How to prepare for eye surgery

Date of Surgery

You will be given at least one month's notice of your surgical date and time. Please be advised that due to an extensive surgical wait list and limited OR time, we are unable to provide alternative times and dates barring medical emergencies or unforeseen circumstances. Please let us know ahead of time if you have any strong preferences against certain time periods (eg. due to planned trips or other surgeries).

If you have any questions or concerns about your upcoming surgery, you must phone the Misericordia Pre-Operative Assessment Clinic at least 1 week prior to your surgical date at (204) 788-8400. After you have listened to the information recording regarding pre-surgery instructions, PRESS ‘1’. If you have any medical questions or concerns and/or will be needing specific arrangements for the day of surgery, you must leave a message. The Pre-Operative Assessment nurses will return your call and set up a meeting at the hospital if necessary.

Location of Surgery

Arrive at Misericordia Health Centre 1.5 hours before your surgery, unless otherwise instructed by the Misericordia pre-operative nurses.

Cancellations and rescheduled surgeries:

Occasionally, due to eye emergencies that must take priority, or other unforeseen circumstances, we may have to reschedule your surgery date or time, even on the day of surgery. This is rare, but can happen, and we apologize ahead of time for any inconvenience that this may create. We do everything possible to minimize changes in our schedule. If your surgery has to be rescheduled for whatever reason, we will endeavour to give you a close alternate date.

If you are unable to keep your scheduled date for surgery, we need a minimum of 1 week’s notice for cancellation. Cancellation within a week of your surgery (barring exceptional circumstances or emergencies) will result in a $250 fine. Please understand that in order to ensure that this valuable operating time is not wasted, we need time to find replacement patients. Without adequate time to reschedule, this surgical time could get wasted, costing the system an estimated $100 per minute for 30-60 minute unused time slots.

Prior to your surgery date:

  • Book a pre-operative history and physical examination with your physician. The surgical history and physical examination form must be completed by your family physician at least 4 weeks prior to your surgery. If this form is not received at least 3 weeks prior to your procedure it will result in the cancellation of your surgery.
  • Fill out and submit the assessment questionnaire to GEM Clinic (as stated on questionnaire) at least 4 weeks prior to surgery. If this questionnaire is not received at least 3 weeks prior to your procedure it will result in the cancellation of your surgery.
  • Consider intraocular lens options:  If you are having cataract surgery, you will routinely receive a soft, foldable, single distance artificial lens which is implanted at the time of the surgery. The cost of these lenses is now covered by Manitoba Health. If you are a candidate and opt for a special lens that corrects for astigmatism (Toric), for different distances (Multifocal) or both (Multifocal Toric), these are an extra cost to you and require extra pre-operative testing. We do not offer these options for patients having combined cataract and glaucoma surgery. If you have not received any information on these options and are interested, please let us know.
  • Home Care:  If you have Home Care please notify our office. We will fax post-operative orders to them ahead of time. If you require Home Care assistance because you are physically/mentally unable to administer your own drops and do not have family members/friends to assist you, please let us know at least 2 weeks prior to surgery. Failure to do so may prevent us from providing you with the necessary help you require.
  • Work/Disability/Insurance forms:  If you require work, disability or insurance forms to be completed, you must provide these forms at least 2 weeks prior to your surgery date. Failure to do so will result in delays in completing your necessary forms. Please be advised that our office charges $50 per form and you will be responsible for any charges incurred unless we are otherwise notified that a third party has arranged to cover these costs.
  • Time off work: For cataract surgery, plan to take 1-2 weeks off work. For combined cataract and glaucoma surgery or any type of glaucoma surgery, plan to take 4-6 weeks off work.
  • Vacations:  Do not plan vacations without consulting our office in case this interferes with adequate time for post-operative care. For cataract surgery, we advise you not to travel for at least one month. For combined cataract and glaucoma surgery or any glaucoma surgery, we advise you not to travel for at least 2-3 months.
  • Smoking:  Do not smoke 3-4 days prior to the operation and 1 week afterwards as smoking delays and impairs the healing process.
  • Stopping blood thinners:  If you are having cataract surgery alone, you do not need to stop your blood thinners. If you are having combined cataract and glaucoma surgery, or any glaucoma surgery, you must stop your blood thinners in consultation with your family doctor or specialist (1 week for aspirin or Plavix; 3 days for Coumadin). You can restart them 3 days after surgery (unless otherwise stated).

On the day of surgery:

  • Arrive 1.5 hours before your surgery time.
  • Register at Admitting/Patient Registration on the 1st Floor, located near the Urgent Care entrance. You will be given some registration papers and a wristband. You will then be instructed to proceed to Day Surgery on the 4th floor.
  • At Day Surgery on the 4th Floor, you will be prepared for surgery. You will be asked to wear a hospital gown and remove your shoes. The nurses will prepare you by confirming your details and starting some preparatory eye drops. The nurses will be able to give you an idea of when you will be ready to be picked up at this time, so you can tell your ride.
  • At the time of surgery,  you will be taken just outside the operating room where details will be briefly reviewed again, and your surgeon will meet you just before the surgery. 
  • Anaesthesia:  Although you will be awake for the surgery, you will have IV (intravenous) sedation as needed to keep you comfortable.  Freezing gel will be applied to your eye for all surgeries just before you enter the operating room.  Local anaesthetic is applied around your eye for all glaucoma surgeries.  Most people are very comfortable throughout the surgery.  If you are claustrophobic or have breathing or back problems, please let us know and we will do our best to make you comfortable.
  • Length of Surgery:  Cataract surgery alone takes about 15-20 minutes.  Trabeculectomy surgery for glaucoma takes about 30 minutes.  Ahmed or Baerveldt implant surgery takes about one hour.  If you are having any combined surgeries, these usually take 1-1.5 hours.  Revisions of glaucoma surgeries vary and can take 15 minutes to an hour depending of the type of revision.  You will be given a clear idea of this by your surgeon. 
  • Recovery Time:  After your operation you will be taken to the Recovery area for about 30-40 minutes and then discharged home (unless an overnight stay has been booked).
  • Instructions and Follow-Up:  You will be given detailed instructions on what eye drops to use Post-operative instructions for Cataract SurgeryPost-operative instructions for Ahmed Valve Implant Surgery, or Post-operative instructions for Trabeculectomy Surgery a prescription for new drops, and an appointment for follow-up before you leave the hospital.
    • If you are having cataract surgery alone, you will be booked for a SAME DAY FOLLOW-UP appointment with Dr. Buffie, O.D. at GEM Clinic.  You will need to see your own Optometrist one week later and also about 4-6 weeks after the surgery to update your glasses.  You will see Dr. Rahman if any problems arise. 
    • If you are having a glaucoma surgery, or cataract surgery combined with glaucoma surgery, you will be given an appointment to see Dr. Rahman the next day.  If you are scheduled to stay overnight at the hospital, Dr. Rahman will see you at the hospital before you leave.

Important reminders for your surgery day:

  • Valuables:  Leave all jewellry (rings, watches, necklaces, earrings, etc.), money, and credit cards at home. Dr. Rahman, GEM Clinic and the hospital CANNOT be held responsible for the loss of personal possessions including dentures and hearing aids. However, it is advisable to have some money for transportation, in case there is a problem with your ride.
  • Overnight bag:  If you are coming from out of town, we recommend that you prepare an overnight bag, in case there are unexpected complications and you need to stay over night in the hospital or in town.
  • DO NOT EAT OR DRINK ANYTHING past midnight the evening before your surgery. This means you should not eat breakfast the day of your surgery. A small amount of water taken with regular medication is permitted the morning of surgery.
  • Medications:  Take your usual medications including your regular eye drops on the day of surgery (unless you are otherwise instructed). On the day of surgery bring all your medications with you in their original containers. If you take insulin, take only half your regular dose the morning of your surgery or follow the instructions given to you by the Misericordia pre-operative nurses.
  • Personal Hygeine Shower or bathe on the day of your surgery. Ensure that your hair is shampooed and trimmed. Trim your eyebrow and facial hair. Contact lenses must be removed before surgery. Do not wear nail polish, gel nails or make-up on the day of surgery. Advise the nurses if you are wearing dentures.
  • Dependent persons:  All dependent persons must be accompanied by a parent, legal guardian or POA, who will be responsible for signing the necessary consent forms (in case a last minute clarification is required).
  • DischargeDo not drive after surgery. You will need a responsible person to stay with you for 24 hours after discharge. Please arrange for a relative or friend to take you home after your operation and stay with you for 24 hours. Even though you may feel conscious, your judgement and reactions may be impaired due to the use of sedative drugs during surgery. If you do not have anyone who can stay with you, please contact our office so that other arrangements can be made where necessary.
  • Sedation:  The sedation used during the surgery may affect your judgement. You are strongly advised not to sign any legal documents 24 hours after surgery, to ensure that the effects of these drugs have worn off. Also, do not drink any alcohol or take any recreational drugs for 24 hours after surgery, since this could compound the effects of the intravenous drugs that are used during surgery making you feel very unwell.
  • Transportation:  Please arrange your own transportation to and from the hospital and to your post-operative appointments. GEM Clinic and Misericordia Health Centre do not provide taxi money or arrange transportation.
  • Sickness:  Please inform our office of any cold or illness that occurs within 48 hours of your scheduled surgery. Your operation may need to be rescheduled to a later date.
  • Restrictions after sugery:  After eye surgery you should avoid strenuous activity such as vigorous exercise, bending from a standing position, heavy lifting (over 10 lbs), straining (you may need a stool softener if constipated), and sexual intercourse. For cataract surgery alone, these restrictions apply for at least a week (unless otherwise instructed). For combined cataract and glaucoma surgery or any type of glaucoma surgery, these restrictions apply for 2 weeks (unless otherwise instructed).
  • Driving:  You will be instructed when it is okay to drive.

 

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