Post Operative Socket Care


Although the time may vary, most ophthalmologists have their patients fitted six to eight weeks after surgery. Generally, if too much time passes before the patient is fitted, the socket may begin to shrink and thus it becomes more difficult to achieve a satisfactory cosmetic and functional result. If too little time elapses, not enough healing has occurred to achieve a proper fit.

In most cases a conformer made of plastic or silicone is placed in the socket following surgery.  The conformer is placed to maintain orbit volume and to help form the cul-de-sacs (lid pockets) that will hold the eye in place. The conformer should be left in at all times so that socket volume is not lost while healing proceeds.

Do not rub your lids from the nose toward the side of your face, ( down and outward motion).  This may dislodge the conformer or the prosthesis, when you start wearing it. Always close your eye before you wipe, and do so toward the nose in a horizontal direction. 

If the conformer should slip out, wash it with soap and water, rinse well and reinsert. If you should happen to lose the conformer, it is important to get a replacement from your ocularist.

To insert the conformer or the prosthesis, after you wash your hands and rinse them well, lift the upper lid with the thumb or forefinger of one hand. Next, slide the conformer under the upper lid and, while holding it in place, pull down on the lower lid. This allows the conformer to slip into place in the socket. Click here on this link to see how an artificial eye is inserted.  The conformer should be handled the same way.

Your ocularist may have a care sheet with photos regarding the insertion and removal procedure. It is likely that you will continue to tear from the socket. At times, tears and secretions will build up behind the conformer and may release all at once. Do not be alarmed at this normal event. Simply wipe the lids toward the nose with a tissue or warm wash cloth to remove the secretions.

You can also use Johnson’s baby shampoo and Q-tips for cleaning dried secretions from the lid margins. This problem will usually lessen once the prosthetic eye is fit and total healing is completed. However, if any thick secretions or excessive tearing occur consult your ophthalmologist.

Make sure you continue to use any medications that your physician prescribes. Some conformers have holes in them to enable the antibiotic ointment or drops to get into the socket and the tears and secretions to drain out.

After a period of time following the surgery, it will not be medically necessary to wear an eye bandage. However, if you wish to keep the eye covered while it continues to heal, small flesh-colored eye patches called Opticlude made by 3M Company can be used. Opticlude patches are available over the counter at many pharmacies and are usually found in the bandage section.

Opticlude patches are less bulky and smaller than the medical bandage eye patches, contoured to the face and they stick on and peel off easily. They are available in both junior and adult sizes and because they’re thinner like a Band-Aid, glasses can easily be worn over them.  They are available at your drug store in the first-aid department.


Home Page