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If you experience any of the following problems call your surgeon (if after regular office hours, call physician locating at 416 603 5744 in order to reach the resident doctor in ophthalmology for urgent questions or problems), your family doctor or come to the Toronto Western Hospital emergency department. If you are from out of town, go to the nearest emergency department.

  • Increasing pain in the operated eye that does not go away after taking the pain medicine
  • Nausea (upset stomach) or vomiting that continues for more than 8 hours and does not go away after taking Gravol
  • Increasing redness in the operated eye
  • A fever (a temperature higher than 38 °C or 101 °F)
  • A gush of fluid from the operated eye
  • Vision loss or no vision in the operated eye
  • Green or yellow pus coming from your operated eye
How can I take care of myself when I go home?​


  • You can go back to eating and drinking what you normally would. Slowly start by having fluids and soups on the day of the surgery. Then return to your normal diet the next day.
  • If you are feeling nauseated (sick to your stomach) or vomiting, you can buy anti-nausea medicine from your local pharmacy without a prescription (such as Gravol, taken as a pill or rectally). Always follow the instructions on the package.
  • Keep drinking fluids until the nausea passes. Then gradually return to your normal diet.


  • If your surgeon has instructed you to lie flat, continue to lie flat for the rest of the day. You may get up to go to the bathroom, eat and to return to your follow-up appointment. Your surgeon will let you know how long you must stay in this position. The DSEK and DMEK procedures will usually require you to lay flat on your back for 24 hours.
  • If you do not have to lay flat, you can go back to your normal activities when you feel ready. It is safe to bend at the knees, read, watch TV, cough, sleep on any side, and go for walks.

Heavy Objects/Lifting/Exertion

  • Do not do anything that would strain or put pressure on your eye.
  • Do not do strenuous physical activities like swimming, gardening, shoveling snow, jogging, aerobics, or having sex for 1 month after your surgery. Your surgeon will let you know when it is safe to play sports again.
  • Do not lift anything heavier than 5 kilograms (10 lbs). For example, do not carry groceries, lift young children or pets.
  • Avoid straining when having a bowel movement.


  • If you have not taken your usual daily medicines, take them as soon as you get home.


  • DO NOT drive a car or operate a vehicle. Your surgeon will tell you when it is safe to drive again.


  • Your surgeon will tell you when you can go back to work.


  • You can take a shower or bath 24 hours after your surgery.
  • When you shower or wash your hair, keep your eye closed to keep water and soap out.

How do I take care of my eye?
  • Do not touch your eye patch or rub your eye. Do not let anything touch your eye. Your doctor will remove the patch at your next appointment.
  • It is normal for your eye to be red, blurred, uncomfortable, sensitive to light and teary after this surgery. These symptoms will get better over the next few days and weeks.
  • If you usually wear glasses, keep wearing them during the day. Wear sunglasses when you go outside.
  • Depending on the type of transplant, we may give you a plastic eye shield to protect your eye. Wear the shield when you go to bed at night until your surgeon tells you to stop. You might have to wear the shield for 1 to 6 months after the surgery.
  • Your eye will take some time to heal. Depending on the type of transplant, it can take 1 to 2 years for your eye to heal completely.
How do I wash my eye?

After your patch has been taken off:

  • Use a clean washcloth every time and warm tap water to wipe secretions or oozing from your lashes or from the corner of your eye.
  • Do not use any commercial eye washes to wash your eye.
How do I use my eye drops?
  • Do not start using the drops until your surgeon has taken off the eye patch. Once the patch has been taken off, follow the directions on the bottle for taking the drops.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water before putting drops in your eye.
  • If you have never used drops before, ask the nurse in the Day Surgery Unit for the pamphlet, “How to Give Eye Drops.”
  • Bring your eye medication with you to all of your appointments.
How do I cope with pain?

It is normal to have pain after this surgery. Your eye might ache and feel like there is something in it.

  • If we give you a prescription for pain medicine, take it to a pharmacy to have it filled and follow the directions for taking the medicine.


  • You can take Tylenol Extra Strength. Follow the instructions on the bottle.
  • Do not take Aspirin or products that contain ASA unless your surgeon has told you it’s OK. If you take Aspirin every day, ask the surgeon when to restart it.
What if I am constipated?

Pain medicine can make you constipated. To prevent being constipated:

  • Drink 3 to 5 glasses of water a day (each glass should be about 8 ounces).
  • Eat foods that are high in fibre such as bran, vegetables and fruit.
  • If you have not had a bowel movement for 72 hours, take a laxative like Milk of Magnesia and follow the instructions on the bottle. You can buy it from the pharmacy without a prescription.