What to Expect During Your Laser Eye Surgery

Many people feel nervous before they undergo laser eye surgery. Fortunately, there is no need to be worried. This surgery is performed about 700,000 times a year in the United States. In the few decades since it has become routine, laser eye surgery has become a safe and dependable way to correct your vision.

Still, many people want to know what they should expect before they go in for their laser surgery. What can they anticipate before, during, and after their procedure?

Before you decide on laser eye surgery

Your initial evaluation will let your optometrist determine whether you are a candidate for laser eye surgery. If he or she decides that laser eye surgery is a good option for you, you will have the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the procedure.

Make sure to ask your doctor about the benefits and drawbacks of laser eye surgery and any special circumstances you may have. Of course, you should also consider your options carefully before you decide that surgery is the best choice for you. After all, it is a good option, but it is not the only one.

Before your laser eye surgery

Once you settle on a day for your surgery, you will need to plan to have someone pick you up. With medication and postoperative vision blurriness, it will not be safe for you to drive.

Do not apply anything to your face for 24 hours or so before your laser eye surgery. This includes lotion, makeup, and perfume. Make sure your face is clean before you go in. This is because hygiene and self-grooming products can cause infection if they are caught in the surgical site.

Lasik surgeon Dr. Joseph Dello Russo performing laser eye surgery

During your laser eye surgery

Laser eye surgery is a very quick procedure. In fact, it usually takes less than half an hour. Your eyes will be numbed with a special drop solution, then cleaned. The doctor will use a speculum to open your eye.

Some doctors use a small blade to cut the cornea. Others use a special laser to make the incision instead. Then, your cornea will have suction applied to it. This will not hurt, but it may be uncomfortable, and your vision will blur.

After the cornea is pressurized, you will be able to see again. However, your vision will fade in and out at different levels until the surgery is complete. At this point, your doctor will open your cornea and ask you to focus on the light of the laser tool.

The tools used in a laser eye surgery are connected to a computer. This ensures that you are kept completely safe during the procedure and that the correct level of power is used. All of these levels are preprogrammed by the doctor before your surgery.

Once your surgery is complete, your eye will be covered with a patch or shield. This ensures that you do not accidentally hit, rub, or jab your eye until your incision is fully healed.

Healing from laser eye surgery takes a few weeks, but its benefits can last years or even decades.