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What Is Face-down Recovery After Retinal Surgery?

After retina surgery, you will need to keep your head in a face-down position. This is because a gas bubble has been placed into your eye. Recovering with your head down allows the bubble to float into the proper position. The bubble cradles the retina in place to heal correctly.Your doctor will tell you how long you need to keep face down. It could take some time, from a few days to a week or more. Over time, your eye fills with its personal fluid, and the gas bubble disappears.

Important things to know about face-down recovery:

o You must stay face down at all times, unless your eye surgeon tells you otherwise. This means staying face down during all daily activities like walking or eating. To stay safe, have someone with you when you walk around.Your surgery may not work if you do not recover in the ordered position. This is because lying in the wrong position puts pressure on the wrong parts of your eye. That can lead to other eye issues.o You cannot fly in an airplane until the gas bubble is gone. Altitude changes can cause your eye pressure to raise. That can lead to problems with the bubble that has been inserted.


After retina surgery, it is very crucial to stay in the face-down recovery position. Not doing this can lead to other eye-related issues and affect the outcome of your surgery.

Making your face-down or sideways recovery easier:

  • Sitting: Fold your arms on a table and lay your forehead on your arms.
  • Lying down: Lie face down on a pillow, have the recovering side of your face hang off the ledge of the bed. This helps reduce pain and keeps pressure off your operated eye.
  • Anytime: Use special equipment that can make it easier to stay face down or sideways. You can rent or buy equipment such as:
  • Face-down chairs. These can adjust to provide support for your head and neck while you sit.

Tabletop face cradles. These allow you to keep your hands free while sitting at the table. Face-down pillows. These have a space cut out for your face to help you sleep more comfortably. Face-down mirrors. These are angled to let you see people or objects in front of you. That way you can watch TV or speak directly with visitors.

What Is Face-down Recovery After Retinal Surgery?
What Is Face-down Recovery After Retinal Surgery?

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West Boca Eye Center
9325 Glades Road, Suite 201.
Boca Raton, FL 33434

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