If you’re considering getting
LASIK eye surgery to improve your vision, you may wonder how to best prepare for the procedure.
While the most important step is to find an experienced and reputable
LASIK eye surgeon, the following checklist will help ensure you end up
with healthy eyes and optimum vision after your LASIK procedure.
10-Step LASIK Checklist
Step 1: Before scheduling surgery: Get a comprehensive eye exam.
In order to be cleared for LASIK, your eye doctor will perform a complete
eye exam to make sure your eyes are healthy and you are a good candidate
for LASIK. During your pre-LASIK eye exam, the eye doctor will evaluate
your eyes from front to back to make sure the eyes and corneas are healthy
and suitable for surgery.
According to Key Whitman Eye Center’s
President and Chief Surgeon Jeffrey Whitman, if your eye doctor uncovers any issues during the exam, you may still
As he explains, “We may need to treat some issues, like
dry eye symptoms, prior to surgery. Other conditions may preclude a patient from having
LASIK. If the patient isn’t a good candidate for LASIK, we can discuss
other surgical options – PRK, EBK, implantable contact lenses (ICLs)
and others – that may be a better fit.”
Step 2: Three days to four weeks prior to your eye exam and surgery: Stop
wearing contact lenses.
Contacts alter the shape of the eyes and hydration level in the cornea.
In order to ensure an
optimum outcome following LASIK, the exam and procedure need to be performed after your eyes return to
their natural shape. If you wear soft lenses, stop wearing them three
days prior the exam and surgery. People who wear gas permeable or hard
lenses should stop wearing lenses a minimum of three weeks prior.
Step 3: Anytime prior to surgery: Arrange for a ride home from the surgery center.
Since you will probably be given light sedation prior to LASIK, you can
expect to feel drowsy afterwards, which means you will be unable to drive
safely. Blurriness following surgery may also occur, which can also impede
your ability to drive a car.
Step 4: One day prior: Stop using lotions, oils, serums, cosmetics and
Residue from these products can increase your risk for post-surgery infection,
so abstain from using them 24 hours prior to surgery. You can wash your
face the day of the procedure, just be sure to use a mild, fragrance-free cleanser.
Step 5: Day of surgery: Put your worries to rest, LASIK is pain-free and fast.
Before the procedure, you will receive a numbing anesthetic in the eye
and a mild sedative to help you feel comfortable during the surgery and
to help you sleep when you get home. Your eye surgeon will also let you
know what to expect during the procedure, which only takes an average
of 15 minutes to perform.
As Dr. Whitman explains, “One of our main goals prior to surgery
is to put the patient’s mind at ease. Our eye surgeons explain what
will happen during the procedure and reassure the patient that they won’t
feel any pain and have nothing to fear. I can’t tell you how many
times patients have told me, ‘If I knew it was this easy, I would
have had LASIK years ago.’”
Buyer Beware: Learn why price shouldn’t be your first consideration when shopping for LASIK
in this past post.
Step 6: Immediate hours following surgery: Protect eyes and plan to rest.
Before leaving the surgery center, you will receive protective goggles
to wear home and until your post-operative exam in the morning. It’s
also important to rest and relax once you return home, in order to promote healing.
Step 7: The day after surgery: See your eye doctor for a post-operative exam
After a night’s rest, your eye doctor will examine you to make sure
your eyes are healing properly. He or she can address any additional questions
you have regarding the LASIK procedure and what you can expect in the
“Most patients are amazed by how well they can see right after surgery.
However, it’s completely normal to experience hazy or blurry vision
the next day. Patients should expect to notice improved vision in the
days immediately following the procedure. If you have any concerns about
your vision, contact your eye doctor right away,” Dr. Whitman says.
Step 8: In the days and weeks following surgery: Use prescribed eye drops
according to doctor’s instructions.
Following your LASIK procedure, your doctor will prescribe eye drops to
help prevent infection and inflammation and to keep eyes moist. Most patients
experience dryness of the eyes – whether they feel it or not –
until the LASIK flap has completely healed. Continue using eye drops as
recommended by your eye doctor.
Step 9: At regular intervals following surgery: Visit your eye doctor for
In order to ensure you experience optimum vision and your eyes heal properly,
your eye doctor will usually want to see you in one week and at one month
following your LASIK procedure. He or she will instruct you when to schedule
your next appointment, based on your individual needs.
Step 10: For four weeks following surgery: Avoid contact sports and roughhousing.
Your eyes and the LASIK flap need time to heal. Don’t jeopardize
your excellent post-LASIK vision by playing sports or taking part in activities
where you are at increased risk for receiving a blow to the eye. Be sure
to wear protective eyewear when participating in sports and other activities
where you could receive a blow to the eye and be sure to wear good sunglasses
that will protect your eyes from the dangerous effects of the sun.
Want to find out if you’re a good candidate for LASIK or other eye
procedures to improve your vision? Give us a call
(972) 905-9128. If you prefer to connect with us online, please fill out the
handy online appointment form here.
ABOUT DR. WHITMAN
Jeffrey Whitman, M.D., is a nationally renowned eye surgeon, board certified
by the American Board of Ophthalmology. He has been the President and
Chief Surgeon of Key-Whitman Eye Centers in Dallas since 1996 and is currently
President of the Outpatient Ophthalmic Surgery Society. Dr. Whitman is
a frequent participant in clinical trials and is known as a respected
researcher, innovator and leader in refractive cataract surgery, LASIK
eye surgery and for his extensive experience implanting high-technology
lenses. He is frequently called upon to serve on the boards of local and
national medical associations and organizations. Dr. Whitman and his wife
reside in Dallas and enjoy fitness, playing tennis, snow skiing and traveling.
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