What Is The Process and Recovery Time of Laser Eye Surgery?

If you’ve recently decided that LASIK is the best solution to correct your vision, you’ve most likely wondered what the process and recovery time is like. To help you prepare and understand what to expect, here’s a glimpse into the LASIK process from beginning to end.

The LASIK Process

Preoperative

Before Dr. Davis can perform LASIK, our patients must undergo a thorough eye examination to ensure they are an ideal candidate for the procedure.  This visit is crucial to fully access your candidacy and to ensure that we get as accurate a prescription as possible. Ideal candidates must meet the following requirements:

 

  • LASIK candidates must be at least 18 years old.
  • Your eyes must be free of eye diseases or corneal abnormalities.
  • With the removal of each diopter of prescription, an amount of cornea is removed, so patients must have thick enough corneas. During your preoperative examination, a measurement of the thickness of your corneas will be performed.
  • Your existing vision must fall within an acceptable correction range and must not have changed significantly within the last two years

 

The Day of Your LASIK Procedure

On the day of your procedure, we will take you into a preparation room where we apply anesthetic drops that numb your eyes and reduce any discomfort. You’ll be placed on a cushioned platform and positioned directly below the laser. To keep your eye open during the entire procedure, Dr. Davis and our LASIK technician will apply special tape that keeps your eyelids out of the way and an eyelid holder.

In most cases, there is no pain involved with the procedure However, there can be a certain amount of pressure and discomfort.

 

During the LASIK procedure, our eye surgeon will create a precise corneal flap using a microkeratome. The surgeon will then pull back the flap to expose the underlying corneal tissue. We’ll ask you to focus on a light above you while the excimer laser reshapes the cornea in a pre-specified pattern. The cornea flap is then repositioned onto the underlying cornea. Since the cornea begins to heal immediately after the procedure, there is typically no need for sutures to hold the flap in place. The entire procedure typically takes less than 15 minutes.

 

On the day of your procedure, Valium is offered to lessen your anxiety and nervousness. After your LASIK procedure, you’ll need to make sure that you have someone to drive you home.

LASIK Recovery

To ensure your eyes heal properly, we’ll schedule follow-up appointments on a progressively lengthening basis. Here’s what you can expect with your LASIK recovery process.

 

The First 24 Hours After LASIK Surgery

Immediately after your LASIK procedure, you’ll be given tiny shields with minuscule holes in them so you see enough of your surroundings without getting too much light in. These eye shields will also keep our foreign object and helps you avoid touching your eyes. Patients should wear the eye shields for the remainder of that day and overnight. Keep in mind that it’s natural for your eyes to water the first few hours after your LASIK procedure.

 

Although your eyes should start healing immediately after LASIK surgery, it’s normal to experience blurred vision or sensitivity to light within the first couple of weeks. Dr. Davis will send you home with antibiotic drops and anti-inflammatory drops to prevent your eyes from getting dry or irritated. Depending on what type of procedure you have done, you’ll need to administer the anti-inflammatory eye drops differently. If you have the Intralase laser, you will use drops four times a day for one week and every hour while awake the first day. With the microkeratome, the drop should be administered four times a day for a week. Antibiotic drops are typically used four times a day for seven days.

 

We’ll schedule your first post-op appointment within the first 24-48 hours to examine and test your vision. Most patients can safely drive and are able to return to work the day after their LASIK procedure.

 

The First Week After LASIK Surgery

Within the first couple of weeks after surgery, you should be back to doing your normal day-to-day activities. However, there are a few things you should avoid. Since mascara, eyeliner, and eye shadow can get into your eye and cause infections, refrain from putting on eye makeup for about a week after surgery. While it’s safe to use a moisturizer or foundation, make sure to be careful around the eyes. If you’re into physical activities or sports, make sure to wear safety glasses with polycarbonate lenses. However, we recommend avoiding intense contact sports for at least one month.

 

Six Months After LASIK Surgery

At the six-month checkup, any lingering visual problems like dry eyes, light sensitivity, glares, or halos are typically gone entirely or significantly reduced. If vision problems remain, Dr. Davis may schedule a follow-up procedure to sharpen your eyesight.  

What Happens if there are Complications after my LASIK Procedure?

Surgical complications are extremely rare with LASIK. In fact, less than one percent of LASIK patients experience these surgical complications. Plus, roughly 96% of patients are happy they underwent LASIK surgery. At Davis Vision Center, our LASIK and cataract specialists use the Intralase laser for flap creation making the Lasik procedure truly blade-free and even safer. Plus, Dr. Davis has performed over 40,000 vision correction procedures and is the current director of Ophthalmology at both the Riverton Hospital and the Jordan Valley Hospital.

Schedule Your LASIK Consultation with Davis Vision Center

Are you ready to visualize your next move and simplify your life? It’s time to improve your life with better eyesight. What do you have to lose? As a recognized leader in LASIK vision in Utah, Davis Vision Center is fully equipped with the latest technology. Our caring staff will see you through every step of the way, from preoperative care through the procedure and the postoperative care processes. Our convenient location is great for patients living in the Salt Lake Valley as well as the Northern and Southern Utah areas. Contact us today at 801-590-0864.