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How to Prepare for LASIK Surgery: A Comprehensive Guide

how to prepare for LASIK

Did you know that preparing for LASIK surgery starts weeks before the actual procedure? It’s not just about showing up on the day of the surgery. There’s a lot more to it, and proper preparation can significantly impact the success of your LASIK eye surgery.

This article will guide you through the essential steps on how to prepare for LASIK. From the initial LASIK consultation to the day of the surgery, we’ll provide you with a comprehensive guide to ensure you’re well-prepared and know exactly what to expect.

So, if you’re considering LASIK eye surgery or have already scheduled your appointment, read on to learn how to prepare for LASIK surgery effectively.

Understanding LASIK Surgery

LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis) is a type of laser vision correction designed to correct common vision problems such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. The procedure reshapes the cornea, allowing light entering the eye to be properly focused onto the retina for improved vision. While LASIK has a high success rate, it’s important to understand that, like any surgery, it comes with potential risks and complications.

lasik surgery steps

LASIK Consultation and Eye Examination

Before undergoing LASIK, you’ll have an initial consultation and eye examination with your LASIK surgeon. This is a crucial step in the LASIK preparation process. During this appointment, your eye doctor will:

  • Conduct a thorough eye examination to assess your suitability for the procedure.
  • Evaluate your eye health and measure your cornea.
  • Discuss your medical history and any medications you’re currently taking.

If you wear contact lenses, you’ll be asked to stop wearing them for a certain period before the examination. This is because contact lenses can alter the natural shape of your cornea, which could affect the results of your tests and the outcome of the surgery.

The Right LASIK Surgeon

Choosing the right LASIK surgeon is a crucial step in your journey towards improved vision. This decision should not be taken lightly, as the skill and experience of your surgeon significantly influence the outcome of the procedure.

steps of cataract surgery

During the initial consultation, assess your comfort level with the surgeon. They should be open, honest, and patient, willing to answer all your questions thoroughly. Check their credentials, ask about their experience, and inquire about their success rates. Don’t hesitate to ask for patient testimonials or references.

Remember, a good surgeon will prioritize your wellbeing and satisfaction, providing comprehensive pre and post-operative care. Ultimately, you should feel confident and comfortable with your choice of a LASIK surgeon.

Physical and Mental Preparation

Preparing for LASIK isn’t just about following specific instructions; it’s also about ensuring you’re in good physical and mental health. Here are some tips:

  • Maintain a healthy diet and get plenty of sleep. Good nutrition and rest can help your body heal more effectively after the surgery.
  • Understand the procedure. Knowing what to expect can help reduce anxiety. Don’t hesitate to ask your doctor any questions you may have.
  • Set realistic expectations. While LASIK can dramatically improve vision, it may not give you perfect vision. Discuss the potential outcomes with your doctor.

Pre-Surgery Instructions

Once you’ve been deemed a suitable candidate for LASIK eye surgery, your surgeon will provide instructions on how to prepare for the procedure. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Stop wearing contact lenses: You’ll need to stop wearing your contacts and switch to glasses for a few days or weeks before surgery. This allows your corneas to return to their natural shape.
  • Avoid makeup and skincare products: On the day of the surgery, avoid wearing makeup, creams, perfumes, or lotions. These products can interfere with the laser treatment.
  • Arrange for transportation: You won’t be able to drive immediately after the procedure, so arrange for a family member or friend to drive you home.

The Day of the Surgery

lasik surgery suite

On the day of the LASIK surgery, it’s important to be as relaxed and comfortable as possible. Here’s what to expect:

  • Dress comfortably: Wear comfortable clothing. Avoid wearing accessories like jewelry or hairpins.
  • Eat a light meal: You can eat a light meal before the procedure and take any necessary prescribed medications.
  • The procedure: The LASIK procedure itself is quick, typically lasting only about 10 minutes per eye. You’ll be awake during the procedure, but your doctor will use numbing eye drops to ensure you’re comfortable.

Post-Surgery Care and Recovery

After the surgery, your eyes may feel itchy, burn, or be teary. These are normal symptoms and should subside within a few days. Here are some tips for post-surgery care:

  • Use prescribed eye drops: Your doctor will prescribe medicated eye drops to prevent infection and inflammation and artificial tears to help with dry eyes.
  • Avoid rubbing your eyes: Rubbing your eyes can interfere with the healing process and risk wrinkling or dislocated of the corneal flap.
  • Follow-up appointment: You’ll have a follow-up appointment with your surgeon within 48 hours of the surgery to check your eyes and vision.

Preparing For LASIK Checklist:

how to prepare for LASIK checklist
  • Get a good night’s sleep before the surgery.
  • Switch from contact lenses to glasses.
  • Avoid makeup, creams, and lotions.
  • Wear comfortable clothing.
  • Avoid caffeine on the day of surgery.
  • Eat a light meal before the procedure.
  • Avoid alcohol 48 hours before surgery.
  • Arrange for a ride home post-surgery.
  • Use prescribed eye drops as directed.
  • Stock up on artificial tears for post-surgery care
  • Prepare your home for recovery
  • Schedule time off work for your recovery period


  • What should I do 24 hours before LASIK?

    In the 24 hours leading up to your LASIK surgery, there are several key steps you should take to prepare. First, you should stop wearing any eye makeup, perfumes, lotions, and creams to minimize the chances of infection. Your face should be clean for the procedure. Second, you should avoid drinking alcohol, smoking, and consuming caffeine, as these substances can affect your body’s hydration levels and your ability to sleep. Instead, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Lastly, ensure you have a comfortable, clean environment to return to post-surgery. This includes comfortable clothing and clean beddings to promote a smooth recovery process.

  • Will I want to blink during LASIK?

    During the LASIK procedure, your eye will be held open by a device called a speculum, which prevents you from blinking. Additionally, numbing eye drops are used to ensure you don’t feel any discomfort. Therefore, while you might have the urge to blink, the speculum and the numbing drops will make it a non-issue during the surgery.

  • Can I eat or drink before LASIK?

    Yes, you can eat a light meal before your LASIK surgery day. However, it’s recommended to avoid caffeine as it can make it difficult for you to rest or sleep after the procedure. Drinking plenty of water is encouraged to keep your body hydrated. Alcohol should be avoided 48 hours before the procedure.

  • What precautions should you take before laser eye surgery?

    There are several precautions you should take before undergoing LASIK surgery. These include:
    Stop wearing contacts at least a week before the surgery. Contacts can alter the shape of your cornea, which can affect the accuracy of the procedure.
    Avoid wearing makeup, perfumes, lotions, and creams at least 24 hours before the surgery to minimize the risk of infection.
    Plan to have someone drive you home after the procedure as you won’t be able to drive yourself.
    Take adequate time off work to rest and recover after the surgery.
    Stay hydrated and avoid alcohol, smoking, and caffeine.
    Communicate openly with your doctor and follow all their instructions carefully.

The Bottom Line

Preparing for LASIK surgery involves several steps, from the initial consultation and eye examination to following specific pre-surgery instructions. Understanding these steps can help ensure a successful procedure and recovery. Remember, every patient’s experience with LASIK surgery is unique, so it’s important to follow your doctor’s specific instructions and ask any questions you may have.

Remember, proper preparation is key to a successful LASIK surgery and a smooth recovery.