What to Expect Before LASIK Surgery
Before you can schedule your LASIK procedure, it is important to see your doctor for a LASIK consultation. During the LASIK consultation, your doctor will make sure you are a good LASIK candidate. A good candidate:
• Is over the age of 18
• Has had a stable prescription for at least a year
• Has no interfering health issues like diabetes or other autoimmune disease
• Has not had any previous eye injury or surgery that would make LASIK risky
• Is not pregnant or nursing
• Is able to lay flat and still for the duration of the procedure
• Has no other eye diseases that would affect the cornea, like keratoconus or dry eye syndrome
During your consultation, your doctor will check your visual acuity and ask some questions about your needs and lifestyle. If LASIK is a good fit for you, your doctor will work with you to schedule your surgery!
In the weeks before your surgery, your doctor will ask you to take your contact lenses out. Contact lenses change the shape of your cornea over time, and can skew the results of your surgery. Taking them out at least two weeks prior allows your corneas to return to their natural state.
What to Expect the Day of LASIK Surgery
The day of your LASIK procedure, be sure to come in to the office wearing no makeup. You will check in at the front desk and be taken into the LASIK suite for preparation. You will be able to take a mild sedative to calm any nerves.
Your LASIK doctor will examine your eyes before surgery to make sure everything is good to go. Before surgery, your doctor will numb your eyes. You will be helped onto the LASIK chair and lay in a flat position. Your doctor will keep your eyes open by gently positioning a lid speculum over the eyelids.
The LASIK procedure will begin under the femtosecond laser. Your surgeon will create the corneal flap, which takes about 15-30 seconds per eye. Once the flap is created, you will be switched over to the excimer laser. The excimer laser removes microscopic amounts of tissue to reshape the cornea.
Once the proper adjustments to the cornea have been made, the corneal flap is smoothed over and the surgery is complete!
What to Expect After LASIK Surgery
Immediately after surgery, you will have a moment to rest at the office. Your doctor will give your eyes another post-op check and go over at-home care instructions. Be sure to have someone with you to drive you home, as your vision will be blurry and you may be groggy from the sedative.
Once home and as the numbing drops wear off, you may experience some sensitivity and itchiness. For this reason, we recommend taking a nap/resting your eyes. Once awake, you can use some lubrication drops to relieve any irritation. The next day, you will go in for a check in appointment at our office. This will ensure that you are healing properly, and give you a chance to bring up any questions or concerns. You will have more follow-up appointments periodically over the next year.
While many patients report immediate improvements in vision, it may take several weeks to see full results. Be sure to report any visual disturbances to your eye doctor.