One thing that make patients most nervous about any kind of surgical procedure, and that includes Lasik eye surgery, is not so much the procedure itself, but a lack of knowledge about what will happen. We trust that the vast majority of doctors, surgeons, and nurses are open with their patients and give them all the information they need, but it may not always be the case.
If you have chosen to have Lasik eye surgery then no doubt you have done your research, however, if not, or if you are considering Lasik eye surgery and want to know more, then read on. We are going to explain to you what happens before, during, and after Lasik eye surgery in the hope that it reassures you that it is not only an effective treatment but also a safe one too.
Before Lasik Eye Surgery
First, you have a few practical matters to sort out, as, for a day or so after your surgery, your sight will not yet be 100% and you will need to recover. For this reason, you should arrange for a day or two off work, and if necessary arrange for a family member or friend to help you at home with regards to cooking meals and the like.
Also, you will need to arrange for someone to collect you from the eye surgery clinic as your sight at that stage will not allow you to drive safely.
As for what the surgeon will do before your Lasik eye surgery, the first thing should be to reassure you. Thereafter, they will administer eye drops into your eyes which keep them moist, and they also contain a mild anaesthetic to keep any discomfort in your eyes to a minimum.
During Lasik Eye Surgery
The initial part of the procedure will require the surgeon to keep your eyes open using a device called a lid speculum. It may feel awkward, but you should not feel any pain. They will next apply a suction ring to the front of your eye which is designed to prevent any eye movement during the procedure.
Next, the surgeon, using a computer calibrated laser, will proceed to create a corneal flap. As they do so you will be asked to look ahead at a laser light target and as you do so the surgeon will look through a microscope at your cornea. They will watch as laser light pulses adjust the shape of your cornea.
Do not be concerned if you smell any burning while the laser is shining,. That is not your eye that is burning, instead, it is the laser light heating up particles in the air. In fact, the light pulses should feel cold.
After Lasik Eye Surgery
You will be given time to rest by the surgeon and you should expect to feel some mild discomfort. One benefit of Lasik eye surgery is that patients report feeling less pain and discomfort than those having other types of laser eye surgery.
In the days after surgery, you might experience some dryness of the eyes which can be addressed using eye drops. You will likely be asked to revisit the surgeon the next day so that they can check your vision. If ok, they should advise you that it is safe for you to drive.
You should be able to return to work within a day or two, and as you proceed continue to follow the surgeon instructions and ensure you take any medication they have prescribed for you.