Amniotic Membrane Graft Surgery
The human amniotic membrane (AM) is the innermost layer of the placenta. The placenta is tissue that lines the uterus during pregnancy. Due to a number of its properties, AM is used often in the treatment of severe ocular surface diseases. AM is made from a fresh placenta under sterile conditions, and washed with a solution of antibiotics. Testing is done to make sure that each tissue is safe for use in humans. Amniotic membrane makes anti-inflammatory and growth factors that help treat the inflammatory diseases of the surface of the eye. AM is secured to the ocular surface by either a tissue glue or stitches. After transplanting the amniotic membrane (AMT) on to the eye surface, AM will be slowly absorbed within 4-6 weeks. Since AM is not a completely transparent tissue, the patient’s visual acuity may decrease after AMT. The patient should be aware of this temporary effect before surgery.
1. You need to have a pre-operative physical exam within 30 days before your surgery date. You cannot have surgery without this exam.
2. Any surgery prescriptions that you will need will be faxed to your local pharmacy. Pick up these prescriptions a few days before surgery and follow instructions for use.
3. Take your usual medicines the morning of your surgery with a small sip of water unless told otherwise.
4. Blood thinners such as aspirin, Plavix, or Coumadin should be stopped if possible before surgery. Discuss this with your surgeon or surgery coordinator.
5. Bring all your eye medicines with you to your surgery.
6. Expect to be at the surgery center for 4 – 5 hours. You must have someone take you home after surgery and stay with you overnight. You must have someone bring you to your appointment the next day.
Caring for Yourself after Surgery
1. Do not rub your eye or try to clean material from the eye.
2. Wear the metal eye shield at night and when napping to protect the eye. If you wear glasses, wear them during the day. If not, wear the metal shield. You need to wear the shield for one week. Wearing dark glasses may help the eye feel more comfortable.
3. Avoid strenuous activity and heavy lifting (over 20 pounds) until cleared by your doctor. Exercise (i.e. walking) will not harm the eye if done in moderation. Go slowly and do not strain the first week. Depth perception is impaired while wearing an eye patch. Be careful on stairs. Do not drive until cleared by your doctor. Sexual activities may be resumed as soon as you are comfortable.
4. You may have dull pain, aching, or a scratching feeling in your eye. You may take acetaminophen (Tylenol®) for relief. If your pain is not controlled by these medicines, call your doctor.
5. Have your eye drop prescriptions filled and start using them either when you get home or the next day as you have been instructed.
6. You may shower or bathe as usual. Be careful not to get soap into your eyes.
7. Watching TV or reading will not harm the eye. You may do so if you wish.
Call your doctor right away if you have
- An increase in swelling or redness.
- Any increase in pain or discharge from the eye.
- A decrease in vision.
- Nausea or vomiting.
University Station Eye Clinic, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday
When the clinic is closed, your call will be forwarded to the hospital paging operator. Ask for the “Eye Resident on Call”. Give the operator your name and phone number with area code. The doctor will call you back.
If you live out of the area, call 1-800-323-8942 and ask to be transferred to the above number.
Please call if you have any questions or concerns.
The Spanish version of this HFFY is # 7317
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: 07/02/2013
Copyright © 07/02/2013 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#7316
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