LASIK: WHAT TO EXPECT

How long does the evaluation take?

Generally Dr. Ambati asks you to set aside 2 hours of the day for the evaluation at our Eugene location. We do a complete evaluation to make sure that anyone we perform surgery on is a good candidate for the procedure, and that it would be safe and effective. This entails measuring the power of your eye several different ways, using advanced corneal scanning to evaluate its shape and thickness.

Can I keep my contacts in before the evaluation?

To get the optimal measurements to enable the best treatment for your eyes, we ask that you stay out of contacts before evaluation as contacts can “mold’ the cornea. If you wear:

How long is the treatment?

Generally the total procedure is about 10 minutes per eye. The time under the actual reshaping laser beam is typically less than 30 seconds

What if I blink or don’t look at the right spot during the surgery?

We do use an eyelid opener to help keep your eye open. During the surgery, we will ask you to look at a flashing green light to keep everything “on-target” and the laser computer/camera will be tracking your eye 1000 times/second.

Will it hurt?

We numb the eye so you should not feel any pain during the procedure. If you would like some medicine to help you relax before the surgery, we can arrange that as well. You may feel drops of cool fluid and you may feel a few moments of pressure on the eye. You will see lights and shadows during the surgery but not see any instruments. After surgery, your eyes will feel scratchy for several hours but should not hurt. We do give eyedrops to help reduce inflammation. Patients in general do not need any pain medication.

What should I do the rest of the day right after the surgery?

The day of the surgery, except for putting in eye drops, eating, and going to the bathroom, keep your eyes closed. No TV, reading, driving, or computer work (you do need a driver to take you home). We will you have administer eyedrop medications every couple of hours while awake and artificial tears even more frequently any time.

Can I get to work the next day?

Most patients are in general able to drive and work the next day. They do need to be able to put eyedrops in and take artificial tears.

How long does it take for my eyes to recover?

Usually patients can see well to drive the next day. Patients will continue to improve for a week or two. You will likely experience dry eye for a few months for which you would need to take artificial tears (like rewetting drops when wearing contact lenses). You may see rings around lights when driving at night, but those tend to fade over 4-6 weeks. If they are bothersome, we can prescribe eyedrops to take before driving at night to minimize that.

Do you do both eyes on same day?

Generally yes.

When can I resume normal activities?

The only restrictions are no rubbing of the eyes and no water in the eyes for about 5 days, and wearing shields at night for the same time. After that, you can resume normal activities.

What kind of quality of vision can I expect?

We aim to get the best possible vision for your eyes matching or exceeding the quality of vision you experience with glasses or soft contact lenses. In the first few weeks after surgery, vision fluctuations can occur, generally due to healing of the eye and dry eye (which can be treated with artificial tears or tear duct plugs.

What technology do you use?

We are pleased to offer the most advanced technology (including blade-free flap creation with the Intralase or the Wavelight FS200 laser, and wavefront-optimized corneal reshaping with the Wavelight EX500).

Will the correction be permanent?

While we expect the distance correction to be stable over time, it is important to note that in the early 40s, the lens of the eye generally loses the “strength” to change focus from distance to near. Hence, in general, at that time of life, people who have worn glasses and not had LASIK wind up needing glasses. Having had LASIK, one would generally need reading glasses starting in the 40s. Also, LASIK does not affect the health of the rest of the eye – hence, if one is destined to get macular degeneration or glaucoma or some either eye disease later in life, that would still happen.

For more information about what to expect during the LASIK procedure with Dr. Ambati, contact us in Eugene!