The LASIK procedure is actually not as intense as most people may assume. The word “surgery” can be scary in any context. However, the recovery and preparation for this procedure is relatively painless compared with regaining your vision.
Things to Know Before LASIK
If you decided to give LASIK a try, an eye dilation exam is conducted to see if you are a good candidate for the surgery. As long as you are in good health and no major issues come up in the eye exam, the main consideration is how thick your cornea is. Your cornea supports the flap required for LASIK procedures. If your corneas are too thin, your eye doctor may recommend you for another procedure called PRK.
Take out your contacts well ahead of your appointment time for the LASIK procedure. As part of the preparation for the surgery, you will be given detailed instructions for how long to keep your contacts out. This will be explained during your consultation.
A map of your eyes directs the surgeon during LASIK. As part of your preparation, your eyes will be mapped out using corneal topography software, which produces richly detailed maps of both eyes. There is no pain or discomfort involved in this process and it doesn’t take much time. However, it is very valuable to the doctors planning your surgery and enables them to conduct an extremely accurate procedure on your eyes.
LASIK reshapes the cornea using a laser. This can often correct how light focuses on the retina in those with poor vision. A laser creates a small flap in the cornea that the surgeon peels back while another laser can then reshape the cornea to correct irregularities. After the adjustments are done, the flap replaced without stitches or adhesive. At this point, the surgery is over.
LASIK has a very high success rate and is very popular. You will be out of surgery in 10 minutes and do not have to be unconscious as a local anesthetic is sufficient. After an initial adjustment period, the results are immediate. If any issues occurs, adjustments can be made without damaging your eyes.
What to Expect After LASIK
You cannot drive after the surgery, so plan on a ride to and from the appointment, usually held in an office rather than a hospital. After the procedure, you should try to rest. If you can sleep, that is the best thing for your eyes. Some discomfort is normal. Your eyes may feel scratchy and be prone to light sensitivity for a few days. Before the procedure, the doctor will prescribe prescription or over-the-counter medication that you can pick up and have ready to aid in the recovery process.
The doctor will also provide UV glasses and advise you to wear them home. You will also be advised to wear protective eyewear to bed to avoid scratching or moving the healing flap in your cornea.
Make sure to attend all post-op appointments. The frequency of the appointments varies depending on how well you follow directions and how quickly your eyes heal. Your first appointment will be the day after the surgery. Usually, you will be asked to return a week later and then again a month following the procedure.
Most patients return to their jobs within two days. You may be asked to avoid exercising for up to a week while the flap is still closing during the natural healing process.
To receive your LASIK procedure, schedule an appointment with Randolph Eye Associates today!