LASIK eye surgery is a sophisticated procedure that uses specialized, focused laser technology to change the curvature and shape of the cornea, where light enters the eye. This delicate process results in better, clearer vision that gives the patient the opportunity to reduce the need for corrective prescription lenses. Typically, most patients walk away from LASIK with 20/20, or better than 20/20, vision. Because this surgery is considered long-lasting and highly effective, LASIK is an attractive option for many people who live with the challenges of poor vision on a daily basis. The process of getting LASIK done requires several appointments, but well worth the preparation and follow-up appointments. Here’s what you need to know about it.
Step 1: The Consultation
All LASIK patients must begin the process by coming into our office for an evaluation. This is a thorough, 1-2 hour evaluation, involving dilation and several additional eye tests. In our office, Dr. Bowers personally reviews all aspects of the LASIK screening and evaluation. Once he looks closely at your eyes, investigates your medical history and asks you all other relevant questions, he can determine if you are a candidate for LASIK surgery (in other words, if LASIK is right for you or if you should continue using other vision correction options). Some practices offer a very limited screening exam and sometimes the discussion takes place with a ‘representative’ of the surgeon. At Piedmont Eye center, you can rest assured your visit will be with Dr. Bowers to examine, assess and offer ample time to answer all your questions. This has been our standard for over 20 years that we have been providing LASIK.
Step 2: Preparation
If you’re a LASIK candidate, congratulations! You’ve taken the first step toward a life of better sight. Once Dr. Bowers has determined your candidacy, he’ll schedule the surgery for a few weeks in the future, which will allow you time to get ready. During this time, you should do several things to prepare:
- Stop wearing contact lenses: Initially you will be asked to discontinue contacts for a minimum of two-three weeks leading up to your examination, and should only wear prescription glasses. This is necessary because contacts can subtly change the shape and size of your cornea in a way that can prevent the laser from doing the kind of precise work required in this procedure. You should again discontinue contact lens wear for at least 4-5 days prior to the actual procedure. This is because contacts are a potential source of eye infection that could impede the success of a LASIK procedure.
- Hold off on using eye makeup: Prior to the procedure, you’ll need to stop using eye makeup, as the substances in makeup can negatively affect how the procedure goes, and can lead to potential infection after the procedure is complete.
- Fill your eye drops prescriptions: Your doctor will prescribe steroid and antibiotic eye drops that you’ll need to regularly use after the procedure in order to keep your eyes as healthy as possible and reduce the risk of infection. Make sure to get those from the pharmacy before your treatment day.
- Set up transportation to and from the procedure: Due to the sensitive nature of LASIK and the immediate effects it has on your eyes, your recovery will begin the moment the procedure is complete. You will also receive a mild oral relaxing medication. This means that you should arrange for someone to drive you to and from the appointment, so you can get home safely and begin resting.
- Clean your eyelids: Once a day for a few days prior to your surgery day, you should clean your eyelids in order to eliminate the presence of germs that could cause infection before or after your procedure. You can do this by gently cleansing them with baby shampoo on a warm, damp washcloth, and then rinsing afterward.
Step 3: The Procedure
The LASIK procedure itself is the shortest part of the process, even though it’s also the most intense. When you arrive at the eye doctor’s office for your surgery, you’ll be given forms to fill out, and when it’s time to begin, you’ll be led into the operating room, where Dr. Bowers will perform the procedure. You will be in the procedure room for only 10-15 minutes, though you will likely be in the office for 1-2 hours.
Step 4: The Follow-Ups
After the LASIK procedure is complete, you’ll need to keep your eyes closed for at least three hours as they begin to heal. Eye doctors also often recommend that you go to bed early in order to get the best healing effects possible from a good night’s sleep. LASIK patients who don’t do this sometimes report that their eyes don’t feel good later at night, but this can be avoided easily by setting an early bedtime.
Dr. Bowers will have scheduled several follow-up appointments, and the first one will be the day after the surgery. The doctor will look at your eyes again to determine if there is any risk for infection or if you need to do anything else to help them heal. The most common aftereffects that patients usually experience include redness, dry eye and minimal aching in their eyes. These problems can be alleviated by regularly using your prescription eye drops and artificial tears.. Also, LASIK patients should continue suspending their use of eye makeup for several weeks after the fact. Other follow-up appointments will likely happen at the one week and one month post surgery mark.
Is LASIK right for you?
Patients love the lasting effects of LASIK surgery. They often can see better than they ever have before and love the added freedom from corrective eyewear. For some people, it’s a life-changing difference. Also, LASIK is on sale for $1000 off* now through June 30, 2021, so this is a great time to get this procedure done. If this procedure sounds like it could be the solution for you, contact us today for more information!
*details and restrictions at https://www.piedmonteye.com/lasik-promotion/