Deciding to have LASIK surgery is an important decision. Once you have your procedure, it may very well be one of the best things you do for yourself. However, as with any type of surgery, there are things you should be aware of and keep in mind when you sign up for the procedure.
Here is an overview of what you can expect before, during, and after the surgery.
The first step is to have a consultation at your LASIK treatment center to see if you’re a good candidate for the surgery. If you have trouble seeing at a distance or you have astigmatism, you are likely to be a good candidate for LASIK vision correction surgery.
In order to take the most accurate measurements of your eyes, you will be asked to take out your contact lenses before your exam. If you wear soft lenses, stop wearing them for three days before your appointment. For hard lenses you will need to leave them out for a minimum of three weeks.
The surgeon will give you a thorough eye exam and ask you about current medications, as well as any eye conditions you are currently experiencing or have had in the past. If you have any questions for the surgeon, be sure to bring them with you. The answers will help you understand the benefits as well as the risks that go along with having surgery.
Finally, on the day of surgery, please refrain from wearing any makeup and avoid using any products with fragrance. Dress comfortably and in layers. Be sure to have someone bring you to the LASIK center as you will not be able to drive immediately following the procedure.
Although the procedure will only take a few minutes you will need to make arrangements to stay for an hour to an hour and a half. The surgery preparation will begin with taking a sedative and several rounds of medications which will numb your eyes. These medications typically take about 20 minutes to have their full effect, after which time you will be taken to the laser suite.
Your surgeon will use specialized materials to keep your eye open during the duration of the surgery. As the procedure begins, you will be asked to fixate on a light as the laser is guided by your surgeon to treat the cornea by removing the predetermined amount of tissue. It is the precise removal of this tissue that ultimately reshapes the cornea and corrects your vision. While many LASIK practices focus on quantity and have multiple patients in the operating room at the same time, the best LASIK doctors are committed to only treating one patient at a time within a private suite. In the most patient-oriented practices your surgeon will also invite you to have a friend or family member to watch the procedure.
Once the doctor completes the surgery, goggles will be placed over your eyes. These will protect your eyes from accidental poking, rubbing or any other irritation on the day of your surgery.
Following the procedure your surgeon will recommend that you return home to sleep for a few hours. This ensures that the healing process begins as the cut flap re-connects to the tissue surrounding it. As you recover, here are some additional things to remember:
- DO NOT RUB YOUR EYES! Some of the most common sensations reported after LASIK surgery include discomfort, mild pain, tearing, feeling like there is something in the eye. These things are all normal. Resist the temptation to rub your eye, as this may cause the flap to move out of place and may require more surgery.
- Go to your follow up visit the next morning. Your doctor will need to check your eyes.
- Minimize makeup for a week. This means no eye makeup for several days after surgery. After several days, you may begin with shadow gradually going to eyeliner and mascara but be extremely careful not to touch your eyes. Avoid tugging to remove eye makeup.
- Do not swim, water-ski, nor use a sauna or hot tub for 2 weeks following your surgery. You want to avoid any introduction of bacteria which make be transmitted into the eye by contact with water.
- Be aware of healing time. Most people can drive the next day and return to their normal routine; however, everyone varies in their time to heal. Your eyes may take a while to fully adjust to your new “settings”. Keep your doctor posted on any noticeable changes you may experience.
- Contact your doctor immediately if you experience severe pain, severe discomfort, or worsening of vision.
Is LASIK For You?
Having LASIK vision correction surgery is a life-changing decision that can greatly improve your eye-sight and, in some cases, correct it altogether. It is important to find the right surgeon to see you through the entire process. To find out if you’re a candidate for LASIK surgery, contact the Key-Whitman Eye Center, one of the top LASIK treatment centers in the Dallas area.
Key-Whitman Eye Center provides a full range of progressive ophthalmic services facilitated by an extraordinary group of experienced, Board Certified physicians. Using a combination of Wavefront analysis and treatment with the all-laser, blade-free IntraLase, the Key-Whitman team serves the Plano, Arlington and Dallas area with exceptional eye care.