What to expect during lasik surgery

The idea of lasik surgery makes some people hopeful and other people scared. Lasik is an important decision and one that should not be made without the the complete knowledge you need and the support of a good surgeon to feel comfortable. The day of your surgery you should have all your questions answered and be ready for the procedure with confidence. For some people, though, no matter how much they believe in their surgeon and how much they know about the procedure they will still be nervous as their surgery approaches. One way to help ease these feelings of anxiety is to learn what to expect throughout the surgery process from the beginning to the end of recovery period.

The first step in the lasik procedure is scheduling an appointment with a lasik eye surgeon. A good lasik surgeon will be able to answer all of your questions and completely explain the whole procedure to you. You should feel comfortable with your surgeon. You should also completely understand the risks, possible side effects and results that can occur with lasik. At the first appointment your doctor will make a determination if you are a good candidate for the procedure. They will do a full history and examination of your eyes. This will let the doctor know about any problems you may have and if you will benefit from the surgery. They will at this time also measure your cornea to determine how much of it must be cut to correct your eyesight. You should also discuss other things like medications you are taking and other health issues you may have. A suggestion for making this visit go smoothly is if you wear contacts to stop wearing them two to three weeks before the visit. Contacts change your corneas shape and this will effect the measurements your doctor will take.

You should come away from this visit knowing the following information:

  • what to expect from the surgery
  • side effects and complications that can occur
  • any risks you may have
  • what you should do before and after surgery
  • how the procedure works
  • feeling you can trust your doctor

If you leave without knowing all of this and having all of your questions answered you should either schedule a follow up with the doctor or seek a second opinion.

When the day of your surgery arrives you should have someone drive you to and from the office or clinic. You will be in surgery for 30 minutes or less. The chair you sit in will be like an ordinary chair you would sit in for an eye exam. You will be reclined back and your eye will be numbed and cleaned. The doctor will use an instrument called a lid speculum to hold your eye open. Pressure will be applied by a ring placed on your eye. The flap in your cornea will then be cut by a microkeratome. Once the cut is made the ring is removed and the doctor will then proceed with using the laser to remove tissue from the cornea. Throughout the procedure you will be aware of pressure sensations, blurred vision and possibly a burning smell. Once the doctor is finished he will put a shield on your eye to protect the cornea. The cornea is not stitched in any way and must remain unharmed during healing which is why the shield is used. Once the surgery is complete and your doctor has said decided it is okay, you will then leave and start recovering at home.

In the days following surgery you will be going through many feelings and variations in vision. Your eye may feel very uncomfortable with burning or itching. You may also experience some pain, but it is usually very mild. You may feel extra sensitive to light or see starbursts or halos around light as well. You will need to see your doctor for a follow up normally within 48 hours after surgery. He will check to make sure everything is healing correctly. After that you will see him on a regular schedule until you are completely healed. Complete healing can take up to six months and for you to experience the final results of your surgery. But if you ever feel concerned you should contact your doctor immediately.

Lasik is a big step and knowing exactly what will happen can ease your mind. The process is rather simple and most people are back into their regular schedule within days of their surgery. Lasik can open up a whole new world, do not let fear of the unknown keep you from experiencing it.

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