Overview of Head Positioning after retinal procedures.
Why positioning is important after surgery with gas or oil in the eye.
Discussion of different acceptable methods of positioning after surgery.
Discussion of when positioning usually starts and stops after surgery.
Overview of eye anatomy with videos showing the parts of the eye and how the eye works.
Overview of positioning rationale, strategy, and recommendations for patients undergoing macular hole surgery.
Positioning, rationale, and strategy for patients undergoing Pneumatic Retinopexy (office procedure)for Retinal Detachment.
Positioning, rationale, and strategy for patients undergoing Vitrectomy (operating room procedure) for Retinal Detachment.
Positioning, rationale, and recommendations for patients undergoing pneumatic displacement of macular hemorrhage in the office (uncommon procedure).
Overview of different gasses used in the eye reviewing their size and duration of action.
Overview of properties of silicone oil used in the eye.

When and How Long to Position after Retinal Surgery?

The duration of positioning after surgery is dependent on what is wrong with your retina, what procedure you underwent, and what tamponade (short acting gas, long acting gas, or silicone oil) was used. You have to follow your doctors instructions. Below are some general guidelines.

First, you cannot position all of the time. You need to take a break sometimes to go to the bathroom or shower. Also, you have to sit up to put your eye drops in. It is impossible to put an eye drop in your eye while you are looking toward the center of the earth. It is usually OK to break your positioning for about 10 minutes every hour or two. Time can pass quickly though and it is important to keep your positioning breaks to a minimum. Usually it is best to watch the clock or have someone keep track of the time so you are not out of position for more than 15 minutes at a time.

Laser and cryotherapy hold the retina in place after retinal detachment repair, but they do not work until about one or two weeks have passed. They are very much like slow setting glue. During that one or two weeks, the bubble in your eye is holding the retina in place. The bubble is a lot like a clamp holding things in position while glue sets. You need to keep your eye in the proper position for the bubble to hold the area of the retina in place properly.

Macular holes form in the very central vision. That area cannot be treated with laser or cryotherapy without damaging the central vision. That is why after macular hole surgery, positioning is critical while the body forms an adhesion where the macular hole is and seals it. That adhesion forms at different rates in different people. Face down positioning after macular hole surgery is usually required for one to three weeks.