Eye Muscle Surgery
This handout will help you care for yourself or your child at home after eye muscle surgery. The nurse will go over this handout with you. Ask any questions you may have. If you have questions once you are home, call the numbers listed below.
After Eye Muscle Surgery
- Do NOT drink alcohol for 24 hours or while taking narcotics.
- You or your child may eat a normal diet.
- You may take your normal medicines, unless the doctor has told you not to do so.
- Driving may not be safe for the first two days due to blurred vision and, in some patients, double vision. You may drive if you do not have blurred or double vision. To play it safe, do not count on being able to drive for about one week unless your doctor has specifically told you that it is okay.
What to Expect
- You may have an eye patch over one eye especially if the doctor used an adjustable suture. You can expect a small amount of bleeding from the operated eye. Call the doctor if you soak the eye patch with blood.
- If you do not have an eye patch, a small amount of spotty bleeding, swelling and bruising is normal. If you were sent home with an eye box, you can use the sterile solution and the sterile cotton balls if you need to clean the eye. We suggest that you apply a cold, wet compress over your eye to reduce the swelling, bleeding, and soreness. Keep using the cold compress until bedtime. Do not use Kleenex® or any washcloth that is not sterile. Kleenex® has lint that can get into the eye and cause further swelling.
To Make a Cold Compress
Always wash your hands before caring for your eyes.
Soak a packet of 4 x 4 gauzes in a bucket of ice water. Squeeze out the excess water and apply gauze over each eye. Change the gauze when it is no longer cold (about 20-30 minutes).
Note: If you have 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
1. If the eyes are sore, remain quiet the first evening with your head raised to reduce swelling, bleeding, and soreness.
2. Use the ice compresses as described.
3. If you wear glasses, they should be worn when you are up and around, unless your doctor told you not to wear them.
4. You will be given a prescription for either eye ointment or eye droops. Begin using the eye ointment or drops _______________. Use it __________ times a day until your eye doctor tells you to stop. The ointment or drops will help healing and prevent infection. Follow these steps.
- Wash your hands well with soap and water. You may want to run the tube under a hot tap for a few seconds to soften the medicine to make it easier to apply.
- Do not touch the tip of the tube or bottle. This will keep the ointment or drops clean.
- Tilt your head back and up.
- Hold the tube or bottle between your thumb and forefinger and place it as close to the eyelid as you can without touching it.
- Hold the other fingers against your cheek.
- With your 2nd finger, pull the lower lid down to form a pocket between the eyelid and eyeball.
- Squeeze a small amount of ointment, or instill 1 – 2 drops into the pocket.
- Wipe any extra ointment off with a tissue.
- Cover the ointment tube or eye drop bottle and place it in a clean, safe place.
Note: The ointment may cause blurry vision for a few minutes until it dissolves.
Discomfort or Pain
Often only Tylenol® is needed for pain relief. Your doctor will advise you if something stronger is needed. If you have questions about your need for pain medicine, ask the nurses. If you have questions once you return home, call one of the telephone numbers listed at the end of this handout.
Your First Visit after Surgery
If you wear glasses, be sure to bring them with you. Begin wearing the glasses as soon as you get up in the morning. Bring any eye ointment or eye drops that may have been given to you or prescribed for you, as well as the eye box.
1. You may return to school _________________ days after going home, unless your doctor gives you other orders.
2. Avoid activities or injury to the operated eye.
- No contact sports for _____ days.
- No swimming for _____ days.
- Do not get soap or shampoo in the eyes for the first week.
3. There is no restriction on reading, watching TV, walking, hiking, and other such activities.
When to Call the Doctor
The problems in the list below are very rare. Call your doctor if you notice
1. The operated eye turns in one direction and then does not move. This may mean one of the sutures has come loose.
2. A pus-like discharge from the eye that lasts throughout the day. It is normal to have some discharge from the eye when you wakes up in the morning.
If you have any other questions or problem, please call your doctor.
Your doctor is _______________________________.
UWHC Pediatric Eye and Adult Strabismus Clinic Nurses (608) 263-6605
UWHC Pediatric Eye and Adult Appointments (608) 263-6414
Nights and weekends, this number will give you the hospital paging operator. Ask for the “eye surgery resident on call”. Leave your name and phone number with the area code. The doctor will call you back.
If you live out of the area, call 1-800-323-8942.
The Spanish version of this Health Facts for You is #7275.
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 © 02/26/2010 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#4428
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