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Hello! Is there a certain timeframe to wait after a pt has cataract surgery prior to starting HBO?
Jun 28, 2022 by Missy Smith, BSN, RN, CHRN
2 replies
Eugene Worth
That’s a great question, and it is one that should be carefully approached. I’ve had cataract surgery and asked my ophthalmologist the same question. His response is basically:
1. I (the surgeon) would like to know in this situation. So, please give me a call and let’s discuss this.
2. Generally, 7 to 10 days, the corneal incision is healed and will not leak with a Valsalva. It’s about the time when the patient is allowed to shower without an eye guard and shampoo hair.

So, I think that the bottom line is dependent on when the surgeon declares it safe, but probably 7 to 10 days is a safe rule of thumb. I will look up the pertinent papers and update this if I find anything different.

gene worth, MD
Jun 28, 2022
Jeff Mize
The following question was posted on the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Societies website July 1, 2020. The response was by Dr. Frank Butler. Dr. Butler, is an ophthalmologist for the Naval Hospital, Pensacola, FL, is Chair, DoD Committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care, Joint Trauma System, Washington, DC. He also co-chairs the decompression sickness and arterial gas embolism treatment committee for the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society.
A patient that is likely going to start HBO2 soon, presented a model number of his intraocular lens implant (MI60L). While I think this is okay, I would like to check since he has the model number from Bausch & Lomb. How can I determine if this posterior chamber implant is compatible with HBO2 Therapy?
Most of the issues of eye surgery and immersed diving are largely irrelevant in the dry hyperbaric environment unless there are intraocular gas bubbles as mentioned below.
Air bubbles are sometimes present in the eye for a few days after cataract surgery and their absence should be specifically documented by the ophthalmologist prior to HBO2 if the HBO2 takes place shortly after cataract surgery.

There is no physiological reason that I am aware of that would mandate a waiting period for an HBO2 treatment after cataract surgery in the absence of an intraocular gas bubble.
I am unaware of any reports of negative effects of HBO2 on intraocular lens implants. I have also never heard of patients who have intraocular lens implants experiencing a myopic shift as a result of HBO2 treatments, as many patients with their natural lens still in place do.
As always, I would suggest that the patient discuss this information with the ophthalmologist responsible for their care. ~ Dr. Frank Butler

Jun 28, 2022
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