After Care LASIK Eye Surgery

January 03, 2023


Contributing Author: Dr. Stella Lee

LASIK is an outpatient surgical procedure that corrects refractive vision errors in around 20 minutes. It’s considered to be a safe procedure with a short recovery period. This helps patients resume their usual activities within a day or two after LASIK. To improve recovery, the surgeon and surgical care team will create a post-operative care plan for you to follow after surgery. Following the guidelines of post-LASIK care is critical in terms of recovery and ensuring that the operation produces the desired outcome.

Since LASIK surgery permanently alters the form of the cornea, the risk of side effects and complications is possible. But if you take good care of your eyes after surgery, these risks are significantly minimized. Following the post-LASIK treatment plan and taking care of your eyes after surgery will speed up the healing process, increase your satisfaction with the operation, and reduce the risk of complications.

What Is Postoperative Care After LASIK Surgery?

Follow-up appointments with your eye doctor, a recovery plan for you to follow, and basic instructions to bear in mind are all part of postoperative care. In general, post-LASIK care refers to how you care for your eyes following surgery to achieve the desired results.

LASIK involves creating a small flap in the cornea’s outer layer with a specialized laser to reach and ablate the tissue underneath. This helps change the shape of the cornea and correct refractive errors that affect vision. Although the flap will reseal itself without the need for stitches or medical attention in a matter of days, patients can expect some discomfort.

After LASIK surgery, patients must follow up with their eye doctor within 24 to 48 hours to monitor their recovery and vision. This helps doctors decide if any changes are required in a patient’s aftercare plan. Check-up appointments with your eye doctor will continue for at least one year after surgery to ensure a smooth recovery.

Everyone is unique, which is why LASIK procedures are tailored to each person. As a result, the recovery process and post-treatment plan can differ from one person to another. For best outcomes, stick to the plan laid out by your surgical care team.

Recovery Tips for LASIK Surgery After Care

If the eyes are not adequately cared for after LASIK, patients may experience complications with flap healing, vision issues, or infections. In order to reduce the risks and complications associated with LASIK, it’s important to look after your eyes during the healing process.

Here are some general guidelines on what to do after LASIK surgery, as well as what to avoid:

  • Do not drive until you can see clearly enough to do so.
  • Do not rub your eyes for at least a month.
  • Do not take a shower till 24 hours after surgery.
  • Avoid shampoo, shower water, and soap around your eyes.
  • Use the protective eye shield recommended by your doctor for at least a week at night while sleeping.
  • Stay away from spas, whirlpools, hot tubs, saunas, and swimming pools for a few weeks.
  • Avoid all strenuous activities such as exercising for the first few days after surgery.
  • Wear sunglasses outdoors for at least a month.
  • Avoid dusty and dirty environments for at least a week after surgery.
  • Avoid applying eye makeup, lotion, or creams near or around the eyes for a week or two.
  • Be careful with hair spray and perfumes entering your eyes.
  • Avoid all contact sports for a few weeks, and wear protective eye goggles for a few months once your doctor clears you.
  • Use preservative free artificial tears regularly to mitigate dry eyes.
  • Follow the care plan outlined by your surgical care team, and use any medications as directed.
  • Attend your follow-up appointments, and talk to your doctor about any questions or concerns you may have.

What to Expect Soon After a LASIK Procedure

Most people don’t feel much pain after LASIK surgery, but it’s perfectly common to experience a burning sensation, tearing, and light sensitivity during the first four hours after the procedure. Depending on the type of technology used and how your eyes respond, this can range from barely noticeable to highly bothersome.

You are likely to experience vision changes throughout the day. Dry eyes and vision changes are normal in the first month or so after surgery, but this can last longer for certain people.  It generally requires around six months for vision to stabilize after LASIK surgery.

The irritation felt post-surgery could make you feel compelled to rub your eyes, but it’s crucial to stop rubbing or touching your eyes after LASIK as it may cause infection or the corneal flaps to dislodge. Ideally, you should not rub your eyes for one month after LASIK and PRK.

Other side effects you may experience initially after LASIK eye surgery include:

  • Blurry or hazy vision
  • Difficulty with night vision, including trouble driving at night
  • Red or pink patches on the white of your eye
  • Glare and halos surrounding lights


Tips on How to Prepare Before LASIK Eye Surgery

  • Ask someone to drive you back and help you settle at home after the procedure.
  • Wear something comfortable on your surgery day so you can go straight to bed when you get home.
  • Organize your post-op meals beforehand.
  • Eat a filling meal before your LASIK procedure.
  • Shower and wash your hair before your LASIK procedure.
  • Get some help with your pets for a day or two.
  • Inform friends and family of your surgery so they don’t worry if texts or calls go answered.
  • Most importantly, rest well.

According to the American Refractive Surgery Council (ARSC), LASIK has an unprecedented 96 percent patient satisfaction rate, the highest among any elective procedure. The majority of patients who undergo this type of operation are happy with their ability to see afterward. This should reassure those concerned about their quality of life following treatment. Working with a trained professional is one of the easiest ways to get the results you want.

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Here at OOMC, our patient’s well-being is our priority. Our dedicated team of surgeons and staff always makes an effort to create a safe and secure environment where you can easily access care comfortably and confidently.

Contact one of our centers nearest to you for further information.

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