What to Expect

What to Expect with the First Visit

If there’s enough time before your appointment, we will send you some new-patient paperwork for you to fill out and bring with you. If your appointment is more urgent we’ll get it done when you arrive. Most often, we’ll confirm your insurance coverage before your arrival. An eye technician will start your evaluation by checking your vision (with and without your glasses if you have them), checking your pupils and intraocular pressure, and then will review your medical history and medications. We’ll dilate your eyes so we can see your retina and then we’ll wait 10-20 minutes for them to dilate.

You’ll then meet your physician who’ll perform a thorough exam of your eyes. We use an electronic medical record and in order to input what we see in your eyes, we have a second technician in the room who acts as a scribe. Most often, we’ll do some imaging tests so we can more fully evaluate your eye, and then we’ll review everything together and make a plan to move forward.

If we recommend surgery at your first visit and it’s not urgent, that would be scheduled for a time usually 1-3 weeks later. If it’s an urgent situation we start working immediately to get your surgery done as soon as possible.

If we recommend another procedure, such as laser or intraocular injection that can be done in the office we can sometimes proceed that day.

What Should I Expect with Surgery?
We operate in an outpatient surgery center, Multispecialty Surgery Center in Indianapolis, and the Indiana Specialty Surgery Center in Bloomington. Patients arrive 30-60 minutes before surgery with an empty stomach (no food or drink for 8 hours). An IV is placed by a nurse and they meet their anesthesiologist who performs a quick evaluation and answers questions about how we’ll work together to have a comfortable, safe, and successful surgery.

After surgery, patients move to the recovery area with a patch over the eye where they stay for 30-60 minutes before heading home. Eye drops are prescribed to be used for a couple of weeks and any post-operative pain can most often be controlled with over the counter Tylenol. Patients return to the clinic for an evaluation 1-3 days later.

What Should I Expect with Eye Injections?
There are many eye conditions that can now be treated effectively with medications. Unfortunately, especially for retinal diseases, those medicines need to be injected into the eye for them to work. This has been a major shift over the past 15 years and while, it sounds excruciating and scary, it’s become quite common and has the potential to improve and save your vision.

We do injections in the office. Eyes are rinsed with anesthetic and then antiseptic, and then a topical anesthetic gel is allowed to sit on the eye for 5-10 minutes. A small amount of the drug is then delivered into the eye with a very small needle. Most people proclaim, “that wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.” The eye is rinsed and patients head home. The eye is often irritated and scratchy for the rest of the day and then returns to normal, usually by the next day. Keeping the eye closed for a while, and using some artificial tear drops can help alleviate some discomfort.

Sometimes, eyes can become red or bloody looking after a treatment. This is not a serious problem and resolves on its own. We do worry about the possibility of infection. Serious infections inside the eye after injections are extremely rare but if you experience pain with loss of vision 2-4 days after an injection, you have to call us immediately.