How to Prepare for Retinal Surgery


Please be on time.  If you are late, your surgery may be delayed or even cancelled.  Times are subject to change. 


  • You may need an EKG or blood tests before you have surgery.  Your primary care physician should do these tests and fax the results to the surgery center the day before your surgery.


  • Contact your doctor at once if you develop a fever, rash, or cold the day before surgery, as it may be necessary to reschedule.

Food & Drink

  • Eat and drink absolutely nothing after midnight the night before your surgery.  Food and drink taken before anesthesia can cause problems, such as choking and vomiting.

  • Do NOT use alcohol or your surgery may be cancelled.


  • If you take medication, it is your responsibility to call the nurses at the surgery center (916-239-3042)  the day before surgery.  A nurse will advise you as to which medications you should or should not take on the day of surgery.  This is very important, particularly if you are diabetic.

  • If you take medication to thin your blood, take your last dose on:

    Aspirin or Plavix : 5 to 7 days before surgery
    Coumadin: 4 days before surgery

    Important:   Check with the physician who prescribed these medications to make sure you are allowed to stop taking them.

What to Wear

  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing to the surgery center.  Leave money, jewelry, and other valuables at home.

  • Do not wear any makeup.

Plan Ahead

  • Most surgeries involve local anesthetic with mild sedation, with an anesthesiologist monitoring your condition.  You will not be allowed to drive yourself home, so you must arrange for a responsible adult driver. Arrange for a responsible adult to stay with you the first night following surgery. Don’t forget to bring your photo ID, insurance and/or Medicare identification cards with you. Expect to be at the surgery center at least 2-1/2 hours.  Most patients spend about 30 minutes in recovery.  However, depending on your condition, you may be in recovery for up to an hour.

  • After surgery, you will have specific instructions to follow to ensure the best possible chance for success.  These instructions are also summarized here on the website.  Click here to see instuctions for care after surgery.

We have tried to anticipate and answer all of your questions, but if we have not, please call us for further assistance at 916-239-2042.