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Care at Home After Eye Removal Surgery

Eye removal surgery will be difficult for you and your child.

After eye removal surgery, your child will come home with bandages over their affected eye. The eyelid will likely be sewn shut.

The doctor will place a clear device called a conformer in the socket during surgery. It helps the eye socket keep its normal size and shape after the eye is removed.

Medicines your child may take at home

The nurses in recovery will let you know when to start giving your child these medicines.

Anti-nausea medicine

Your child’s care team will give you medicine to take home to help with nausea after surgery.

  • It might be called Zofran®.
  • This medicine helps with nausea and vomiting caused by anesthesia or pain medicines.
  • Give your child this medicine on schedule for at least 24 hours after surgery.
  • You can give fewer doses after 24 hours if your child is not nauseated.


Your child’s care team will also give you antibiotics to take home. These medicines help prevent infections.

  • Names for this medicine might be Augmentin® or Cleocin ®. But it could be called something else.
  • You will likely give this to your child 2 times a day for 10 days (about 1 and a half weeks) after surgery.

Eye ointment

Your child may be sent home with Neomycin/polymyxin B/dexamethaxone eye ointment.

  • This ointment may be called Maxitrol®.
  • The ointment decreases swelling and redness and prevents infection.
  • Put this on the eye removal area 2 times a day after the bandage comes off.
  • Use it until the stitches are out and your child has an artificial eye.
visually impaired teen boy

Make sure to follow your care team's directions in caring for your child after eye removal surgery.

Removing bandages at home

Your child will have a pressure bandage on the eye that had surgery.

  • Keep the bandage on overnight.
  • You can remove it within 24 hours after surgery.

You might notice:

  • Some bruising and swelling are normal after surgery. It gets better with time.
  • Some blood and wetness on the bandage. Call your child’s care team if you are worried about the amount of blood.

Try to keep your child from taking the bandage off. Sometimes children take it off before the doctor wants it off.

Do not put it back on. Call your child’s care team instead. 

Using eye ointment

Use eye ointment as prescribed. You will start using it when your child’s bandage comes off.

  • Put the ointment along the eyelashes if the eyelid is sewn shut.
  • Your child’s body heat will melt the ointment into the eye.
  • Your child can get the stitches out at their appointment in 6 to 8 weeks (about 2 months).
  • Put the ointment into the socket (opening) 2 times a day after your child’s eyelid opens.
  • Do this until your child is fitted with an artificial eye. 

Caring for your child’s conformer (eye device)

Do not panic if the conformer comes out of the socket. Follow these steps below to put it back.

  • Clean the conformer with mild soap.
  • Put eye ointment on the top part of the conformer.
  • Lift the upper eyelid and put the conformer under it.
  • Pull the lower eyelid out and the conformer will go into place.

Putting the conformer in the socket is hardest the first time. You will get more comfortable doing it after that.

Do not leave the conformer out for more than 1 day. Call your child’s care team if you cannot get it back in.

Cleaning your child’s eye area

It is normal for some liquid to come from your child’s eye socket after surgery. It might include:

  • Normal tears
  • Thin, watery fluid from surgery
  • Slightly blood fluid

Keep the area around your child’s eyelids clean and dry. Tears can irritate the skin.

  • Use a clean, warm washcloth to wipe the area.
  • Do not rub or scrub hard.
  • Pat the area gently.

Call your child’s care team right away if you notice:

  • A fever higher than 101° F
  • More redness or swelling in the surgery area
  • More pain in the surgery area
  • Pus coming from the eye

Do not forget your child’s glasses

Your child will get a prescription for new glasses. These glasses might be designed to correct your child’s vision. Or they might not.

The lenses must be made of a sturdy material called polycarbonate. Your child needs these lenses to protect the remaining eye. 

Your child should wear glasses all the time while awake. There are no exceptions.

The glasses should not break with normal use. They can break with abuse like playing with them or trying to break them on purpose.

eyeball with shadow on white background

After eye removal, your child may get an artificial eye.

Getting your child’s artificial eye

Your child’s care team will help you make an appointment to get an artificial eye made. It will be 6-8 weeks (about 2 months) after surgery.

Helping your child cope with eye removal surgery

Your attitude toward your child during this time affects how they react to the loss of an eye. Body image changes affect everyone differently depending on factors like on age, race, and sex.

Acknowledging body image changes is important. Help your child deal with and talk about these complicated emotions. Ask for help if you need it. Your child’s care team is a valuable resource as you and your child adjust to life after eye removal surgery.

Call your child’s care team at any time if you have problems or questions. They are ready to help.

Key Points

  • Home care after enucleation (eye removal) surgery is vital to a successful recovery.
  • Follow instructions from your care team exactly.
  • Give your child the medicines and ointments they need on time.
  • Call your child’s care team if there are signs of infection. These can include fever, swelling, redness, and pus. Your child will be fitted for an artificial eye 6 to 8 weeks (about 2 months) after surgery.

Reviewed: April 2022