It’s important to be fully prepared before your laser eye surgery by taking some simple steps to 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.
Your initial consultation can take up to 2 hours to allow us to accurately map and measure your eyes. Doing this allows us to make the most accurate recommendation to you we possibly can about the treatments available to you based on the unique characteristics of your eyes. It is important to note that during this consultation we often need to use eye drops to dilate your pupils, these eye drops can make your vision slightly blurry and your eyes more light-sensitive so you should avoid driving for at least 4 hours after this.
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 before 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 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 laser eye surgery, 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 of the surgery, 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 or check out our FAQ section where we provide answers to your most frequent questions.
You will need to take the day of your surgery off from work and after your laser eye surgery procedure, we recommend you take some time off, however, the length of time will vary person to person.
You will not be allowed to drive home after your laser eye surgery procedure. If you are travelling by car, 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.
After laser eye surgery, there are a number of aftercare appointments you must attend. These follow-up appointments usually take around 15 minutes and we recommend most people to have 3 to 4 aftercare appointments following their surgery. The first two, however, are the most important, the first of which is the day after your surgery and the second is 7 days following your treatment. Our laser eye surgery costs include both the initial consultation and follow-up appointments.
Your eyes start healing immediately after your surgery and the initial healing occurs very rapidly meaning the majority of patients get back on their feet with their new and improved vision in as little as 24 hours. By this time they are getting back to their usual routines; driving, reading, using smartphones and returning to work. However, you do need to be aware that it is fully normal to experience some blurred vision or fluctuations in your vision for several weeks, and sometimes even months, following your surgery. For more information visit our laser eye surgery recovery time page.