What to Do After Surgery

A protective cover is placed over the eye following surgery and should remain in place for at least 24 hours and used when sleeping. There will be some discomfort following the surgery for two to three days. Some symptoms may include irritation, a feeling of scratchiness, and mild pain. The patient will receive an antibiotic and steroid drops to reduce the risks of infection and swelling. The ophthalmologist may also suggest a mild pain reliever. Vision is usually blurred initially and visual recovery is gradual. Corneal transplantation has along healing period, therefore it is very important that patients frequently visit their ophthalmologist and use all medications as instructed. The ophthalmologist may prescribe glasses to further correct the vision at some point. Most physicians will schedule office visits once a week for the first two to three weeks. Then routine visits will be scheduled once every month for two to three months. After the first three months, the ophthalmologist will want to see the transplant patient every three months for a year and then every six months. Transplant patients should limit any strenuous activity following surgery. However, most ophthalmologists will allow the following:

  • Watching television
  • Reading
  • Walking
  • Light housework
  • Bending at the knees to pick up light objects
  • Intercourse may be resumed eight to ten days after surgery

Patients should not

  • Rub the eyes
  • Lift heavy objects
  • Bend from the waist
  • Participate in vigorous exercise like jogging, aerobics, or tennis for the first three months

Because the new cornea tissue is foreign to your body, the risk of rejection, although very slight, is always a possibility. Patients must pay close attention to any signs of redness, sensitivity to light, vision loss, or pain and report them to the physician immediately.

Old Dominion Eye Foundation continues to develop relationships with the people we help regain sight. We also work to reach the public through educational programs that help many learn more about eye tissue donation and all it has to offer. If you would like to become a part of our educational efforts by telling others your story, please email us about your experiences. Talking with others about your experiences helps in many ways. Many people want to learn more about eye donation, and you can help.