Step 7: Recovery
As with other surgeries, recovery is a key component of the LASIK
process. It is up to you to be an enthusiastic participant in
managing your own recovery.
Before you leave to go home, your eyes will be examined again
(usually 15 minutes to 1 hour following the procedure) to ensure that
the flap positioned correctly. Along with your anti-inflammatory and
antibiotic medications, you will be given sedatives to help you sleep.
After about 30 minutes, the anesthetic drops used in the laser
procedure will begin to wear off and you may experience some minor
discomfort. It is usually unnecessary to take medication for these
symptoms, but should you need it, Tylenol, Advil or any non-aspirin
analgesic is recommended. Artificial teardrops, included in your supplies,
often provide some relief. No matter what, do not rub your eyes!
Any of the following symptoms are common and normal:
· Watery eyes and nose
Your vision might be foggy because of the swelling on the cornea. It might be
similar to looking through a frosted window or under water.
· Light sensitivity
· Redness and swelling of eyes
· Dry eyes
· Foreign-body-in-the-eye sensation
· Blurry vision
Once your procedure is complete you will be able to go home almost immediately
to rest. Try to sleep for at least 4 hours to facilitate the healing process
of the flap. Most of our patients wake up from their nap with little or no discomfort
and notice a significant improvement in their vision. This can be very exciting!
Plan to relax for the remainder of the day following your procedure. You should
not drive until Dr. Seibel verifies your vision during your one-day post-operative
By the next morning, you should notice a dramatic improvement in your vision.
Be sure to enjoy this moment. Take a look at your alarm clock. Look out your
bedroom window and see the neighborhood, as it has never appeared to you before.
The quick recovery of functional vision is impressive and often described as
It is typical to have up to an 80-90% improvement in vision by the next morning
after your procedure and return to most routine activities promptly.
Follow-up care is as important as the actual procedure. It is absolutely essential
for you to adhere to your instructions. You will be required to use anti-inflammatory
and antibiotic eye drops on a regular basis for a several weeks.
Prescription eye drops: (1 drop each application)
Fluroquinolone (antibiotic) 4 times daily for 5 days, then discontinue
Wait about 1 minute between drops
Prednisolone Acetate (steroid) every hour while awake on the day of surgery,
every 2 hours while awake on the day after surgery, then 4 times a day for 5
Lubrication eye drops: (minimum of 1 drop four x per day)
Bion tears, or any comparable lubricant, as needed for lubrication, for
It is okay to use up to every 1 or 2 hours if needed.
The epithelium, where the flap was created, recovers slowly, so be patient and
take good care of it. It is essential to protect your eyes from being bumped
or touched; especially, keep your hands away from your eyes. In very rare circumstances
a special contact lens may be necessary for a short period after LASIK eye surgery.
Generally, your vision will be stable in a matter of weeks.
Temporary lifestyle changes:
Adopt these habits as soon as your procedure is complete:
Wear the protective eye shield for the first 2 hours and then whenever you sleep
for the next 3-4 days
Rest and sleep as often as possible the first 48 hours
Avoid doing very intense exercise for at least 72 hours
Keep your hands away from your eyes
Protect your eyes from dust and abrasion
Relax your eyes whenever possible over the next few months
Keep them well lubricated
Wear dark, wrap-around sunglasses to shield against bright lights
Shower or take a tub bath, but avoid getting anything in your eyes for 3 days
Avoid all water sports and activities (hot tubs, whirlpools, swimming, etc.)
for 2 weeks post-operatively. Avoid scuba diving for 6 weeks.
To monitor healing, it is essential that you see Dr. Seibel the day after surgery,
again at three weeks, and then at three months and six months following the surgery.
Next step: Return for your