Day surgery: Eye surgery - discharge care

  • For children going home after having eye surgery as a day procedure. 

    Eating and drinking

    • After the anaesthetic, your child can start eating a light diet such as sandwiches, pasta, soup or jelly. Avoid fatty or junk food.
    • For babies: breastfeed or give formula feeds as usual.

    Nausea and vomiting

    • Do not worry if your child feels sick or vomits once or twice after leaving hospital.
    • If they vomit or feel sick, stop giving food for about one hour. Then try a light diet if your child can manage it without feeling ill.
    • If your child keeps vomiting, please call your child's surgeon (number at the end of this page) or your nearest hospital emergency department.

    Wound care

    • A small amount of discharge from the eye is common for a few days.
    • You can clean this with saline water (sterile salt water) or with clean water and a clean face washer or cloth.
    • The eyes may look red for about two to four weeks.
    • Sunglasses may help if your child is feeling sensitive to light.
    • Remember to use eye medication as directed if it is prescribed.
    • Your child's tears may be blood-stained red for the first few days. Don't be alarmed by this as it is quite normal.


    • Your child can return to their normal activity when they're ready.

    For squint surgery:

    • Your child needs to rest at home for two to three days. They can return to their normal activities slowly.
    • Your child should not take part in any contact or competitive team sports for at least one week after the operation.
    • Your child should not go swimming for two weeks.

    Pain relief

    • Paracetamol can be given at home every four to six hours for one to two days if needed. Read the packaging for the correct dose for your child according to their age. Ask for help if you are unsure.Do not give any medicine with paracetamol in it more than four times in 24 hours.
    • For more severe pain call your child's surgeon or see your family doctor.


    • Please arrange a follow-up appointment as discussed with your child's surgeon. Otherwise, an outpatient appointment notice will be posted to you in the week after your child's operation.
    • Contact your child's eye surgeon if you have any questions or concerns about their care at home. See contact details below.

    Contact details

    • The name of your child's eye surgeon is:

    • The Royal Children's Hospital
      T: (03) 9345 5522 (24hrs)
      Ask switchboard to page the on-call opthamology registrar if you are concerned about your child.

    • Surgery Centre
      Monday to Friday 7:00am - 7:00pm
      T: (03) 9345 6570

    Reviewed January 2023.

      Factsheet developed by the RCH Surgery Centre.


    This information is intended to support, not replace, discussion with your doctor or healthcare professionals. The authors of these consumer health information handouts have made a considerable effort to ensure the information is accurate, up to date and easy to understand. The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies, information perceived as misleading, or the success of any treatment regimen detailed in these handouts. Information contained in the handouts is updated regularly and therefore you should always check you are referring to the most recent version of the handout. The onus is on you, the user, to ensure that you have downloaded the most up-to-date version of a consumer health information handout.