How should I prepare for LASIK Laser Eye Surgery?

You’ve done your background research, found a great clinic, confirmed you’re eligible for treatment, and now you’re well on your way to a life of greater vision.

At this stage, many practical questions start to crop up—everything from the length of the treatment and what clothes you should wear, to how you should get home from the clinic and how long you need to take off work.

It’s also natural to start feeling apprehensive about the procedure itself. Will everything go to plan? What if I cough or sneeze or even fall off the chair during treatment? I heard one lady from Norwich lost her sight in one eye, could that happen to me?

Many of these questions and concerns can be addressed relatively easily—providing you have access to a little knowledge from experts in the field. But that doesn’t mean you’ve to wait until the next time you see a specialist Laser Eye surgeon, with 15 years experience helping patients prepare for Laser Eye Surgery, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide covering everything you need to know about preparing for LASIK. 

The 7 Steps of preparing for LASIK surgery

Practically speaking there’s not a great deal you need to do to prepare for LASIK. Of course, every case is slightly different and your surgeon and optometrist will make everything you need to do clear in your initial consultation, but let’s take a look at some of the main steps in the preparation process which the majority of patients go through.

1. Time off work

Usually the first thing on the list is to arrange some time away from work. Most patients can return to work within 24 hours after LASIK, but for some it can be up to 4 days. This will be discussed with your surgeon in good time before the treatment so you can make appropriate arrangements.

2. The ride home

Patients are not able to drive following treatment or use the underground, they also may find other public transport a little tiring, so it’s a good idea to organise alternative means of transport. Arrange with a friend or family member to pick you up afterwards, or even bring them along with you—which brings us to our next point.

3. A helping hand

You may want to consider arranging to have someone accompany you to the clinic on the day of the procedure, if not solely for comfort, for a lift home! You can bring one or two people with you, however we only allow clinical personnel in the theatre.

3. A place to rest your eyes

If you live far from the clinic, you may find it convenient to stay in local accommodation on the night of your initial consultation and procedure. As we touched on in the second step, travelling and engaging in activities which may be stressful or require a high level of focus should be avoided. Ask one of our Patient Care Coordinators for some recommended Hotels nearby.

5. No alcohol allowed

Avoid drinking alcohol for 24 hours before surgery (and 48 hours after) as it can dry out your eyes. Also avoid wearing perfume, cologne, hair spray, and mousse—pretty much anything with a high alcohol content.

6. Step away from the make-up

For at least 24 hours prior to the procedure avoid wearing any mascara, eye-liner, or other eye make-up which may interfere with the surgery (on the day your face needs to be totally free of make-up).

7. Comfortable and lint free

On the day of the procedure, make sure to wear comfortable clothing and avoid anything made from wool or that may produce lint. In a similar way to make up, the small fibres could interfere with the energy of the laser.

Common questions and concerns prior to having LASIK

Once the practical side of things is taken care of, it’s easy to become hyper aware of the little worries and concerns you may have about the procedure. Put yourself at ease as we answer some of the most common questions which trouble the minds of patients prior to having LASIK.

How long is the waiting list?

Generally, waiting lists for LASIK can range from 1 to 6 weeks.

How long does the treatment take?

The bulk of the treatment time comes from preparing the surgery—around 30 minutes to an hour. The procedure itself is performed in a matter of minutes, with the laser only active for seconds.

What will I feel during the procedure?

Many clinics provide topical anaesthetic so that you feel very little aside from a bit of pressure when the corneal flap is created.

What happens if I look away, blink, cough, or sneeze during the procedure?

The short answer is nothing. Eye-tracking technology is in place to compensate for eye movement and ensure the treatment is performed in exactly the right place.

Could I go blind from LASIK?

Technically there is an exceedingly small risk of blindness with laser eye surgery but it is lower than the risk of wearing monthly contact lenses for one year, so a risk that everyone seems to accept as perfectly reasonable.

What is the risk of complications during Laser Eye Surgery?

Every surgery is not without a certain level of risk. The best thing you can do is to find a surgeon with the necessary experience and expertise so that if complications do occur, they can be managed effectively. The chance of even a minor complication arising is around 1 in 1,000 procedures, with the odds being significantly lower for a situation to arise that a specialist surgeon could not resolve.

If you would like to book a consultation at London Vision Clinic, or find out more about LASIK surgery, leave us a comment or give us a call us on 020 7224 1005.