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5 Things You Should Do Before LASIK Eye Surgery

By WebMD Connect to Care Staff
Reviewed by Eric Donnenfeld, MD, and member of the Refractive Surgery Council editorial advisory board on December 07, 2020
Preparing for LASIK doesn't have to be stressful. Here are some tips to help you take on surgery day with ease.

Before making a decision to undergo LASIK surgery, your eye doctor will conduct a thorough baseline evaluation to determine whether you are a good candidate for the procedure. The following information details what to expect and how to prepare for your exam:

1.Stop wearing your contact lenses.

If you wear contact lenses, stop wearing them before your exam and switch to wearing glasses full-time. Contact lenses can change the shape of your cornea for up to several weeks after you stop wearing them. If your cornea does not assume its natural shape before the examination, this can result in inaccurate measurements, jeopardizing the success of the operation.

  • If you wear soft contact lenses, stop wearing them for at least one week before your initial exam.
  • If you wear rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses, or hard lenses, stop wearing them for at least a month before your baseline exam.
  • If you wear hard lenses, stop wearing them for at least four weeks before your initial evaluation.

2. Be honest about your medical history.

Tell your doctor about any past or present medical or eye conditions and all prescription and over-the-counter medications you are taking. Be sure to mention if you are allergic to any medications as well.

3. Ask a lot of questions, and don't rush.

After your doctor performs a thorough eye examination, discuss your specific suitability as a surgery candidate with your doctor. Ask your doctor about the risks, benefits, and any possible alternatives to surgery. Gather information about what to expect before, during, and after surgery. Make sure your doctor answers all your questions and addresses all your concerns. Do not feel pressured by your doctor, friends, family, or anyone else to make a decision about surgery. Carefully weigh the pros and cons before signing an informed consent form.

4. Try to avoid wearing fragrances.

On the day before your surgery, do not use creams, lotions, perfume, or makeup. These products can affect the laser and increase the risk of infection during and after surgery. You may be asked to thoroughly scrub your eyelashes before surgery in order to remove any residue or debris.

5. Arrange your transportation.

Prior to your surgery, arrange transportation to and from the surgery center. Immediately following the surgery, your vision will be blurry and it is important to keep your eyes closed to help the healing process. In addition, your doctor may administer medicine to relax you that will impair your ability to drive, so make sure you have someone reliable who can help you get home.