Following Surgery

Does and don't following surgery such as when you can return to school, work, sports etc.

Video Transcript:

Pain relief:

Although the eye(s) may be a little uncomfortable that evening and in the days following surgery, treatment with Calpol is usually more than sufficient to relieve this. Children should be encouraged not to rub their eyes, however the risk of this causing the stitches to loosen is very small.

Adults can take regular pain killers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen in the first 24 – 48 hours after surgery, if required. Patients who have undergone redo surgery (where the same eye has previously undergone surgery) may have more discomfort than those who have undergone surgery for the first time and may need to use painkillers for longer. The prickly discomfort many patients experience following surgery does not normally last for more than a 7-10 days.

The eye(s) can be red for up to 4 weeks following squint surgery. This redness tends to be more marked in the cases of redo and adjustable squint surgery. The tiny stitches in the conjunctiva are not usually visible and will dissolve within 7-10 days.


  • - The vast majority of children are back to normal activities the following day and most are able to return to school 2-3 days after their surgery.
  • - Adults can return to office type work as soon as they feel able to do so, this is usually 1-2 weeks after their surgery. For those who work in dusty / dirty environments, a 2 week layoff would be more appropriate.
  • - We advise that all patients avoid swimming and contact sports for 3 weeks following most types of squint surgery.
  • - Care should be taken when showering / bathing in the first 2 weeks following surgery, as shampoo may irritate the eye.

Eye drops:

Eye drops (usually a combination of an antibiotic and anti-inflammatory medication) may be used for 1-2 weeks following surgery to reduce the risk of inflammation and infection. The frequency and duration of treatment will be dependent on the practice of the individual surgeon. Some surgeons do not prescribe any drops following surgery.