Before, During and After Wavefront-Guided LASIK
It’s the day of your LASIK surgery. You have already met with your eye doctor who has determined that you are a good candidate for LASIK surgery. You are over 18, your eye development has stabilized, and you are tired of wearing glasses or contacts. You have had the wavefront diagnostic work done, which captured each eye’s lower and higher order aberrations. So now what will happen?
Ahead of time, you will be given a prescription for moisturizing eye drops and you can have it filled, to be ready when you get home after your procedure. Your doctor may have the laser system in his office, or it may be somewhere else, such as at a medical center. Regardless, you will need someone to drive you home, and you both should plan to spend about two hours in the eye surgeon’s office.
You will want to arrive when the doctor advises, because there is important preparatory work to be done.
- Your eye surgeon will give you a personal examination.
- This is your last chance to ask any questions (although by this point, if your surgeon is properly qualified, you should have a clear idea of what to expect).
- Anesthetic eye drops will be administered and some time allowed for them to take effect.
- If you choose to, this is when you can take a mild sedative. In some cases the eye doctor will prescribe a sedative, especially if you are overly anxious about the procedure.
Your surgeon has studied the diagnostic information and used it to formulate your treatment plan. The two 3-D maps, one of each eye, show both mathematically and in graphical form where the irregularities are which need to be slightly reduced.
Now that information will guide the laser as your eye surgeon directs it on to the designated treatment area of each eye. Your doctor can stop treatment at any time if that were to be necessary. The system includes a feature that will track your eye movements and adjust the laser’s focus accordingly.
Throughout all this, you will be looking at a red dot. There is no pain. Most people report a minor cooling sensation, or no sensation at all. The surgery itself takes only a few minutes per eye – it is so quick that most people have no time to worry. Please see The LASIK Procedure for more detail on the treatment itself.
Afterwards, antibiotic drops will be placed in your eyes to guard against infection. An eye shield will be placed over your eyes, which you can wear for the first 24 hours, and at night for about a week.
You can rest in the office until your LASIK surgeon determines that you are ready to leave, and your friend or family member will drive you home. Most eye surgeons recommend that you sleep the rest of the day, or at least rest with your eyes closed.
By the following morning, you will have dramatically improved vision. For the next week or so, you may experience a few mild after-effects such as blurred vision, dry eyes or excessively teary eyes. Use your moisturizing eyedrops according to your surgeon’s instructions. Many people experience dryness for a few weeks but it will typically subside and normal tear production will resume.
Typically you will have a follow-up visit the next day, and another the next week. There will be follow-up visits at lengthening intervals for about one year, so your eye surgeon can make sure that your recovery is smooth and easy.
Immediate recovery is the first week or so, after which time you can resume work if it presents no risk of impact to your eyes. Vision improvement may continue beyond this period into the next few months.
Full recovery lasts for three months, by which time your full vision improvement should be complete. Most people achieve 20/20 vision or better, and some have 20/40 vision. It depends on where you started from.
Please contact us for some highly-qualified and experienced LASIK surgeons in your area.