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St. James Surgery Center


Patient Guide to Eye Surgery at St. James Surgery Center

In today’s day and age, eye surgery has become safe, comfortable and efficient. Through the use of the most modern techniques and equipment possible, your problem can be helped with little or no discomfort during or after your procedure. We know it’s comforting to be cared for by people you know and trust and, at St. James Surgery Center, you are being cared for by a family of experts.

We want you to have the best result possible. We will personally oversee the entire procedure. Because your comfort and vision are our top priorities, please tell us if there is anything we can do to make your visit more comfortable. We love to see happy patients, and we look forward to assisting you in every aspect of your total eye care. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

After Your Office Evaluation, What’s Next?

Food & Beverage

If you are having surgery in the morning you may have nothing to eat after midnight. You may have small sips of water and clear liquids like apple juice, cranberry juice, black tea or coffee – no cream or milk. Do NOT drink pulpy juices like orange juice or grapefruit juice.

If your surgery is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. or later you should have nothing to eat after 8:30 a.m. (you may have only dry toast or an English muffin before 8:30 a.m.) You may have clear liquids as noted above.


Even though we will check with your insurance company to determine if you need to have prior authorization, a second opinion, or whether you have any significant deductibles or co-payments to pay, ultimately you are responsible for any specific policies or penalties your insurance plan may have. You should double check with your insurance company to see if your plan has any conditions you need to know about regarding ambulatory surgery.


  • General Rule – You should take your medications as you normally do. If you are taking medications on a daily basis, continue to take them at your regular times.
  • Diabetes – If you have diabetes we would like you to maintain your regular schedule of eating, activity, and medication. Follow your regular diet and take your medication as usual.

Please be sure to inform our surgical coordinators of all medical conditions and medications you are taking.


We want you to be comfortable in the clothes you wear to the surgery center because you will be wearing them during the operation. Feel free to be as casual as you want. Please wear a loose-fitting upper garment with either short sleeves or sleeves which can be rolled up easily. We will need access to your upper arm for a blood pressure cuff. Please do not wear eye or facial make-up, earrings or nail polish.


You may not drive yourself home on the day of surgery. Please bring a responsible adult with you to drive you to and from your surgery appointment. You will be light sensitive and your vision may be blurry, making it unsafe for you to drive. You will also need a ride to your first follow-up appointment (the day after surgery). If you cannot find suitable transportation, please let us know and we will discuss our courtesy van service with you.

The Day of Surgery – What Can You Expect?

Arrival Time

Please come to our office at your scheduled time. This is your anticipated arrival time, not surgical time. If you are going to be late, please call the office and let us know so that the schedule can be adjusted to avoid delays for other patients having surgery that day.

Check-in and Consent Forms

Once you arrive at our facility, please check in with the receptionist. You will be asked to sign a couple of surgical consent forms. These forms permit us to do the operation. You will also be asked for your co-payment if you have one. We cannot proceed without it.

After all of your consent forms have been signed, you will be given several sets of eye drops. When your pupils have dilated sufficiently, you will be brought into our Surgical Preparation Area.

Pre-Operative Area

Our staff of highly trained nurses will bring you into the Pre-operative area. Here you will be comfortably seated while your blood pressure, pulse, and temperature are checked. The nurses will verify medical information contained within your surgical chart, and you may receive additional eye drops.

While comfortably waiting, you may see smiling patients returning from the operating room or having a snack before they leave.

Because the surgical team at the St. James Surgical Center is made up of highly trained specialists, there is no need to be nervous. However, if you feel edgy or anxious, please tell us and we’ll be happy to provide you with a sedative. We want you to be as comfortable as possible.

Operating Room

Once the surgeon is ready for you, you will be led into the operating room. Do not touch anything on your way in because everything there is sterile. You will see a lot of sophisticated equipment designed to make your operation safe, comfortable, and efficient.

A blood pressure cuff will be attached to your arm, and a cardiac monitor will be attached to your wrists. A sensor will be placed on your finger to enable us to measure the oxygen level in your blood.

Getting Started

The area around your eye will be washed with an antiseptic solution to sterilize the skin and surrounding tissue. Sterile drapes will cover your head and the area surrounding the eye. Your nose and mouth will not be covered. A special face guard will keep the drapes off of them so that you will be able to breathe comfortably.

Your surgeon will be using an operating microscope through which your eye will be magnified. You should remain quiet and as still as possible during the operation. Please follow any instructions the surgeon may as of you, such as “look at the light”.

Mission Accomplished

When your surgery is completed, all the drapes and monitoring equipment will be removed. You will be brought to the Post-Operative area where your pulse and blood pressure will be monitored.

Refreshments will be given while you are in post-op if you desire. Usually, within 10 to 15 minutes you will be led out of the Post-Operative area and released into the care of the responsible adult who accompanied you to your surgery, and who will drive you home. Again, if you are unable to find suitable transportation, please ask our Surgical Coordinators to schedule our courtesy van service.

After Surgery – What Can You Expect?

Post-Operative Care

Once your operation is completed you will need to carefully take care of your eye.

  • Do not rub your eye. It may be sensitive from the operation and may tear a bit. Instead of rubbing your eye, you may gently dry the tears using a clean tissue.
  • You may take Tylenol, Extra-Strength Tylenol, Advil, or some similar aspirin-free pain reliever if you have minor pain or discomfort. You should not, however, have any significant pain. If you do, please call the office immediately.
  • You may resume your normal routine immediately. There are no restrictions on your activities. You may bend, lift - play golf - whatever.
  • You may watch television or read.
  • You should continue taking all your regular medications.
  • You may be light sensitive whether you are inside or outside. We will provide you with sunglasses, which you can use if necessary.
  • You must use the eye drops, if needed, according to the provided schedule. Some patients are able to receive an injection during the operation, which places the required post-operative medication directly into the eye.

Post-Operative Visits

You will be scheduled to return to our office the first day following your surgery and then again 2 weeks after your surgery takes place. It is very important you keep these appointments so we can monitor the prognosis of your eye’s healing and your vision.

At your 2-week appointment, you will be evaluated to determine whether you need eyeglasses and to prescribe them if necessary. This appointment will be with your regular optometrist if you have one, or with one of our doctors if you are a patient with Koch Eye Associates.

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The Greater New Bedford Surgical and Laser Center

The Greater New Bedford Surgical and Laser Center was opened in 1986 with the express purpose of rendering high quality, state of the art eye surgery to patients of all ages, especially those with cataracts, glaucoma, or cornea disease. The Center is designed specifically with the needs of the patient in mind. The entire process from initial examination to final outcome is conducted in a pleasant comfortable environment.

After a patient decides to have surgery, he or she is assigned his or her own Surgical Counselor who is available to answer questions and provide assistance. These individuals are specially trained to assist the patient throughout the entire surgical experience, including follow up care for as long as necessary. Patients are encouraged to contact their counselor for any questions, no matter how simple or complex.