Scheduled for LASIK but not sure what to expect? It’s normal to be
nervous in the days leading up to any medical procedure, and
LASIK eye surgery is no different. Knowing
how to prepare for your surgery and what to expect during and after surgery may help
ease your mind.
How to prepare for LASIK
If you wear contact lenses, you will be advised to stop wearing them two
to four weeks prior to surgery (depending on the type of contact lenses
you wear). Why? Contacts alter the shape of your cornea, so you’ll
need to allow your eyes plenty of time to assume their natural shape prior
to surgery. If you don’t follow your eye doctor’s instructions,
it could affect the results of your laser eye surgery.
At least 24 hours before surgery, stop using any creams or lotions, makeup
and perfume. Lotions and cosmetic products on your face, specifically
around the eyes, can increase risk of infection from surgery. You will
need to be certain all eye makeup is thoroughly removed prior to the procedure.
Finally, arrange for transportation home from the doctor’s office.
Following surgery, your vision may be blurry, making it dangerous to drive.
You may also be drowsy from medication your eye doctor may give you to
relax during surgery.
What to expect during surgery
During LASIK, a flap in the cornea is created and gently lifted and folded
back. The laser reshapes the underlying corneal tissue by emitting a computer-controlled
beam of light that removes the exact amount of tissue in just a matter
of seconds. Following the reshaping of the tissue, the corneal flap is
put back into place. Due to the cornea’s extraordinary bonding qualities,
no stitches or patches are required.
Patients undergoing LASIK eye surgery will be given eye drops as a local
anesthetic. The procedure usually lasts no longer than 20 minutes.
Some LASIK patients are concerned the laser used may burn their eyes. Lasers
used in LASIK and other laser vision correction surgeries are considered
“cold” lasers and will not burn the surface of the eye.
What to expect after surgery
After surgery, your eye will be shielded with protective goggles. You will
rest your eyes overnight and return to see your doctor the following morning
and follow up at regular intervals in the months following surgery.
After undergoing LASIK eye surgery, your eyes will be dry, though they
may not feel like they are. Your doctor will prescribe eye drops to keep
your eyes moist and to prevent infection and inflammation. Vision may
be hazy or blurry for the first day, but most patients will notice improved
vision in the days immediately following surgery.
Vision correction surgery can be life changing, but it is not a decision to take lightly. Your vision
is essential to quality of life. While LASIK has been tested and performed
successfully millions of times over the past 15 years, it’s important
to have all your
questions about LASIK answered before you commit to going under the laser.
If you are considering laser eye surgery to correct your vision, contact
schedule a free consultation to find out if you are a candidate.