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Retinal detachment surgery is a procedure used to repair the retina and prevent permanent vision loss. Retinal detachment occurs when the retina separates from its normal position in the back of the eye. Without treatment, retinal detachment can lead to blindness. So it’s important to understand how painful retinal detachment surgery is and what steps you can take to manage any discomfort.

Understanding Retinal Detachment Surgery

Retinal detachment surgery involves making small incisions in the eye to allow the surgeon access to the detached retina. Once access is obtained, laser or freezing techniques may be used on the affected area of the retina so that it re-adheres properly with the surrounding tissue. Depending on how severe the detachment is, more than one operation may be needed to fully repair the retina.

Recovery from Retinal Detachment Surgery

Most people are able to return home within a day or two after retinal detachment surgery. Some may need to stay in the hospital for additional monitoring and care. Once at home, patients will likely experience some discomfort, such as soreness in the eye area, redness, burning sensations, and temporary vision loss. Pain relievers can help manage these symptoms.

Headache After Retinal Detachment Surgery

Some people report experiencing headaches following retinal detachment surgery due to the trauma of having a foreign object inserted into their eyes. This type of headache is called an intracranial pressure headache and can be managed with over-the-counter or prescription medications. It is important to consult with a doctor about the best course of action for managing these headaches.

Light Sensitivity After Retinal Detachment Surgery

After retinal detachment surgery, many people experience light sensitivity as the eye adjusts to its new environment. To help reduce this discomfort, it is important to wear dark sunglasses when in direct sunlight. It may also be necessary to take breaks from computer screens or other bright sources of light while recovering.


Retinal detachment surgery is an important procedure used to restore vision and prevent permanent blindness. While some discomfort during recovery is normal, there are measures that you can take to manage any pain or discomfort. It is important to talk to your doctor about any concerns or questions you may have regarding retinal detachment surgery.

Q: Is Retinal Detachment Surgery Painful?

Retinal detachment surgery itself is typically not painful, but some discomfort can be expected during the recovery process. Over-the-counter and prescription medications can help manage this discomfort.

Q: Will Retinal Detachment Surgery Cure My Vision Loss?

Retinal detachment surgery can prevent further vision loss and restore some lost vision depending on the severity of the detachment. However, it will not completely reverse any existing vision damage that has already occurred.

Q: Are There Any Risks Involved in Retinal Detachment Surgery?

Retinal detachment surgery is generally considered a safe procedure, but there may be some risks involved. These include infection, retinal re-detachment, scarring of the retina, and temporary or permanent vision loss. It is important to discuss potential risks with your doctor before undergoing any surgical procedure.