The Eye Center

The Eye Center

The Eye Center offers four surgical suites fully equipped and staffed to assist your physician in most common surgical eye procedures.

Pre-Registration and Your Costs
Preparing for Your Surgery
A Message About Anesthesia
Eye Center

About The Eye Center 

The Eye Center, located in the east wing of The Surgery Center of Huntsville, is a state-of-the-art facility designed to promote excellence in patient care and outpatient surgery. Eye surgery is more common than you might think. More than 60 percent of men and women over the age of 65 have cataracts, and more than 2.2 million American’s over the age of 40 have a very common form of glaucoma. The good news is that modern technology has made surgical correction of the most common eye conditions relatively simple and painless. We offer four surgical suites fully equipped and staffed to assist your physician in most common surgical eye procedures including no-shot/no-stitch cataract removal, retinal detachment surgery, glaucoma pressure relief, and corneal transplant.

We have other state-of-the-art facilities, in addition to The Eye Center, at The Surgery Center. We have sixteen general operating rooms, a Breast Center procedure suite, four Endoscopy Center colonoscopy special procedure rooms and a Pain Management procedure suite. There are also two spacious waiting rooms for family and friends and an Extended Care Center for those patients who need up to 23-hours to stabilize before going home. Our staff and facilities were designed with your complete care and comfort in mind.

About Eye Surgery

Your physician has explained that you require eye surgery to correct a problem with your vision, one that if left untreated could severely impact your vision or potentially lead to blindness. It should comfort you to know that cataract surgery is now the most frequently performed surgical procedure in the United States. Cataract surgery is done through a very small incision. Even though local anesthetic agents are used to numb the eye surface and minimize your discomfort, it is possible you might experience a slight stinging sensation. However, most patients report that the procedure is painless.

Whatever eye procedure you are having performed, cataract removal, one to relieve pressure from glaucoma, a lens replacement surgery, or a procedure to correct retinal detachment, your physician will provide you with as much detail about the procedure as you will need. If you have any questions about what will be done or how you will feel after the surgery, review them with your physician prior to the procedure. It is often helpful to make a list of questions and schedule an appointment with your physician to address them all well in advance of surgery.

When your procedure is completed at The Eye Center, your physician’s assistant or a staff nurse will give you full discharge instructions, but be prepared that you may experience some blurred vision or irritation from several hours to a few days after the procedure. Generally, normal activities such as work may be resumed the next day, driving in 24-hours.

About Your Eye Surgery

Once you have checked in and completed any financial paper work, one of our registered nurses will escort you to a procedure room and prepare you for your surgery. You can expect the following things to happen:

  • We will review your medical history.
  • We will give you instructions about your surgery.
  • We will ask you to sign your Operative Permit.

We do everything we can to get you in and out as fast as possible, but once you are in our care, you will be there for the full amount of time required to ensure an excellent outcome.

Keep in mind that it is your doctor who sets your appointment time and that you may have a longer than expected wait before your surgery. It is not possible to predict exactly how long a procedure will take and patient care remains our first priority. Please remember that you will be given that same consideration.

Once you are prepared and we are ready to begin your procedure, you will be moved into one of our specialized eye surgery suites. These rooms are designed for ease of use by the medical team. You may find them to be cool. Each suite is temperature controlled to establish ideal conditions for surgical procedures.

We will respect your dignity as we work to ensure that your eye surgery is conducted promptly, accurately and safely. When the procedure is complete, you will be moved into a post-op area. An attending nurse will monitor you until your vital signs are stable and your doctor says you are ready to leave.

Your family should be available for the Post-Op conference.

The Surgery Center, to update your family. It is your family's responsibility to be available for this conference.

Following Your Eye Surgery

Remember that you have had a surgical procedure and follow your discharge orders faithfully. Be sure to follow any specific instructions given to you by your physician, as well as the following general guidelines, upon your release from The Eye Center:

  • You must have someone drive you home from The Eye Center.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise or activities for at least 24 hours after your procedure.
  • If you are experiencing discomfort, take Tylenol, Aleve or ibuprofen as directed, or whatever your physician has prescribed for pain.
  • Do not take aspirin for 48-hours following your procedure to minimize the risk of bleeding.
  • If you have excessive pain, bleeding or fever, contact your physician immediately.
  • Be sure to keep your follow-up appointment with your physician the next day.

Remember, it is very likely that you will have additional questions once you get home. Feel free to call your physician’s office or have your questions ready for your follow-up appointment the next day. If you have any questions after you have left The Eye Center, you must call your physician for answers. If you have any serious complications, call 911 or go to the emergency room at the hospital of your choice immediately. Do not call or return to The Surgery Center because we do not have staff physicians, nor are we equipped to provide additional treatment or medical care.

To ensure that your day at The Eye Center is all about you and your care, you should pre-register for your procedure by calling us at 256-533-4888. In addition to reserving your treatment room, we can take care of the financial arrangements prior to your arrival. Our fees will include the costs of preparing for the surgery, the procedure suite, all supplies and equipment, and nursing and staff care.

UPON your arrival, you will be asked to present your insurance card and a photo ID. We will file your insurance, but if we have not received payment within 45 days, you will be responsible for the balance. If you are a MEDICAID patient, you will be asked to present a current, valid MEDICAID card.

IF YOU plan to pay cash, or are uninsured, you will be asked to make payment prior to the date of your surgery. If necessary, we can work with you, but arrangements must be made in advance. Prior to admittance, you will be asked to pay the following:

  • Your co-pay
  • Any remaining deductible
  • Any costs your insurance will not cover

IN ADDITION, you may be billed following your surgery for any unplanned product or service deemed medically necessary by your physician. You may receive separate bills from other doctors and service providers based upon the care and treatment you have received. These billers may include the following:

  • Your physician
  • Any laboratory services, including blood work
  • Other professional or service fees based upon your treatment and care

Your physician will have given you instructions on what you need to do to prepare for your surgery, including specific instructions on what you may eat or drink prior to your surgery. In addition, you should do the following prior to your arrival at The Eye Center:

BE SURE to call us at 256-533-4888 to pre-register for your procedure and make financial arrangements.

ENSURE that you have an escort to take you to and from The Eye Center. You will not be able to drive yourself home. This person will need to remain at The Eye Center during your procedure.

You Must Have an Escort.
You will not be able to drive yourself home following your surgery.

MAKE sure you have a list of phone numbers for your important contacts.

DOUBLE check to be sure you have your insurance card and driver’s license or other photo ID.

IF YOU take any herbal supplements, stop taking them at least a week prior to your procedure. This includes doctor recommended supplements, as well as the ones you may be taking on your own.

Do Not Eat, Drink or Smoke after 11:00pm the evening before your procedure.

LEAVE all your valuables at home, including your watch and any rings or earrings, including wedding or commitment rings.

DRESS comfortably and casually in loose clothing and comfortable shoes that you can slip onto your feet. Many people complain of being cold.

DOUBLE check your arrival time. It is critical that you arrive on time because you must complete your admission paperwork, get some medical testing done, give your medical history and prepare for your surgery.

Bring Your Insurance Card and Photo ID.

ROUTINE oral medications should be taken according to your doctor’s instructions.

IF YOU take insulin, aspirin, Coumadin® or other blood thinners, or any appetite suppressants, you need to make certain that your surgeon is aware of them. You may need to follow special instructions prior to your surgery if you take any one of these medications.

IF YOU are pregnant or think you might be pregnant, notify your physician and The Eye Center immediately. Anesthesia and other medications may be harmful to a developing fetus. As part of routine pre-surgical testing all women will be asked to give a urine sample for a pregnancy test unless they are surgically- or 5-years-post menopausal.

IF YOU have any changes in your health, report them to your surgeon. Even minor changes such as a scratchy throat, cough, cold or fever could be important information to share.

If for any reason you cannot keep your appointment, please notify us as far in advance as possible by calling 256-533-4888.

Your anesthesia team will include both a board certified Anesthesiologist and a board certified Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) or Anesthesia Assistant (AA). Each one is extensively trained to provide you with the safest anesthesia possible. Our pre-operative exam and questionnaire are designed to help us plan for the safest and most effective anesthesia we can provide. You will have the opportunity to speak with your anesthesia team before your surgery.

Anesthesia is a safe and predictable procedure but, like all medical procedures, it has certain risks that are affected by each patient’s health. Aside from these known factors, there are situations that may not present themselves until the patient has received anesthesia. It is very important that you be aware of the following risks before you undergo any form of anesthesia. This list is not comprehensive, but does outline the most common problems.

EATING or drinking (including gum or mints) after 11:00pm the day before your surgery can cause major complications and may result in the cancellation of your procedure.

YOUR body’s response to medicines given, either during anesthesia or for pain management after, can lead to difficulties and may provoke allergic reactions or lead to medical problems with your heart, lungs or kidneys.

IT IS important to notify your anesthesiologist of any crowns, bridges, dentures or other dental appliances. You will be asked to remove any temporary dental work before going into the operating room, in order to help avoid any damage to dental appliances.

AFTER your surgery, there may be some tenderness to your tongue or lips, you may experience a sore throat and there is a possibility of injury to vocal cords that can lead to difficulty swallowing or breathing.

Please Remember....

Call 256-533-4888 to Pre-register.

Make Sure You Have an Escort.

Do Not Eat or Drink Anything After 11:00PM the Evening Before.

Bring Your Insurance Card and Photo ID.

Inform Your Anesthesiologist About Any Dental Appliances.

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