Preparing for Your BARA Office Visit
Our practice is a specialty eye practice limited to treatment of diseases and surgery of the retina and vitreous. Patients that are new to our practice will have a comprehensive consultation as well as possible additional testing ordered by the doctor.
The length of your appointment can vary based on the severity and complexity of your eye condition. As we are a referral practice, with frequent and unpredictable emergencies sent to us for our immediate attention, our appointment schedule at times may be delayed. The average appointment length is about two hours.
Both of your eyes will be dilated and can affect your ability to drive. It is recommended that you arrange for transportation to and from our office.
Please bring to our office:
Your medical insurance cards.
Authorization from your primary care doctor or health insurance plan.
Your medications or a list of medications with dosages. Be sure to include any and all eye drops as well as non-prescription (over the counter) medications.
A translator if English is not your primary language.
Diabetic patients should consider bringing a meal or light snack if their appointment is in conflict with a regularly scheduled meal.
Eyeglasses for distance and near vision.
About your retinal surgery
Bay Area Retina Associates is a group of dedicated retinal surgeons with expertise spanning the full range of retinal surgical procedures. We operate in multiple facilities around the East Bay, all with the latest equipment and experienced staff assisting our surgeons. The vast majority of our surgeries are outpatient procedures under sedation with local anesthesia or in some cases general anesthesia. Our surgery coordinator and the rest of our team stand ready to assist you and answer any questions you may have before and after your surgery.
Before your surgery
Unless your surgery is a same-day emergency, we will ask you to see your primary care provider (PCP) to obtain medical clearance for anesthesia. In some cases, your PCP may defer to another specialist involved in your care (a cardiologist, for example) regarding clearance. Medical clearance is important because it helps ensure your safety while you undergo retinal surgery.
Remaining “NPO” before surgery
Please do not eat or drink anything the day of your surgery, other than a small sip of water with any medications you take by mouth. If you eat or drink within 8 hours of surgery, the anesthesiologist may cancel or delay your surgery.
In general, you should take your usual medications the morning before your surgery, with some exceptions. If you are diabetic, please consult your PCP or endocrinologist about which medications to take that morning and which medications to avoid, since taking your regular diabetes medications without eating could cause your blood sugar to drop. If you take aspirin or blood thinners (Plavix, Eliquis, etc) please talk with your BARA retinal surgeon about whether stopping these medications would be beneficial, and please talk with your PCP about whether you can safely stop these medications prior to surgery.
In some cases, prolonged face down positioning is recommended after surgery. Face-down equipment is available to rent and our surgery coordinator can provide you with more information. When face-down positioning is needed only for a few days, rental equipment is often not necessary.
The day of surgery:
You will not be allowed to drive yourself home after surgery, even if you remain awake during surgery. Make sure to arrange a ride for the day of surgery. Remember to arrive at the hospital or surgery center at the time given by the surgery
coordinator, usually at least one and a half hours before the scheduled surgery time.
Immediately after surgery, your eye will be covered with a patch and shield. Please leave the patch and shield in place until our staff members can remove it at your post-operative visit the day after surgery in the office. You will not need to use any eye drops after surgery until the day 1 post-operative visit. Please remember to bring any eye drops with you to the day 1 visit, including any drops given to you at the hospital or surgery center or drops that you were instructed to pick up at the pharmacy. Remember to arrange a ride for your day 1 visit as well. If you have pain after surgery, take extra strength Tylenol as needed. Narcotics are generally not required after retinal surgery. If you have pain control problems, please let your BARA surgeon know.
Specific positioning of the head or eyes may be required after surgery. Your BARA surgeon will provide instructions on any positioning that is needed. In general, you should avoid laying flat on your back if you have a gas or oil bubble in your eye.
Caring for the eye
Avoid exposure of the surgery eye to water from the sink or shower for 7 days after surgery, since this water is not sterile and could introduce an infection. Keep the eye physically protected at all times for 7 days after surgery. This means taping a hard shield over the surgery eye at night. During the day you may tape the hard shield over the eye or you may wear sunglasses or any other pair of glasses.
Please remember to bring your eye drops to all of your post-operative appointments so that your BARA doctor can provide clear instructions and avoid confusion. If you run out of any postoperative drops, please let your BARA doctor know. Some drops cannot be stopped suddenly, and our office can provide refills.
Click on your surgery location below for a printable handout with the address and map.