Retina Recovery Blog

Our goal is to help you answer some questions about your vitrectomy surgery and facedown recovery from our experience and the experiences of hundreds of others.
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Checklist - Preparing for Facedown Recovery



In some cases you have an opportunity to prepare for your vitrectomy. I'm not sure what is best. In my case, I found out on a Monday evening at 5pm that I was going into emergency surgery the next morning, 16 hours later!! If you do have time, I encourage you to prepare your recovery area prior to your return from surgery.  NOTE: Keep in mind that you may have been told to do NOTHING prior to your surgery.  As a result, it is of utmost importance that you enlist the help of others in moving furniture, picking up toys or cleaning up a room.  During our in-home personalized delivery, we often find ourselves serving as temporary interior decorators, moving furniture, coffee tables and more to set you up for maximum comfort.

We want you to be as prepared for your surgery as much as possible.  We had created a list but I must say that I was pleased when one of our renters, Cheryl H., took time to create her 29 Ideas for Preparing for Facedown Recovery. Keep in mind that you may not need everything on the list.  For instance, I had no pain so I didn't need Tylenol.  With that said, here is Cheryl's list:

  1. Put resources in place to help you after surgery.  If you live alone, find someone who is able to support you during your recovery.  This is a time to lean on loved ones as much as possible.  Your job is to stay face down and rest!
  2. Clear the space around where the patient will be recovering clear of obstructions as they will be limited in their ability to see what is around them, especially for the first few days.
  3. Set up all equipment and gather a box of tissues, phone, TV remote, books, magazines – anything you would like to use to help you pass the time as you recover.
  4. Collect all of the equipment necessary for your recovery period.  A facedown recovery bed or facedown recovery chair is of utmost importance.
  5. Straws - makes drinking easy
  6. Tissues - eyes will drip/leak and so will nose
  7. Topical muscle relaxant for aching muscles 
  8. Heating pad for aching muscles 
  9. Pain Medication - make sure you ask your Surgeon as some pain meds are NOT recommended.
  10. Two small pillows for your shoulders for night sleeping 
  11. One pillow for mid torso for night sleeping 
  12. Twin sheets for recovery bed to keep warm - (NOTE: we provide a fitted sheet)
  13. Small bench or table under face pillow to have a small light or flashlight for night
  14. iPad for entertainment 
  15. A lot of facecloths for gentle washing face in morning. Only use once!
  16. Microfibre cloth to clean mirror
  17. White noise so you can sleep without being woken up 
  18. Magnesium to take at night to stop leg cramps
  19. Back massager with heat to use throughout the day
  20. Extra cushion for your backside. There’s a lot of sitting if using the recovery chair
  21. Small, easy and quick meals. Don’t over eat it’ll give you an upset stomach 
  22. Probiotics for gut health 
  23. Place your things for easy access while keeping eyes down. (Things on the counters eg. Eye drops, toothpaste, floss, hair brush, deodorant. Place shampoo, conditioner, body wash at arms reach in shower so you’re not bending over)
  24. Move slowly around house looking at floor. 
  25. Bend slowly at knees to pick up light things eg. Tissue that fell on floor 
  26. Be patient and ask for help. Don’t pick up anything with weighs over 10lbs. You don’t want to do this again 
  27. Don’t do housework! It can wait
  28. Be mindful of the gas bubble in your eye. It’s what heals you
  29. Remember, it’s only 10 days of face down for a lifetime of sight!!!
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