After the doctor examines your eyes and answers any questions, you will be taken to the laser room. You will be seated in a comfortable chair that will lie back, placing your eyes in position for treatment. The first eye to be treated is prepared using special drapes and a separator is used to keep the lids from blinking. With some people, especially those with small eyelid openings, this can be slightly uncomfortable. At this point, a special instrument is placed on the eye to cause it to become firm. During this time, your vision will go gray but you will be looking at a red light. Then you will be slid over to the reshaping laser, which will reshape your cornea while you look at a flashing light. The laser has been calibrated carefully to deliver the exact treatment your eye needs. This is highly controlled to ensure an excellent outcome.
Once the laser is finished, the flap is laid back down and adheres on its own without stitches. This takes a couple of minutes. After the surgeon is sure the flap is seated properly, the other eye is treated in the same way. Once the procedure is done, a careful examination by the surgeon is done under the microscope. The eyes are covered with a clear shield and you are advised to keep them closed for 6 hours.
The use of specific eye drops will be reviewed extensively with you at your LASIK appointment, and you will receive prescriptions for any appropriate medications. These are to prevent infection and to control the healing of your eyes during the first week. Typically, there is no pain following the procedure. Your eyes may feel scratchy but generally, you will not need anything more than Tylenol. Six hours after surgery you should see a significant improvement in vision. In 24 hours, 80-85% of the healing has occurred. Usually, you will be able to drive yourself to the post-op visit without glasses or contacts. For a week or two, it is common for the vision to improve day by day.
You may need reading glasses if you had bifocals or reading glasses over contacts prior to LASIK. After the first day post-op exam with our surgeon, other follow-up appointments will be with your primary eye care provider. These usually occur in one week, one month, and then three to six months.
At approximately three months, most individuals’ vision will stabilize. In our experience about 1-2% of individuals need enhancements. This is greatly affected by the level of correction needed initially. The higher the change, the more chance one will have of needing an enhancement.