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What to Expect on Laser Eye Surgery Day

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LASIK SURGERY DAY EXPECTATIONS

Most patients counting down the days to their laser eye surgery experience two emotions: excitement and anxiety. While both emotions are understandable, the former is the one to hold onto and the latter should be tossed away with the soon-to-be-irrelevant eyeglasses. The best way for a patient to get rid of the infamous Pre-LASIK Jitters is to learn everything s/he possibly can about the procedure and what will happen on LASIK Surgery Day. Hopefully, this knowledge can help to put a patient’s fears to rest.

Laser Eye Surgery Expectations

What to Expect on LASIK Surgery Day

  1. Relax. By this point, the patient’s eyes will have been contact-free for a week, or several, depending on the type of contacts s/he wears. Patients are greeted by the caring and helpful staff for the last bit of paperwork processing, payment agreements, and to answer any last minute questions they have. It is a good idea to write down any questions the night before because sometimes patients don’t remember them when they’re nervous. It’s important they feel confident about the LASIK surgery process.
  2. Meet the Doctor. The surgeon will want to check in, say hello, and see if there are any questions left that the staff wasn’t able to answer. Then he’ll provide a sedative to help patients relax and to sleep well after the procedure.
  3. Settle in. A technician will escort the patient to the surgical suite and make sure that s/he is completely comfortable. Any last minute needs, questions, or requests can be addressed.
  4. Prepare. The technician will insert drops that numb the patient’s eye(s). These drops ensure that no discomfort is experienced during the laser eye surgery. Then the patient can lie down comfortably on the treatment table. The technician makes sure the patient’s eye is positioned properly underneath the laser.
  5. Surgery. This is the moment patients have been waiting for: when the surgeon begins to remove microscopic particles of eye tissue, re-shaping the cornea to the correct prescription. Patients will not feel anything. They may hear a soft clicking sound, which is the sound of the laser as it does its work. Each eye should take no longer than 5 to 10 minutes!
  6. Recovery. The surgeon will leave the patient in the surgical suite for a brief recovery period after which the patient can be escorted home by a friend or loved one.

After Your LASIK Surgery

Patients are provided with a list of post-operative instructions, antibiotic and anti-inflammatory drops, sleep goggles, and a pair of very dark glasses. These glasses are darker than normal prescription sunglasses and should be worn outside for the first week or so after the surgery to protect tender eye tissues from sun damage.

Post-operative patients are advised to go home and take a nap! This allows the body’s natural healing process to do its work and prevents patients from unnecessary eye strain. For the remainder of the LASIK Surgery Day, it’s advised that patients:

  • Adhere strictly to the provided post-operative instructions and guidelines
  • Use all eye drops and medications as prescribed
  • Do not rub eyes
  • Refrain from watching TV, computer work, or staring at fixed/objects/people to avoid eye strain
  • Keep soap and water away from eyes
  • Wear protective goggles while sleeping

While some tenderness and irritation is normal, patients should contact their laser eye surgery center with any questions, concerns, or feelings that something isn’t right. Patients should expect a certain level of blurred vision for at least the first 24 hours, and potentially for the first few days. Sometimes patients experience a period of clear vision with a regression to blurry vision. This is normal and will be addressed at your first post-operative appointment(s) the following day and throughout upcoming weeks.

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