If you’re like many of those who struggle with nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, you may have heard that LASIK surgery restores clear, sharp vision to the extent that many patients don’t even need to wear their eyeglasses or contact lenses anymore after having the procedure done. If you’re interested in having LASIK surgery performed, you may be wondering what to expect before and after the surgery. Here’s what happens during pre-op and post-op examinations.
The first thing that needs to be determined is whether you’re a good candidate for LASIK surgery. The eye care professional will perform a comprehensive eye exam designed to evaluate the surface area of the eye where the procedure will be performed as well as to identify any treatable pre-existing conditions that need to be cleared up prior to having LASIK surgery. If you currently wear contact lenses, you’ll be asked not to wear them for a specified period of time — usually about two weeks — before your initial examination and evaluation is scheduled. Be sure to tell the doctor about any eye conditions you currently have or have had in the past as well as provide a list of medications you’re taking.
If your eye doctor establishes that you’re a good candidate for LASIK surgery, you’ll be provided with prescriptions for medications designed to prepare your eyes for the surgery. For instance, you may be asked to use antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eye drops and artificial tears. You’ll probably also be advised not to wear any creams, lotions, or cosmetics on your face starting the day before LASIK surgery is scheduled, and you’ll also need to arrange transportation to and from the place where the surgery is to be performed.
The surgery itself takes about 30 minutes from start to finish.
Immediately following LASIK surgery, you may feel a slight burning or itching sensation, but this is a temporary condition that can be alleviated in most people by taking an over-the-counter pain reliever. Your vision will be blurry, and your eyes may water. Although you’ll probably instinctively want to rub your eyes, it’s essential to resist that urge at this time.
For a few days following LASIK surgery, your vision may continue to be blurry, you may experience heightened sensitivity to light, and your eyes may appear bloodshot. Many patients choose to take a couple of days off of work after having LASIK surgery performed.
These symptoms should subside within a few days, and you should be sure to contact your eye doctor if you experience abnormal pain, swelling, or anything else that seems out of the ordinary. Patients are also advised to avoid wearing cosmetics or cream on the area around your eyes.
Your doctor will want to see you for a post-op examination about a week after LASIK surgery is performed. You’ll be asked about any unusual signs or symptoms, and your doctor will perform testing to ensure that the surgery went well and that your eyes are healing on schedule. You may be given another prescription for antibiotic drops or artificial tears to continue the healing process. Your doctor will also want to see you at the one-month mark and again at six months from your LASIK procedure.
Please contact us at your convenience for an appointment to learn more about whether LASIK surgery is the right option for you.