Three Things to Do Before Going under the Laser.

By: Thomas Hunter

Lasik eye surgery is the most common form of refractive surgery performed. Although the procedure is often referred to as “Lasik,” the name is an acronym for Laser Assisted SItu Keratomileusis.

Lasik has gradually gained popularity because it has many advantages over other procedures. Some of these advantages include reduced post-surgery pain and nearly immediate results. For most, better vision is often achieved immediately after surgery, while it might not become apparent until the next day for others.

With the procedure, a microkeratome or a laser is used to cut a thin, circular flap into the cornea. The surgeon then folds the flap back in order to remove some of the corneal tissue beneath. This is accomplished with an excimer laser, which utilizes a cool ultraviolet light to remove tissue with precision. In this way, the cornea is reshaped in order to better focus light onto the retina, thereby creating clearer vision.

Pick a Doctor and Educate Yourself

The most important step to take before going under the laser is to find a competent Lasik eye surgery doctor. The doctor you choose should be one with a great deal of experience, as the outcome of this procedure is improved with every experience a doctor has performing it. In fact, potential risks or side effects are dramatically reduced when a doctor who has a great deal of experience performs the procedure.

Before the procedure, the doctor will ask you a series of health related questions. Be sure to answer these questions honestly and as thoroughly as possible. These questions are meant to help the doctor determine whether or not you are a good candidate for the surgery. If you have certain health factors that put you at a high risk with this procedure, he will recommend that you don’t follow through with it. While this may be disappointing, it can save you from permanently damaging your eyes or making your vision worse.

In addition, the doctor you select must be willing to give you both the pros and the cons associated with the procedure. While the technology is truly amazing, there are true risks involved. A doctor who does not provide this information is not looking out for your best interest and should not be considered as an option for performing such a delicate and important procedure.

Make sure that you read all information the doctor provides you with and that you listen to the doctor carefully as he describes the procedure and its possible effects. You must be sure that you are ready to deal with the potential complications with the surgery. In addition, you need to weigh the potential outcome against the potential risks very carefully before deciding to carry out the procedure. It is irreversible and you don’t want to have any regrets.

Take Out Those Contacts

Wearing contact lenses prevents the cornea from properly absorbing oxygen. This can lead to the formation of blood vessels on the cornea, which is called corneal neovascularization. If you remove the contacts for a few weeks prior to the surgery, these formations will be reduced, or will go away altogether.

Having Lasik performed while these formations are on the cornea can cause the eyes to take longer to heal and can increase inflammation. In addition, the surgery can be much more uncomfortable if undergone with these formations.

Arrange Time Off

Although it is possible to return to normal functioning almost immediately after getting the surgery completed, it is still a good idea to arrange for some relaxation after the surgery. The greatest risk for complications occurs during the first couple of days after the surgery. It is possible to have the “flap” that is cut on the cornea come off completely. This can lead to infection and other complications.

For these reasons, most doctors recommend going home and going to sleep after the surgery. This allows the eye some time to heal without being disturbed. Be sure you don’t rush yourself to become active after the surgery is complete. Damage can be difficult and costly to correct.

Lasik eye surgery can provide the freedom and independence many people who wear glasses desire. Before going under the laser, however, it is important to carefully select a doctor and to abide by a few precautions in order to ensure the overall success of the procedure.


This information is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read. This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to “diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease".

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