds to soften the medicine so it is easier to apply.
- Do not touch the tip of the tube or bottle. This will keep the medicine clean.
- Have your child lie down or sit with his head tilted back. A younger child will need someone to support his head.
- Pull your child’s lower eyelid down with your fingers to form a little pocket between the eyelid and the eyeball. Support your hand on your child’s cheek.
- Squeeze a small amount of ointment, or instill 1 – 2 drops into the pocket.
- You may wipe any extra ointment off with a tissue.
- Put the top back on the ointment tube or eye drop bottle and place it in a clean, safe place.
- The ointment may cause a little blurriness for about 10 minutes until it dissolves.
Discomfort or Pain
Often only Tylenol® is needed for pain relief. This depends on the extent of the surgery. Your doctor will advise you if your child will need something else. Ibuprofen may be used if okayed by your child's surgeon.
First Visit after Surgery
If your child wears glasses be sure he wears them to the first clinic visit, unless you were told to do otherwise. Bring any eye medicine that may have been given to you or prescribed for your child. Bring the eye box, if you were sent home with one.
- Your child may return to school or other normal daily tasks ______ days after going home, unless your doctor tells you something else.
- Your child should avoid activities or injury to the operated eye.
- Avoid contact sports for ________ days.
- Avoid swimming for _______ days
- Avoid getting soap or shampoo in the eyes for the first week.
- Your child may return to his normal routine, such as read, watch TV, play musical instruments, walk, hike, or do other such activities.
- Your child may return to his normal diet.
When to Call the Doctor
The problems in the list below are very rare. Call your doctor if you notice any of these.
- The operated eye turns in one direction and then does not move. This may mean one of the sutures has come loose.
- A pus-like discharge from the eye that lasts throughout the day. It is normal to have some discharge from the eye when waking up in the morning.
If you have any questions or problems, please call your doctor.
Your doctor: _________________________________________________.
UWHC Pediatric Eye Clinic: (608) 263-6414 (8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday)
Nights and Weekends: This number will give you the paging operator. Ask the operator to page the “eye resident on-call’. Be sure to leave your name and phone number, with the area code. The resident will call you back.
If you live out of the area, please call 1-800-323-8942.
The Spanish version of this Health Facts for You is #7277.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 11/01/2011
Copyright © 09/26/2011 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#4612
Print Health Fact For You