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What to Expect After Your Enucleation Surgery

This information explains how to care for your eye socket after your enucleation surgery. In this resource, the words “you” and “your” refer to you or your child.

Your surgery is scheduled for: _______________________________

After Your Surgery

Caring for your eye socket

After your surgery, you will have a dressing covering your eye socket and your eyelid will be closed. You will need to keep the dressing on for 1 to 4 days. Your doctor or nurse will tell you when to remove it. While the dressing is on, do not put your head under water and shower only from the neck down.

After the dressing has been removed, clean your eye socket with water and a clean cloth. Your doctor will give you a prescription for tobramycin and dexamethasone (TobraDex®) ointment. Apply it 2 times a day in your eye socket until your follow-up appointment. If you run out before your appointment, ask your pharmacy to call our office.

You can shower as usual after your dressing is removed, but do not submerge your head underwater until 2 weeks after your surgery.

Side effects

For the first few weeks after your surgery, the area around your eye may be bruised and swollen. There may also be watery or pinkish drainage, a “scratchy” feeling, and mild discomfort in the area. This is normal and will go away within a few days.

Do not rub, press, or bump your eye socket. It may take some time for you to adjust seeing out of only one eye.

Plastic conformer

During your surgery, your ophthalmologist will put a soft, plastic conformer between your eyelids. It will help keep the shape of your eye. 

The conformer may fall out in the first few weeks after your surgery. If you feel comfortable replacing the conformer, you can clean the conformer with soap and water and put it back between your eyelids. If you do not feel comfortable replacing it, bring the conformer with you to your next appointment and a member of your healthcare team will replace it for you.

You can choose to wear a patch until you receive your prosthesis (artificial eye). You can buy disposable eye patches at any pharmacy.

 

Follow-up Appointment

You will need to schedule your follow-up appointment when you are discharged from the hospital. Your healthcare team will tell you when you should schedule it. Call your doctor’s office at one of the numbers listed in the “Contact Information” section.

After your follow-up, your doctor will ask you to schedule an appointment with an ocularist. An ocularist is someone who makes and fits prosthetic eyes. Your ocularist will design your prosthesis to match your other eye. Your healthcare team can recommend an ocularist, but you will need to check with your insurance company to make sure that he or she is covered under your insurance plan.

Call Your Doctor Or Nurse If You Have:

  • Pain that is not relieved by acetaminophen (Tylenol®)
  • Intense headaches
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Bleeding through the dressing

If you have a temperature of 100.4° F (38° C) or higher, call your doctor immediately.

Contact Information

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your ophthalmology team. You can reach them Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm at the numbers listed below.

Adult ophthalmology office: (212) 744-1700

Pediatric ophthalmology office: (212) 639-7232

After 5:00 pm, during the weekend, and on holidays, please call (212) 639-2000 and ask for the ophthalmology doctor on call. Additionally, you can try the numbers listed below:

Doctor:________________________ Telephone: _____________________

Physician assistant:________________ Telephone: _____________________