Eye and Vision

What should I expect after having a pneumatic retinopexy?

A Answers (1)

  • AHealthwise answered

    Recovery from pneumatic retinopexy takes about 3 weeks. The local anesthetic affects only the eye and wears off quickly.

    The hardest part of the recovery is keeping the gas bubble in the right place until a seal forms around the tear in the retina.

    • You must keep your head and eye in the proper position for 16 to 21 hours a day for 1 to 3 weeks after the surgery.
    • You cannot lie on your back or the bubble will move to the front of the eye and press against the lens.
    • Airplane travel is dangerous, because the change in altitude may cause the gas bubble to expand and increase the pressure inside the eye.

    When silicone oil is used instead of gas, there may be less need to keep your head and eye in a precise position, because the oil bubble does not move as readily as a gas bubble. This may make the surgery and recovery easier for older adults, young children and anyone who may have trouble keeping his or her head and eye in the proper position.

    Contact your doctor right away if you notice any signs of complications after surgery, such as:

    • Decreasing vision.
    • Increasing pain.
    • Increasing redness.
    • Swelling around the eye.
    • Any discharge from the eye.
    • Any new floaters, flashes of light, or changes in your field of vision.

    This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. To learn more visit

    © Healthwise, Incorporated.

Did You See?  Close
What is a detached retina?