Preoperative LASIK

Preoperative Lasik

Before you jump into your surgeon's chair and come out with near perfect vision, you do have to prepare for surgery. Perhaps you didn't realize much preparation goes into LASIK surgery. You can't however, simply hop on the surgeon's table and hope for the best (nice thought, but not really sensible). You wouldn't after all, hop into your dentist's chair and tell your dentist to "go at it" without knowing what to expect, now would you?

Preparing For LASIK Helps Ensure Maximal Results
Adequate preparation for LASIK surgery helps reduce the risk for complications and ensures you happiness with the result. Here are some of the typical steps requested of patients before surgery:

  1. Soft contact lens wearers should stop wearing their lenses roughly a week to ten days before surgery.
  2. Hard contact lens wearers may need to stop wearing their lenses for six weeks before surgery and up to six weeks for every three years they used hard lenses. This recommendation may vary from provider to provider, so check with your healthcare provider.

  3. Your eye doctor will examine your cornea before surgery, carefully mapping your cornea's exact shape using special equipment. The result is a visual map of your cornea the surgeon will eventually use to help guide surgery and reshape your cornea during the LASIK procedure. The scanning process may help your surgeon also detect other abnormalities of the eye including astigmatism. This helps determine how much corneal tissue needs to be removed or reshaped during surgery.

  4. Many healthcare providers prescribe a prophylactic antibiotic before surgery to help reduce the risk of complications including infection. To help reduce the side effects associated with antibiotic use (like yeast overgrowth) be sure to take a high-end acidophilus supplement or other natural probiotic to help balance out your body's natural flora (antibiotics kill off all bacteria, even good bacteria, in the body to help prevent or destroy infection. Unfortunately this can also lead to imbalances in the gut and reproductive tract. Fortunately, with adequate knowledge, you can minimize any impact). If you want more information about this, talk with your doctor before the procedure.

  5. Get plenty of rest before your procedure. You may be excited enough to want to stay up all night, but doing so will lower your immune response and your ability to recover well after surgery. So relax, and rest up.

Choosing A Surgeon
Of course, part of the preoperative process also entails selecting a competent surgeon. There are lots of surgeons out there. How do you know which is right for you? For one, don't go with the cheapest surgeon. Cheap isn't better when it comes to your eye health. It is important in fact, you find the best surgeon possible. There are dozens to select from. Your criteria should include:

  • References - Check to see what references the surgical center or physician can provide of both good and bad experiences customers have had.

  • Certification and Licensure - Make certain your surgeon is licensed to practice LASIK surgery.

  • Experience - Look for a surgeon with lots of experience, the more experience the better. A doctor performing 500 successful surgeries will likely have more knowledge than one who has performed five surgeries.
When in doubt, ask around. You can always find a surgeon if you ask around. Undoubtedly you'll have friends or family members who can turn you on to a good surgeon. Ask them where to go. Also use your judgment when selecting a doctor. You should ultimately feel comfortable with your healthcare provider and trust their judgment.

Learn more about preparing for LASIK eye surgery on our forums!