LASIK has an unprecedented 96 percent patient satisfaction rate. Now that you’ve decided to transform your vision — and quality of life — with LASIK surgery, it’s time to get ready for the big day.
Board-Certified Ophthalmologist Stephen Khachikian, located in Rapid City, South Dakota, explains the five things you need to get done in advance of your LASIK surgery..
1. Stop wearing contacts before LASIK surgery
Once you’ve had a LASIK consultation with your doctor and you’ve scheduled surgery, you’ll receive instructions on how to prepare for your upcoming, life-changing procedure. If you wear contact lenses, you’ll need to stop wearing them for a few weeks before your LASIK procedure. The reason for this is that contacts may distort the shape of your cornea.
If your cornea is distorted, the measurements your doctor uses to reshape it during the LASIK procedure may be inaccurate and affect the surgery outcome. Of course, the team at Cooper Eye Care wants you to have the clearest vision possible after LASIK — many adults enjoy 20/20 vision afterward. But, if your contacts have influenced the natural shape of your cornea, you may not have such a successful outcome.
The team provides you with specific instructions, but generally, if you wear soft contacts, you’ll need to stop wearing them 1-3 weeks before your LASIK appointment. And, if you wear hard contacts, you’ll need to stop wearing them 4-8 weeks before the procedure. It’s perfectly fine to wear your glasses leading up to your appointment.
2. Remove all eye makeup the night before your surgery
Ensuring that there’s no debris in your eyes that may hinder the laser procedure means removing makeup the night before your appointment. Wash your face and eyes, and avoid using eye creams or anything else around your eyes. Get a good night’s sleep, and avoid wearing perfume or cologne or anything that may irritate your eyes.
On the day of surgery, you can wash your face but refrain from wearing makeup and moisturizers around your eyes.
3. Arrange for a ride and a few days of rest
You won’t be able to drive yourself anywhere immediately following LASIK surgery or for the rest of the day, so be sure you have transportation home after your surgery.
Resting your eyes also means keeping them closed for several hours at a time as you recover. Be prepared to avoid checking email, phone, and other mobile devices. You won’t be able to watch TV at first, either, so downloading audiobooks and music in advance is a good idea, so you have something to keep you occupied and relaxed as you recover.
4. Dress comfortably and casually
On the day of your LASIK procedure, wear comfortable clothes, so you’re relaxed during the surgery. Still, also so you don’t have to worry about changing when you first get home. Avoid bulky accessories or jewelry or anything that may interfere with the proper position of your head under the laser. For women, it’s best not to wear a ponytail or hair clip that prevents you from resting your head comfortably while lying on your back.
5. Ask ahead of time about medications
In most cases, you may be able to take any prescription medications as usual on the day of surgery, but talk to your doctor ahead of time to make sure. You don’t need to fast, either, so you can eat a light meal before your LASIK procedure. If you’re concerned about anxiety or pain, ask the team about medications to help you relax or alleviate pain after surgery.
LASIK surgery isn’t painful, but you may feel some discomfort during recovery as if you have sand in your eyes. If your doctor prescribes medicated eye drops during recovery, use as recommended. You’ll most likely have a follow-up appointment to monitor your progress in the first 24-48 hours after surgery.
The first step in preparing for LASIK surgery, and seeing clearly without glasses or contacts, call to schedule a consultation with Dr. Khachikian or book an appointment online today.