What to expect before, during, and after surgery will vary from doctor to doctor and patient to patient. This section is a compilation of patient information developed by manufacturers and healthcare professionals, but cannot replace the dialogue you should have with your doctor. Read this information carefully and with the checklist, discuss your expectations with your doctor.
- Soft contact lenses, you should stop wearing them for 1 week before your initial evaluation.
- Rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses or hard lenses, you should stop wearing them for at least 3 weeks before your initial evaluation.
You should tell your doctor:
- about your past and present medical and eye conditions
- about all the medications you are taking, including over-the-counter medications and any medications you may be allergic to
Your doctor should perform a thorough eye exam and discuss:
- whether or not you are a good candicate
- what the risks, benefits, and alternatives of the surgery are
- what you should expect before, during, and after surgery
- what your responsibilities will be before, during, and after surgery
You should have the opportunity to ask your doctor questions during this discussion. Give yourself plenty of time to think about the risk/benefit discussion, to review any informational literature provided by your doctor, and to have any additional questions answered by your doctor before deciding to go through with surgery and before signing the informed consent form.
You should not feel pressured by your doctor, family, friends, or anyone else to make a decision about having surgery. Carefully consider the pros and cons.
You should see your doctor within the first 24 to 48 hours after surgery and at regular intervals after that for at least the first six months. At the first postoperative visit, your doctor will test your vision, and examine your eyes. Your doctor may give you one or more types of eye drops to take at home to help prevent infection and/or inflammation. You may also be advised to use artificial tears to help lubricate the eye. Do not resume wearing a contact lens in the operated eye, even if your vision is blurry.
You should wait one to three days following surgery before beginning any non-contact sports, depending on the amount of activity required, how you feel, and your doctor's instructions.
Strenuous contact sports such as boxing, football, karate, etc. should not be attempted for at least four weeks after surgery. It is important to protect your eyes from anything that might get in them and from being hit or bumped.
During the first few months after surgery, your vision may fluctuate.
- It may take up to three to six months for your vision to stabilize after surgery.
- Glare, haloes, difficulty driving at night, and other visual symptoms may also persist during this stabilization period. If further correction or enhancement is necessary, you should wait until your eye measurements are consistent for two consecutive visits at least 6 months after the initial operation.