RECOVERY PERIOD FROM LASIK SURGERY
The recovery period for LASIK generally lasts 24 to 72 hours, but it varies by patient, depending on several factors. Some patients see clearly within 24 hours after vision correction surgery, but others — especially PRK patients — take five or six days to make a full recovery. The following are a few of the factors that influence how much time you should take off from work or your usual routine after LASIK surgery.
The Complexity of Your Vision Correction Needs
Everyone’s visual prescription and the refractive errors causing nearsightedness, farsightedness and / or astigmatism differ. For instance, if you only suffer from a minor refractive error in one eye, you will more likely experience a quicker recovery than someone who suffers from severe refractive errors in both eyes. This is because your King LASIK eye surgeon may not have to reshape your corneal tissue as extensively in the former case.
The Type of Procedure Chosen
Another factor that can greatly influence the length of time you will need to take off from work or your daily activities after surgery is the type of vision correction procedure you have had.
There are a range of laser vision correction treatment options, from traditional LASIK in which the corneal flap is created with the use of a surgical blade called a microkeratome to bladeless, all-laser LASIK in which a femtosecond laser is used to create the flap in the cornea. Using a laser for the corneal flap creation may speed up recovery time for some patients thanks to the elimination of the surgical risks associated with manual corneal flap creation.
In addition, for certain patients with corneas that are too thin to withstand the creation of a flap (or due to other reasons) an alternative to LASIK such as PRK might be a more appropriate treatment option. With both LASIK and PRK, the goal is to reshape the curvature of the deeper layers of corneal tissue. The difference is that with LASIK, a flap is created in the surface of the cornea to access the underlying tissue, but, with PRK, the eye surgeon ablates the surface of the cornea. Although the visual outcomes are the same with both procedures, patients who have undergone PRK may require a longer recovery period as their surface corneal tissue is regenerated.
General Recovery Guideline
Overall, patients should expect to take at least one day, if not two days, off from work or their usual routine to recover from vision correction surgery. During your consultation, your ophthalmologist discusses what to expect before, during and after surgery, depending on your unique factors.