Day of Surgery
You should try to arrive relaxed and rested. It is perfectly normal to be a little nervous as this is not an everyday event in your life. Some people like to take a mild sedative such as Valium to help them relax, while others are quite happy without this.
You should already have your medications from your chemist as we like to start the eye drops on the same day, and occasionally you may need pain tablets. There is no restriction on eating or drinking prior to the surgery. You should not use makeup, perfume or creams on your face. Remember, you should not have used your contact lenses for the stipulated number of days to allow your cornea to return to its normal curvature. You will need to sign a consent form prior to surgery.
Once you are prepared for your procedure, you will be escorted into the laser theatre for the treatment. You will lie on your back and will be guided to the correct position. You will see a number of blurry lights directly above you. You should try to keep looking at the green flashing light at all times. It may disappear from time to time but the surgeon will let you know when he is about to do the laser reshaping. This is when it is most important to be looking at the light. Most people report no pain during the procedure. Some report a feeling of pressure or mild discomfort. Your will hear a buzzing sound during the flap creation, and a clicking sound during the laser reshaping. At all times avoid trying to squeeze your eyes and try to keep still. Although the laser is cold light, you may be aware of a faint burning smell.
After the procedure antibiotic drops are instilled in your eyes and clear plastic shields are taped over your eyes to protect them overnight. You should try to keep your eyes closed as much as possible the first 2 hours, but you can open them when walking around.Your vision will be blurry initially. Your eyes will burn and water a little, and you will be light sensitive. Be sure to bring someone to drive you home, or make other arrangements for transportation.
Follow-up care and eye medications are just as important to your results as your actual procedure.
Use the antibiotic and anti-inflammatory drops as instructed to keep your eyes free of infection and reduce swelling
Use lubricant drops (artificial tears) such as Optive Fusion ®, Refresh Tears ® and Optive Gel ® 4 – 8 times daily
Use the eye shields at night for a few days if you feel you may rub your eyes in your sleep
Do not get water in your eyes for the first 5 days
Most people can safely drive within a day or two in they had LASIK. If you had PRK, it will take longer
Wear sunglasses for the first few days if your eyes are light sensitive, longer if you had PRK
You may read and watch TV
Do not wear eye make-up for 7 days
It is important never to rub your eyes after laser eye surgery. Rubbing is not good for your eyes and can weaken the cornea and even cause ectasia and cause your prescription to change.
Do only light exercise the first week
Avoid swimming for 1-2 weeks
Avoid contact sports for 3 months and scuba diving for 1 month
No make-up around the eye for a week. After that be careful not to touch the eye when applying or removing make-up.
Your eyes will take some time to adjust after surgery. The vision can initially vary and may seem blurred at times. Your brain needs to adjust to your “new” eyes as they would with a new pair of glasses. Your eyes may feels dry for some weeks.Sometimes the vision seems worse under low light conditions, and you may see halos around lights. This improves with time.
Examinations are required to ensure that your eye is healing as expected, and to measure your visual progress. Dr Anderson sees LASIK patients the day after surgery, and PRK patients 3 days after surgery. Further follow-ups will then be arranged.
If your vision is not as good as expected, and your residual prescription is not in the range that we usually expect (between zero and +/-0.75) you may want to consider the options available. This includes getting spectacles for occasional use, or having an enhancement (re-treatment). We usually wait at least 2-3 months before considering an enhancement.
Why do some people need an enhancement?
Each patient has a unique combination of variables that can affect visual outcome. Human corneal tissue is dynamic and varies slightly between individuals in thickness, elasticity, hydration and strength. People can just respond a little differently to the same amount of laser. Despite this, the average chance of needing an enhancement is low (< 5%). The need for an enhancement is more common if you had a high prescription to start with.
To determine whether you're a good candidate for an enhancement, we will re-evaluate your corneas with the same methods used prior to your first procedure. Among other things, we will check to see whether you have enough corneal thickness for a second surgery.
A LASIK enhancement is nearly identical to a primary LASIK procedure but the flap does not need to be re-cut. Instead we lift the original flap. Then we apply the laser to reshape the cornea a little more to fine tune your prescription. This is painless and quick.
If you had PRK you can also have an enhancement and this is identical to your initial treatment.