LASIK Surgery Guidelines

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Before Your LASIK Surgery

There are no dietary restrictions prior to your procedure.

Remove your contact lenses

As you did before your evaluation, stop wearing your contacts before surgery and switch to wearing your glasses full-time. Contact lenses change the shape of your cornea for up to several weeks after you’ve stopped using them depending on the type of contact lenses you wear. Not leaving your contact lenses out long enough for your cornea to assume its natural shape before surgery can have negative consequences. These consequences include inaccurate measurements and a poor surgical plan, resulting in poor vision after surgery. If you wear: soft contact lenses or toric lenses, stop wearing them for 2 weeks before surgery; hard lenses or rigid gas permeable lenses (RGP’s), stop wearing for at least 6 weeks before surgery, for a maximum of 12 weeks.

Stop wearing makeup

Two days before your surgery; you should stop using eye creams, lotions and eye makeup. These products as well as debris along the eyelashes may increase the risk of infection during and after surgery. Your doctor may ask you to scrub your eyelashes for a period of time before surgery to get rid of residues and debris along the lashes. You must also leave makeup off for 7 days following the procedure.

Use eye drops

We prefer patients to begin their prescription drop, Restasis, immediately, using in the morning and at night, before and after surgery. One day before your procedure; begin using the Besivance eye drops. Put one drop in your eye(s) at breakfast and bedtime (two drops total).

Arrange for transportation

Also before surgery, arrange for transportation to and from your surgery and your first follow-up visit. You will be asked to keep your eyes closed for the ride home after your procedure. We recommend having a driver for the one-day follow-up visit in case you still feel you have watery or hazy vision the next day.

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During Your LASIK Surgery

Dress comfortably and fragrance-free

Please come dressed warmly and comfortably, and refrain from wearing anything fuzzy. Also, avoid any fragrances; including perfume, hair spray, hair gel, cologne, aftershave, liquid fabric softener, lotions, moisturizers, and oils. You may use shampoo, conditioner and deodorant.

Arrive early

Please arrive 30 minutes to one hour prior to your scheduled surgery time to allow time for completing your updated medical history and consent forms. At this time, we’ll give you a post-operative kit containing instructions, eye shields, a sample of artificial tears, and sunglasses. We will also discuss with you these post-operative instructions and answer any questions you may have.

Pre-operative surgeon consultation

Upon completing the necessary forms, you will be taken to the pre-operative room where eye drops will be placed in your eye(s). At this point we will offer you a mild sedative to help you relax and go over all post-operative instructions.

After Your LASIK Procedure

Immediately after the procedure, your eye(s) may burn, itch, or feel like there is something in it. You may experience some discomfort. Both your eyes may tear or water. Your vision will probably be hazy or blurry. You will instinctively want to rub your eye, but please refrain! Rubbing your eye could dislodge the flap, requiring further treatment. In addition, you may experience sensitivity to light, glare, starbursts or halos around lights, or the whites of your eye may look red or bloodshot. These symptoms should improve considerably within the first few days after surgery. Plan on taking a few days off from work if you experience these symptoms. You should contact your doctor immediately and not wait for your scheduled visit if you experience severe pain, increased redness of the eye, or if your vision or other symptoms get worse instead of better.

Rest your eyes

Go directly home after your procedure and take a 6-hour nap. Sleeping allows your body to go into healing mode, which in turn allows your corneal flap(s) to heal in the proper position. Do not wear goggles or shields during this nap. If you have difficulty sleeping, take “Tylenol PM”, “Advil PM”, or “Benadryl”, and if you have any discomfort, take “Extra Strength” tablets. You should begin putting drops in your eye(s) after your nap. Remember, do not drive a car or operate machinery immediately after surgery.

Post-operative visit

On the day of your surgery, you will be given a time (usually between 7 and 10am) to return the next day for your post-operative visit. We will schedule this appointment on the day of your surgery.

Use prescribed eye drops

The medicated eye drops you are given may sting when you put them in. For the first week, use preservative-free artificial tears every hour between your medicated drops. After one week, use Restatis two times a day for three months following your procedure.

Special instructions:

  • Wear the plastic shield(s) or goggles every night for the next 5 nights. This prevents you from rubbing your eye(s) while sleeping.
  • For the first two weeks following surgery, wear sunglasses when you are outdoors, even when it is cloudy.
  • If your eyes are matted in the morning, hold a warm washcloth over your CLOSED eyes for about 60 seconds to loosen matter. If this does not loosen enough to gently remove matter, apply washcloth for another 60 seconds. Use the corner of the cloth to gently clean the corners of the eyes. Then you can begin your medicine drops and lubricant drops for the day.
  • Avoid atmospheres that may irritate the eye(s) such as smoke, dust, and other potential irritants. Dusty work environments may require safety glasses for protection.

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Activity Restrictions

The day of your LASIK surgery

  • Rest the day of surgery.
  • Always be very careful about activities where the eye may be poked, rubbed, or touched.
  • Avoid rubbing eyes. Use lubricant drops instead.
  • Avoid staring, which will cause dryness and irritation to the eyes.
  • Wait 12 hours after surgery before bathing.

DAY 1 (24 hours after your LASIK surgery)

  • Limit yourself to light activities. Work should be avoided.
  • Limit driving until after your follow-up exam when vision is confirmed.
  • Reading and watching television is acceptable as long as the eye is lubricated.
  • Flying in airplanes is acceptable (lubricate generously, every 15-30 minutes).
  • Golf is acceptable (wear sunglasses outdoors)

DAY 2 (48 hours after your LASIK surgery)

  • Resume office and computer work (lubrication is very important).

DAY 3 (72 hours after your LASIK surgery)

  • Depending on how you feel and your doctor’s instructions, you may exercise with no risk to eyes (treadmill, stationary bike, etc.) and participate in non-contact sports.

1 week after your LASIK surgery

  • Racquet sports
  • Tanning (use lubricant drops and goggles)
  • Motorcycling, dirt and mountain bikes (with eye protection)
  • Baseball, basketball, football and soccer (with eye protection)
  • Swimming pools (no lakes, ponds or ocean for a month); goggles strongly recommended
  • Hot tubs or whirlpools
  • Weight-lifting; weight training
  • Martial arts

1 Month after your LASIK surgery

  • Sailing, skiing and Parachuting
  • Other water sports and outdoor sports such as surfing and kayaking, hang-gliding, etc.
  • Swimming in lakes, ponds and oceans is acceptable (goggles strongly recommended)

Post-procedure Vision & Follow-ups

During the first few months after surgery, your vision may fluctuate. It may take up to three to six months for your vision to stabilize after surgery. Glare, halos, difficulty driving at night, and other visual symptoms may also persist during this stabilization period. If further correction or enhancement is necessary, you should wait until your eye measurements are consistent for two consecutive visits at least 1 month apart before enhancement. It is important to realize that although distance vision may improve after an enhancement, it is unlikely that other visual symptoms such as glare or halos will improve.

Follow-up visits after your LASIK surgery

We ask that you return one day, seven to ten days, one month, three months, and six months following your surgery date. Contact us immediately if you develop any new, unusual or worsening symptoms at any point after surgery. Such symptoms could signal a problem that, if not treated early enough, may lead to a loss of vision.

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