Post-Operative Instructions

While recovering from eye surgery, it is important to carefully follow any post-operative instructions from your doctor. These directions can help speed healing and minimize the risk of complications.  There are some general instructions which apply to most eye surgery procedures. Your doctor will likely provide you with specific eye surgery aftercare instructions before your procedure to help you prepare for the recovery process. 

What to Expect after Treatment

You will likely experience some discomfort following surgery. Your vision will probably appear blurry as well. Depending on the type of surgery, you may experience vision fluctuations for several weeks. If you are wearing a patch, leave it in place until your doctor says to remove it. 

Caring for Your Eyes after Surgery

There are several actions you can take after your eye surgery to speed your recovery and protect your results. While your experience will differ based on your specific surgery, there are some general guidelines you can follow for a more comfortable recovery. 

Get the help you need

After your eye surgery, you will need someone to drive you home. You may also need help with everyday tasks for the next few days. 

Take care while showering and shaving

You need to be very careful when washing your face or hair after eye surgery to avoid getting soap or other products in your eyes. Wait to take a shower for at least a day after your treatment.

Wear sunglasses

Your eyes will likely feel more sensitive to light for a few days after your procedure. Wearing sunglasses can improve your comfort level and protect your eyes as they heal.

Clean your eyelids

You may develop crusting or have another form of discharge after treatment. This is normal. You can clean your eyelids with warm tap water and a cotton pad or tissue. Make sure not to apply pressure to the eye as you do so.

Use medications as directed

Your doctor may prescribe eye drops or other medications to help prevent infections and encourage healing. Make sure to carefully follow all instructions related to medication to ensure you are taking it safely.

What to Avoid after Eye Surgery

There are some activities which you can return to immediately after surgery, such as walking, reading, shaving, bathing, and watching TV. For others, you should wait a few days and for some activities, you may need to wait several weeks. After eye surgery, you should avoid:

Wearing eye makeup

Do not wear any eye makeup or use any products around your eyes for at least a week after surgery.

Rubbing your eyes

Try to avoid touching your eyes as much as possible and minimize pressure to them. Your doctor may give you a shield to wear at night to protect your eyes while you sleep.

Performing strenuous activities

For the first few weeks, you should take it easy and limit physical activities, such as lifting heavy objects, jogging, swimming, contact sports, or even coughing heavily.


Cigarette smoke can get in your eyes and cause real discomfort, so avoid being around smoke at all. In addition, tobacco can slow the healing process. 

Being in dusty environments

Dust, fumes, and other contaminants can cause infection while your eyes are healing. 

When to Contact Your Doctor

Typical symptoms after an eye surgery include:

  • Redness
  • Watering
  • Glare or light sensitivity
  • Grittiness or the feeling like there is something stuck in your eye

Contact your doctor right away if your symptoms worsen suddenly or you notice an increase in redness or pain or a sudden decrease in vision.

Rest and Relax after Surgery

During the days following your procedure, try to take it easy and get lots of rest. You should also follow all instructions from your doctor. The exact course of your recovery will depend on the type of surgery you received and the natural healing process of your body. If you are concerned about any symptoms during healing, you can contact your doctor and speak to a professional.

Byron W. Biscoe, MD

Laser Vision Institute of the Virgin Islands

Byron W. Biscoe, MD, has been in practice since 1994. He is a member of a number of distinguished organizations:

  • American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery
  • American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care Inc.
  • International Society of Refractive Surgery

Contact us online to ask a question or request a consultation. You can also reach us by phone at (340) 774-3003.

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