Explore the patient experience here at SVA under our “What to Expect” column. You can also fill out patient and medical record release forms from home!
What To Expect
We are committed to making patients feel comfortable and delivering you world-class care. This begins with you understanding what will happen during your visit to our office.
During your first visit, a staff member will take a medical history and your retina doctor will perform a complete examination of your eyes. In most cases, both eyes will be dilated, which might blur vision temporarily. Therefore, you should arrange post-appointment transportation prior to your visit.
For your initial appointment with Southern Vitreoretinal Specialists, please remember to bring these important items:
- Your referral from your primary care physician or referring doctor
- List of current medications and dosages, including any inhalers, atomizers, or vitamins/supplements
- Your best glasses
- Your insurance card
- Insurance information/identification card
- Photo identification
Your first visit will take at least two hours or more, depending on diagnostic testing and procedures indicated by your physician.
If your insurance company requires prior authorization, please bring your authorization form.
In some cases, your eye condition may require surgery. To ensure a successful experience, we recommend that you read and adhere to the following guidelines for your comfort and safety.
- Please report to the hospital at the assigned time.
- Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your surgery.
- Do take your morning medications with a sip of water.
- If you take insulin, take 1/2 of your normal dosage in the morning unless otherwise instructed by your medical or retina doctor. If you take blood thinners (aspirin, coumadin, ibuprofen, etc.), please consult with your medical or retina doctor prior to stopping them for the short term for surgery.
- Wear loose-fitting, short-sleeved clothing.
- Do not wear make-up or cold cream.
- You will be given relaxing medicine for your surgery.
- Your operative eye will be patched after surgery and the patch can be removed the following morning.
- You will need to arrange a driver for the day of and a day after your surgery.
- Please make an appointment with your general doctor to get a physical exam prior to your scheduled surgery. We may need to obtain blood tests and/or an EKG prior to surgery based on your doctor’s recommendation.
- You will receive post-operative instructions and will be prescribed eye drops for use the day after surgery. Please bring these medicines and the instruction sheet with you for every post-operative exam.
- Please call us if you develop a fever or red eye prior to your surgery. We may need to postpone surgery. Please call with any questions. We are happy to discuss them with you.
The period of time immediately following surgery is the most critical part of the healing process. As your eye heals, you may experience slight discomfort and even symptoms that may temporarily affect your vision.
Please be advised that there is no cause for concern. However, if you experience these symptoms for longer than expected, please call our office right away.
SYMPTOMS AFTER RETINAL SURGERY:
- Floaters are common after retinal surgery. Unless there is a drastic change in floaters, they are of no concern.
- Flashing lights are common after retinal detachment surgery. New flashing lights after vitrectomy warrants a call to the doctor.
- Pain varies from mild to moderate and will most likely be relieved with Tylenol. Severe pain or pain worsening several days after surgery should prompt a call to the doctor.
- Gas inside the eye is seen as a line going across the vision which my shimmer or appear to be black or silver. As the gas is absorbed, the line gets lower in your vision and finally disappears. Just before disappearing, the gas may break into several smaller bubbles.
Wear your glasses during the day. At night, wear a shield without the eye pad for one week after surgery. Wear sunglasses when it is windy or very sunny.
The eyelids may be cleaned with a clean, soft washcloth and warm water. Wipe gently from the inner corner to the outside of your eye. Do not rub. Use a separate washcloth for your face. Do not put water directly into the operative eye.
Avoid strenuous physical activities for the first week. Do not lift more than five to 10 pounds. Avoid stooping or bending from the waist (unless asked to position face down). Check with the doctor regarding your return to work. To drive safely, you need good vision in one eye and no double vision. You may watch television as tolerated.
If you have has a gas bubble injected into your eye, you may be asked to keep your head in a particular position. Your doctor will explain the correct position for you. Do not sleep on your back. Do not fly in an airplane until the bubble is gone.
EYE DROP INSTRUCTIONS:
- Wash your hands with soap and water.
- Tilt your head back and pull the lower lid down to form a pocket.
- Place drops or ointment within the pocket inside the lower lid. Only a single drop of solution or a small bead of ointment is required.
- Use a clean tissue to absorb excess (overflow only) of solution or ointment.
- Wait at least five minutes between each drop.
Please contact our office if you have any questions after your surgery.
Patients receiving intraocular or intravitreal injections as part of their treatment plan may experience acute symptoms in the days immediately following the injection.
Below are some guidelines for what to expect after your treatment and care instructions during the healing process.
- Immediately after your injection you will see floaters or black spots. This is the medication inside of the eye. If you received a steroid injection, it may take up to a week for the floaters to dissipate.
- Your vision may remain blurry for a few days.
- You may experience mild discomfort in your eye after the treatment. Keeping your eye closed or using artificial tears will help lessen any tearing or discomfort. Your eye should feel better within 24-48 hours after the procedure.
- Your eye may be red at the injection site or you may have a hemorrhage under the outer membrane of the eye (on the white part of the eye). This is common and not considered a complication. This may take a few days to go away.
- Do not wear eye make up, use contact lens or swim for 3 days.
- If the eye becomes light sensitive, painful or a drop in vision please call our office immediately.
- DO NOT RUB THE EYE!!!
If you experience abdominal pain associated with vomiting, abnormal bleeding, chest pain, severe headache, slurred speech, or weakness on one side of the body go to the Emergency Room or call 911. Please inform the ER physician of the medicine that you have received. As soon as possible inform your ophthalmologists of these problems.
To request a prescription refill please call the Southern Vitreoretinal Associates office location where you have received care Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Phone number are listed on the included insert. You will be forwarded to a voice message box where you may leave your name, date of birth, prescription request, pharmacy name and phone number, and your phone number. We make every attempt to have all prescription refills sent to your pharmacy the same day you contact us.
Patient Financial Policy
Acknowledgement of Receipt of Privacy Practices
Notice of Privacy Practices
Request for Medical Records Release
There are two methods to receive your medical records:
- To receive 24 hour access to your medical records, enroll in our Patient Portal free of charge. Please contact our office to receive your enrollment token.
- To receive a copy of your medical records, please download and complete this form in its entirety and mail to: 2439 Care Drive
Tallahassee, FL 32308. Please allow up to 10 business days to process your request. For urgent request, please call our office at (850) 942-6700. You may also email a copy of your completed request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We Accept Most Insurance
It is important to understand the health care and needs of your eyes. We also know that it is important to understand any fees associated with obtaining the care that you need. We accept most insurance policies, including the following:
However, you should verify with your insurance company that we are a participating provider. Some insurance companies do require authorizations for each visit. These must be obtained by the patient prior to the appointment.
Please make note that Southern Vitreoretinal Associates, PL may not participate with every plan under specific insurances
SOUTHERN VITREORETINAL ASSOCIATES
The Most Advanced Retina Care
Delivering the highest-quality retina care by providing our patients access to the best and newest retina treatments available, along with the quality of care that we would want for our family members.