Hospital Stay


Prior to Admission

Surgical patients are scheduled for admission to the hospital following evaluation of their eye condition in the Outpatient Clinics.

Prior to surgery, a complete medical examination is conducted to determine the patient’s general health. It is important that all current medications and previous medical reports be brought to this examination.

The patient is admitted 1 to 2 days before the scheduled surgery. After the surgical procedure, the patient remains in the hospital for 2 or 3 additional days. Altogether, the hospital stay may last 5 to 7 days.

After Admission

Your room: On arrival at the inpatient unit, the nurse and the patient educator will orient you to your room and surroundings, and show you how to operate your bed controls and emergency call signals. Nursing staff are specially trained in ophthalmic medicine and are prepared to help you. Please make known any assistance needed during your hospital stay. If you are using a wheelchair, call your nurse for help when getting in and out of bed. Interpreters are available on every floor to assist in communication. A copy of patients’ rights and responsibilities is available on request.

Pre-surgery visit: After admission and before your surgery, your doctor will visit you and answer any questions you may have. An anesthesiologist will also visit you and explain his/her role in your care.

Special tests: Your nurse will inform you of any special tests that have been ordered for you by your doctor. These tests may be performed in your room or in another department in the hospital.

Day of Surgery

The nurse will instruct you to refrain from eating or drinking prior to surgery. On the day of surgery, preoperative medication will be given to you in your hospital room. At the appropriate time, you will be taken to the pre-surgical area, where you will be greeted by a nurse who will remain with you and explain what is happening to you at each step until you are taken into the operating room. After your surgery, you will be moved to the recovery room, where specially trained staff will take care of you until you return to your room.

Following Surgery

After surgery, a patch is placed on your operated eye. A sandy or stinging feeling in your operated eye is normal after eye surgery; however, you should feel little or no pain. If you experience pain, ask the nurses for medicine.

Progress reports: Your medical treatment will be directed by your ophthalmologist, who will keep you informed of your progress and will explain necessary procedures. Your physician will check the healing of your eye daily while you are in the hospital. Be sure to ask any questions you have during this visit. You may be asked to remain in the hospital for a longer period of time, depending on your recovery.

Discharge planning: When your doctor determines you are ready to go home and informs you of your hospital discharge date and time, you should begin making plans for your transportation home. You should plan to leave the hospital on your planned discharge date so that another patient awaiting a scheduled admission can be treated.

Tips for a Safe Recovery

  • Do not lie on your operated eye while you sleep.
  • Do not rub or press on your operated eye. If necessary, you may gently dab it with a clean tissue.
  • Use no medication in the eye, except what you are given by your doctor or nurse.
  • Precautions may need to be followed postoperatively regarding bending at the waist to avoid increased pressure in the eye. Follow your doctor’s instructions.

Additional Information

Patient support services: Patient educators make daily rounds in the inpatient units to inform patients about eye diseases, treatment, and prevention. Should you need additional information on these topics during your stay, please call extension 3751 or 3745.

The Social Services Department provides social, financial, and psychological assistance to hospitalized and follow-up patients receiving treatment at KKESH. Assistance is provided according to patient need.

                Sunday – Thursday       07:30 – 16:30 hours

Prayer Areas:

Ground Floor: in the patient waiting area adjacent to the pre-hospitalization area (men).

First Floor: Adjacent to the operating room entrance (separate areas for men and women). All other floors have prayer areas; please ask the staff for information.

Mosque: The KKESH mosque is located on the hospital grounds, a few minutes walk southeast of the main hospital building.

For Your Convenience

Telephones: A telephone is available at the bedside in each room.

Local Calls: Calls within Riyadh are free of charge, and may be made by lifting the telephone receiver and giving the hospital telephone operator the number you wish to contact.

Mail: Mail received while you are a patient will be brought to your room.

Television: Each room has a color television that can be controlled from the bedside console. Please ask for operating assistance if needed.


The Short Stay Unit (SSU) provides same-day surgical services.

Surgeries performed in SSU include radial keratotomy, cataract extraction, laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK), correction of strabismus, and lacrimal duct probing. Patients with chronic medical conditions, patients requiring special medications and monitoring, and patients requiring more complex surgeries must be admitted for inpatient surgery.

Evaluation in the Outpatient Clinics

Your ophthalmic condition will be evaluated in the Outpatient Clinics. Your doctor will advise you if your surgery will be performed in SSU or if inpatient hospitalization is required.

Pre surgery Medical Examination

Surgery in SSU will require a medical examination to determine your general health. From the Outpatient Clinics, you will be escorted to the pre-hospitalization area for this examination.

Educational Visit

You will then attend an education and instruction session in SSU. Nursing staff and interpreters will give you careful instructions on fasting time, arrival time on the day of surgery, preoperative medications, and what to expect on the day of surgery.

The education session will include an orientation to the surgery room. There are no beds in SSU, only comfortable reclining chairs for adults, and cribs or daybeds for children. After your orientation, you will be taken to the Admitting Department to obtain an appointment slip for the day of surgery.

Surgery Day

Please arrive in the Admitting Department at the appropriate time:                                   

                Morning surgery:   06:00 hours

         Afternoon surgery: 10:00 hours

On arrival, report to the Admitting Department and complete the admission process. Staff will then accompany you to SSU.

In SSU, the nurse will ask you questions and fill out an admission assessment. It is very important that the instructions given to you or your child during the education visit are followed, especially instructions concerning arrival time, fasting, and required assistance by an authorized companion. If these instructions have not been followed, the scheduled surgery may be cancelled.

You will change into a hospital gown, surgical head cover, and shoe covers. You may be given preoperative medication prior to your surgery to help you relax. Eye drops may be placed in your eyes.

Your doctor will discuss anesthesia with you. General anesthesia, which will put you to sleep, is used for some types of surgeries. Local anesthesia, an injection given near the eye that makes your eye completely numb, is used for others.

If you are given a local anesthetic, you will remain awake during your surgery. The surgeon will position your head during your operation and ask you not to move, except when instructed. You may relax, but you must be sure to lie quietly.

After the surgery is completed, you will be brought back to your room in SSU and rest in a reclining chair. Children will rest in a crib or daybed. You will be given something to eat and drink, and the nurse will take your blood pressure and pulse.

You should plan to spend all day at the hospital for your surgery in SSU. The surgery will take approximately 2 hours. Preparation prior to surgery will take approximately 1.5 hours. You will require about 1 hour to rest following surgery before you are ready to go home.


After about 1 hour, the nurse will bring your companion into SSU. The nurse and interpreter will give you instructions about your next appointment, discharge medications, and any other instructions the doctor has ordered. You may then go home with your companion. You will not be allowed to drive.


You will be wearing an eye patch and shield when you come back from surgery. Do not remove them. Your doctor will remove them on the day after surgery. A stinging sensation in the operated eye is normal after surgery. You can expect some blurring of vision, but should feel little or no pain.

  • Do not lie on your operated eye while you sleep.
  • You may bathe, but water should not be allowed to come in contact with the operated eye, which should remain covered by the patch or shield.
  • Do not rub or press on your operated eye. If necessary, you may gently dab it with a clean tissue.
  • Use no medication in the eye, except what you are given by your doctor or nurse.
  • Do not bend your head down or lift heavy weights as this might create pressure and harm your eye.
  • Precautions may need to be followed postoperatively regarding bending at the waist to avoid increased pressure in the eye. Follow your doctor’s instructions.

Plan to take things easy for several weeks following surgery. Thereafter, you may resume most activities. If you have any concerns or questions after you leave SSU, you may call our emergency room at 482-1234, extension 2798, or come to the hospital. If any abnormal signs (e.g. swelling, redness, or discharge) are noted in your operated eye, you should come directly to the emergency room.