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Bascom Palmer Eye Institute

What to expect on the day of surgery

If you are a good candidate and decide to proceed with LASIK or another vision correction surgery, you will be provided with an informational packet describing what to expect and how to prepare for the procedure. You will be asked to refrain from using your contact lenses to minimize chances of altering the surface contour of the cornea prior to surgery. You will be asked to wash the eyes and lashes and to remove all residual makeup the day before surgery. On the day of surgery, do not apply any cosmetics, as this can contaminate the eye.

You will also be asked to avoid wearing perfumes or any perfumed products, including deodorant, on the day of the procedure, as they can interfere with the laser energy during the procedure. A good night’s rest and avoiding excessive stimulants are also helpful tips.

On the day of surgery, you will be asked to be accompanied by someone who will drive you home. Your vision will be blurred on the day of surgery, and you will need some assistance.

After the procedure, you will return home. You will be asked to rest your eyes to facilitate healing. For most procedures, you will be asked to return to Bascom Palmer the day after surgery to be examined and to receive further instructions. You will be given eye drops to minimize the risk of infection and help with healing. Although the instructions and restrictions following surgery may be cumbersome, they are necessary for only a short period of time and help to ensure the best possible outcome.

All of the vision correction procedures (with or without laser) described are painless with the use of local anesthetic. Following surgery, LASIK, CK, LTK and AK patients normally experience modest discomfort for the first twelve hours. PRK and LASEK patients feel mild to moderate discomfort for up to three days after surgery.