It’s important to be fully prepared when you undergo laser eye surgery. Taking some simple steps in preparation will ensure that your eyes are in optimum condition for the procedure and that it can be carried out as effectively as possible. In addition, arming yourself with information about what laser eye surgery involves will mean that when you turn up on the day, you’ll know exactly what to expect. With that in mind we have produced some information on preparing for laser eye surgery.
If you wear contact lenses, these can cause problems and you will be asked to stop using them for one week prior to the procedure. This is because contact lenses can cause changes to the shape of the cornea, making it difficult to assess your prescription accurately. By refraining from wearing your contacts for a period of time in preparation for laser eye surgery, you will allow your eyes to return to their natural state and allow your surgeon to calculate the correct way to reshape your corneas.
If you wear soft contact lenses: You will be asked to stop wearing your contacts for at least a few days prior to surgery.
If you are a rigid gas permeable lens wearer: the length of time you’ll need to avoid wearing your contacts will be longer; at least 3-4 weeks before the assessment.
You will not be allowed to drive home after the procedure. If you are travelling by car to your laser eye surgery, it is important to arrange for someone to drive you to the clinic the afternoon of the procedure and home afterwards. Most patients see well enough to drive themselves to their follow up appointment the following day although this is dependent on your prescription and procedure type.
Laser eye surgery requires minimal recovery time, but after the procedure you will need to take the rest of the day off work, so ensure well in advance that this is booked. It’s best not to use a PC too much for up to 48 hours following your treatment, so some people find it preferable to take a day off work after the procedure in order to recover fully.
You will be asked not to wear make-up, including face creams, on the day of surgery, and your surgeon may request that you avoid it in the few days leading up to surgery, too. In the days following laser eye surgery you should continue to avoid any make-up worn around the eyes – eyeshadow, mascara and eyeliner, for example.
Before deciding to undergo treatment, it’s important to ask as many questions as you need to. This is best when preparing for laser eye surgery as you’ll gain confidence in your decision to go ahead with the procedure.
On the day itself, it is quite normal to feel anxious and the team can give you a valium tablet to help relax you. You may think of new questions that you haven’t yet discussed with your surgeon. For example, how long does laser eye surgery last? Make sure that you write down any questions you may have so these can be addressed prior to the procedure.