Pre-operative Instructions for LASIK Surgery

By Gordon Wong, OD on September 01, 2013

LASIK Pre-op InstructionsWhile glasses and contacts have been a reliable treatment for refractive errors for years, more and more people are turning to LASIK surgery in order to see clearly without the need for glasses and contact. LASIK offers flexibility and comfort when it comes to great vision, and the results are extremely effective.

That said, it's important that LASIK patients follow pre-operative and post-operative instructions to the letter. When you meet with an optometrist or an ophthalmologist, you will be able to learn about the requirements for LASIK and what to expect prior to and after surgery. We'd like to focus on those pre-operative LASIK instructions right now.

About LASIK Surgery

First of all, the basics. LASIK is a surgical procedure that is performed in order to address refractive errors, which you probably know better by the phrases nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism. A surgical laser will safely reshape the cornea so that light passes through it and properly focuses on the retina.

Why Pre-operative Instructions are Important

The pre-operative instructions are important for laser eye surgery because they lay down the conditions for optimal healing. By following these instructions closely, you will reduce the chance of serious complications as you heal, shorten the duration of post-surgical side effects, and will be able to take it easy following surgery with your mind at ease.

Stop Wearing Contacts Weeks Prior to Surgery

Many patients do no realize this, but wearing contact lenses will alter the shape of your corneas. Since LASIK is performed to reshape the corneas, it's important that the corneas be their normal/relaxed shape when the surgery is performed.

Patients are thus asked to not wear their contact lenses for a few weeks prior to surgery. The length of time will depend on the kind of contacts that the patient wears, with harder contacts requiring more time out for the corneas to revert to their natural shape.

Quit Smoking and Abstain from Alcohol Consumption

All eye care experts agree: smoking and alcohol will negatively impact your healing experience and recovery time. Be sure to quit both a few weeks before surgery and to continue to abstain from tobacco and alcohol in the weeks after surgery.

What to Do In the Week Prior to LASIK

During those days before surgery, there are a few important things to take care of in order to put your mind at ease so that you can relax and recover.

  • Fill all prescriptions
  • Clean up around your home
  • Do laundry so clothes are ready
  • Make sure you have groceries/food
  • Arrange for transportation to and from the LASIK center
  • Arrange for a loved on to be present for a day or two after the surgery in case you need to have errands run

What to Do Before Going to the LASIK Surgery Itself

Before visiting the LASIK center for the actual surgery, patients should wear clothes that are loose and comfortable. They should wear no jewelry or accessories, and they should not use any facial creams, lotions, or makeup.

Learn More About Advanced Eye Care Treatment

For more information about all of your eye care needs and how they can best be met by our team of professionals, be sure to contact our La Jolla eye care center today. We look forward to discussing all manner of vision correction topics with you in greater detail.

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