Returning Home After LASIK
As with other surgeries, recovery is a very important component of the LASIK process. It’s up to the patient to follow our instructions.
Before you leave to go home, your eyes will be examined again (usually 15 minutes to 1 hour following the surgery) to ensure that the flap is positioned correctly. Along with your anti-inflammatory and antibiotic medications, you will be given mild sedatives to help you sleep.
After about 30 minutes after your LASIK procedure, the anesthetic drops used in the laser procedure will begin to wear off and you may experience some minor discomfort such as sand or an eyelash in your eye. 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
- Light sensitivity
- Redness and swelling of eyes
- Dry eyes
- Foreign-body-in-the-eye sensation
- Blurry vision
Your vision might be foggy or blurry because of the swelling on the cornea. It might be similar to looking through plastic or being under water.
Rest after LASIK
Once your LASIK 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.
Plan to relax for the remainder of the day following your procedure. Although you can, it is recommended that you wait to drive until Dr. Cutarelli verifies your vision during your one-day post-operative exam.
By the next morning, you should notice a dramatic improvement in your vision. Be sure to enjoy this moment as it only happens once! 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 miraculous.
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 Instructions after LASIK:
Follow-up care can be just as important as the actual procedure. 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 additional days.
Lubrication eye drops: (minimum of 1 drop four x per day)
Bion tears, or any comparable lubricant, as needed for lubrication, for 4-6 weeks. It is okay to use up to every 1 or 2 hours if needed.
Temporary lifestyle changes after LASIK:
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
- 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 after surgery.
- Avoid doing very intense exercise for at least 72 hours
- Keep your hands away from your eyes
- Protect your eyes from dust and abrasion
- 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. Cutarelli the day after surgery, again at three weeks, and then at three months and six months following the surgery.
Read more about LASIK Post-Op.