The elimination of glasses and contacts through the advanced methods of Lasik is becoming increasingly more common and accepted. What is the experience like during and after the procedure?
When the lasik procedure is scheduled, it is generally performed as an office procedure. You would be driven to the office to arrive about a half hour or so before the scheduled procedure. After checking in, mild oral sedation (such as Valium) is recommended; after all – it isn’t every day that we have something like this done to our eyes. At the scheduled time, you will lie down in the laser room by the excimer laser, and anesthesia of the eye is effectively achieved using eye drop anesthesia.
During the procedure, your eye surgeon will walk you through every step – there will be certain lights that you will focus on during the several steps. During the actual reshaping of the cornea, you will be fixating on a red light to hold your eye still. Patients often wonder: what happens if I don’t keep staring at the light; will I mess things up? You should understand that today’s laser technologies work with sophisticated trackers so that even if you move your eye slightly, the head of the laser tracks and moves with your eye movement. So, if you happen to move your eyes, you may slow things up, but you won’t mess things up.
Immediately after the procedure is completed, you will be able to sit up and look around a little; the expectation is that your vision will already be better – BUT – at that moment, your vision will also look like you are looking through smoked glass – – very normal. After your eye surgeon does a final check, you will be sent home with instructions to keep your eyes closed. The anesthetic drops do wear off in about 15 minutes or so – and your eyes will become teary and sore – like the sensation of having a handful of sand in your eyes – or of peeling onions. Your eyes will be sore but if you keep them closed, and above all, focus on the fact that this soreness will be over in 5 hours, patients are able to get through this uncomfortable period of time. The best strategy for this time: – go home and go to sleep.
When you awaken by the next morning, your eyes are feeling human again, and most importantly, we expect your vision to be better and functional – although not 100% better. It is important to remember that there is a healing period of time – and that does take 3 – 4 months. However, from the following day, we expect the patient to be functional and able to return to most normal activities. You will be on some prescription drops for a week or two, and on artificial tears for the entire 3 – 4 months of healing.