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 Key-Whitman and schedule a free consultation to find out if you are a candidate.