Enough is enough, you’ve finally decided to get LASIK® vision correction.
Or maybe, you’re tired of wearing glasses or contacts and are highly considering getting the LASIK procedure done.
Keep reading to learn what you need to know about the surgery and what to expect before, during and after your LASIK vision correction.
You’ve thought it over many times and you’re finally ready for LASIK vision correction. The first step is you will need a baseline evaluation from your eye doctor to determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure. During this exam you can discuss your expectations with your doctor.
If you wear contact lenses this may be a huge reason you want LASIK vision correction. You should stop wearing your lenses a few weeks prior to the exam because contact lenses change the shape of your corneas. You could endure negative consequences if you don’t leave your contact lenses out for an appropriate amount of time before the LASIK procedure.
It also depends on the type of contact lenses you normally wear to determine how far in advance you should stop wearing them. Your doctor will determine how much corneal tissue needs to be removed and your contact lenses will change that.
- Soft contact lenses – you should stop wearing these 2 weeks prior to the evaluation
- Toric soft lenses or rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses – stop wearing these 3 weeks before your initial evaluation
- Hard lenses – these should be stopped at least 4 weeks before the initial evaluation
Talk to Your Doctor
You want to make sure your doctor knows everything before the eye exam and especially surgery. Tell your doctor about your past and present medical eye conditions. You will also want to let them know all the medications you are currently taking and if you’re allergic to any medication.
During your initial eye exam you and your doctor should discuss a few things. You should let your doctor know your expectations of the LASIK procedure. Your doctor will let you know if you are a good candidate and if your expectations of the risks benefits and outcome of your procedure.
Your doctor should also walk you through what you should expect before, after and during the LASIK eye procedure. They will also go over your responsibilities to do before, during and after the surgery.
At this time you should address any and all questions you have about the surgery with your doctor. Make sure you are able to think over all of the risks and benefits the procedure will do for you.
This is a decision you will need to ultimately make on your own and you shouldn’t feel pressured by anyone else to make the decision for you.
Day Before LASIK
The day of the surgery has almost come but there are a few things you should do right before your procedure.
Stop using any creams, lotions, perfumes or makeup because these products could cause debris to get in your eyes giving you a more likely chance for infection. You could be asked to scrub your eyelashes before the procedure to reduce any risk of debris getting in your eyes.
You will also want to arrange family or friend transportation to and from the office. Your vision may be blurry after the procedure which will make it very difficult to drive yourself. Your doctor may also give you medicine to make you relax which is another reason not to drive.
Make sure someone will be there to take you home after surgery.
The day has finally come and you may be a little bit worried about what you’re going to experience during the surgery.
Your surgery should only take around 30 minutes to complete and each eye is done separately. You will be reclined in a chair and laying on your back. The laser machine will be above you and this contains a large microscope to focus on your eye that can be seen through a computer screen.
You will be awake for the entire surgery and eye drops will be placed in your eye to numb the eye. You shouldn’t feel very much pain during the procedure because of the numbing drops but a little bit of discomfort may occur. You may also be given some medication to help you relax during the procedure.
The surrounding area of your eye will be cleaned and your eye will be held open with a device during the surgery. Your doctor will also mark on your cornea before the surgery begins.
The first step your doctor will do is cut a small flap in the cornea with a device or a laser. Then suction will be applied to that area. You will have dimmed vision during this part of the procedure and you could experience a bit of discomfort.
After the Initial Cut
After your doctor has created the flap in your cornea you will be asked to look at a target light while your doctor examines your eye through the giant microscope.
Then the cornea is flattened and lifted back so the laser can reach the cornea. Your doctor will sculpt your cornea and remove cell tissue based on your prescription. This is so light entering your eye will focus better on the retina and ultimately give you better vision.
If you are nearsighted than your doctor will be flattening your cornea but if you are farsighted you will get a steeper cornea. You could also get astigmatism fixed during this process. Your doctor will smooth out any irregular shapes into a more normal shaped cornea.
Afterwards, your doctor will place the flap back over your eyelid. This flap will act as a bandage and also help the healing process of your eye.
No real bandages or stitches will be required for your LASIK vision correction.
Once this is completed your vision will be quite blurry as mentioned above.
You’ve completed the LASIK vision correction and you’re now ready to go home. You will have to rest for a bit before leaving and during this time your eyes could burn or feel a bit itchy.
As mentioned before, you will need someone to drive you home. You cannot drive until you come back the next day and your doctor has cleared you that your new vision meets the legal standard for driving.
Clarity will continue to improve but your vision will be a bit blurry right after the procedure. It will even continue to get better over the next few days.
It is possible for you to go to work the next day but many doctors will want you to take it easy after the procedure.
You will not want to do any exercise or anything that can strain your eyesight for at least 3 days during the healing process. Also depending on what your doctor says you may not be able to wear any lotions, makeups or creams around your eyes for two weeks.
Back to the Doctor
The day after LASIK vision correction you will return to your doctor for a check-up to make sure everything is healing correctly.
You should definitely be taking any medications prescribed and following all of your doctor’s instructions for post-surgery. Do not rub your eyes because you may move the corneal flaps that were placed back over your eyes for healing.
You Did It
You finally completed your LASIK vision correction. Afterwards, your vision will be improved and you should be able to see without any glasses or contacts.
Contact your doctor immediately if you develop any new, unusual or worsening symptoms at any point after the surgery. These symptoms could signal a problem that if not corrected could further damage your eyesight and could even lead to permanent vision loss.
Hopefully, this guide has helped you feel more comfortable about your upcoming procedure.
You can contact us at Campbell Cunningham Laser Center for your free consultation today.