How long will my appointment take?

The initial appointment may take up to 2-3 hours. This includes taking your history, dilation and diagnostic testing. Return visits are quicker, however, if your eyes are dilated the appointment may take up to an hour.

Will my eyes be dilated?

Your doctor will determine whether or not your eyes need to be dilated – this will allow them better view of your retina and optic nerve. Routine eye exams typically include eye dilation to allow the doctor to assess your overall eye health.

How long will my eyes be dilated?

While everyone reacts differently to dilation drops, the average length of time is 4-6 hours.

Do I need a driver?

You may want to consider a driver if you’re having an in office procedure such as laser treatments, gas bubble procedures or any surgery in the operating room at the hospital.

While most people are comfortable driving after dilation, if you have never had your eyes dilated before and are unsure if you feel safe to drive afterwards, we recommend that you arrange a driver to either come with you to your appointment or pick you up after the exam. If you do decide to drive yourself, we recommend bringing a pair of sunglasses to limit your sensitivity to bright light. If you do not have a pair, our office can provide you with disposable shades.

Where will I receive surgical treatments if needed?

If you require surgery, your doctor will determine if you will need a hospital or Carolina Retina Center office setting. Below is a list of common surgical procedures:

  • Vitrectomy
  • Laser Treatments
  • Scleral Buckle
  • Intravitrial Injections

For more information regarding retinal diseases, diagnosis and treatment, please visit the educational link below:


If your condition requires surgery in a hospital setting, our physicians will go over everything you need to know and what to expect during your visit, as well as, make all the necessary arrangements for your surgery. All of our physicians perform surgery at Palmetto Health Baptist in Columbia, SC and most procedures are same day out-patient surgery and usually without the need for sutures which allows for quicker healing.

Palmetto Health Baptist Columbia
Address: Taylor at Marion Street, Columbia, SC 29220
Phone: (803) 296-5010