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Frequently Asked Questions

Your surgeon has asked you to maintain a face-down position after your Vitrectomy surgery. The length of time that one should remain face-down will vary depending on the specifics of the surgery and will be recommended by your surgeon. Keeping your face-down will facilitate the healing process by forcing a gas bubble that was inserted into the eyeball during surgery against the posterior surface. Maintaining the face-down position will also decrease the chances of cataract formation by reducing unwanted contact between the lens of the eyeball and the gas bubble.

What is "face-down" positioning?

The position in which your face is parallel to the floor. For a visual, please click here.

Do I have to lie down all the time?

Any position in which you remain face-down is okay. This may include sitting down with your head resting on a pillow that is placed on a table or simply standing with your neck bent. The latter suggestion may result in neck pain so alternative positions are encouraged. Each of our products helps you maintain this position with the least amount of physical strain.

Can I get up and walk around?

Standing and walking is okay as long as the face-down position is maintained. Since forward vision becomes difficult we suggest you be cautious while walking.

Is there anything I would do to prepare for the face-down period?

We encourage you rent vitrectomy recovery equipment and to try various positions before your surgery so you are not experimenting during the early stages of recovery. Preparing meals before hand is also highly recommended.

How do I eat?

Positioning your chair as close to the table as possible with your plate near the edge will help keep your head down. Drinking can be made easy through the use of a straw. However, if eating becomes exceedingly uncomfortable you may lift your head for short periods of time if the face-down position is resumed shortly thereafter.

What about showering or bathing?

You may shower and bathe as usual if the face-down position is maintained. Try and avoid getting shower products in your eyes.

What about sleeping?

Our Face-Down Positioning Mat provides a means for sleeping safely as it contains sufficient breathing room. If you wake up in a different position, simply return to the proper position. Sleeping pills may be useful, but should be obtained through your doctor.

What about reading and watching television?

You can read simply by placing your book on a flat surface. However, eye movements slow the healing process, so reading time should be limited. As long as you maintain the face-down position you can watch television. This can be done most effectively using the Prism Glasses, or Face-Down Positioning Mirror supplied with the chair.

How can I apply my eye drops if I'm looking down?

Eye drops can be applied as normal. The limited time with your head up will not hinder your recovery.

Will I be able to see immediately after surgery?

You will be able to see very little at first. Visual acuity will gradually improve from the top portions of your visual field downward as the gas bubble deteriorates. You may also notice a line in your vision. This is entirely normal.

Will I be in pain after the surgery?

The majority of people feel slight discomfort with sensations of scratching or aching. However, any significant pain should be reported to your doctor.

Will my eye be swollen after the surgery?

Swelling is normal. As well, your eyes may also be difficult to open. A warm moist washcloth can be used to open your eyes. Even if only one eyeball is operated on, the other eye may experience slight swelling as well.

Can I fly?

Avoid any activities that involve pressure changes, such as air travel, scuba diving, or ascending to high altitudes, as they may result in nerve damage.

If you have any additional questions about our vitrectomy recovery rentals, please feel free to contact us or your doctor.