With modern anesthetic protocols, Lasik is generally considered to be a painless procedure. During the process of creating the Lasik flap, whether done with an iFS Advance Femtosecond laser or a microkeratome, most people will notice a “pressure” in the eye. Generally speaking, this “pressure” is typically not considered by patients to be “pain” any more than the pressure felt from the inflation of the blood pressure cuff is “painful” when the doctor or nurse is taking your blood pressure. For the iFS laser, the pressure sensation will typically last about 20 seconds.
Once the Lasik procedure is completed, anti-inflammatory and antibiotic eye drops are instilled and you are sent home wearing a pair of googles. You are also given a sedative and a pain reliever to help to get you to sleep. Most patients fall asleep very soon after the Lasik procedure and report no significant pain. If however, you do not or cannot get to sleep you may experience a mild to moderate burning sensation in the eyes for approximately 3 hours. Once the 3 hours has past, the potential for pain subsides.
At Will Vision and Laser Centers all of your pre-operative and postoperative care is at no additional charge. This is true even if you see us months or years following your procedure. In addition, there is never any charge for ancillary procedures, although rare, such as the instillation of punctal plugs in the case of dry eye.
Typically the only additional costs for Lasik or PRK include the preservative free artificial tears used pre and postoperatively. These are available at your local supermarket, pharmacy and big retailer such as Costco for approximately $10. In addition, you will be given a prescription for a steroid anti-inflammatory eye drop that you will use post-operatively. The cost will vary depending on your drug coverage with your medical insurance plan and the prevailing charge for a generic medication at your preferred pharmacy. Costs for the steroid drops can range widely so it may pay to call several pharmacies to find the best pricing.
Typically we would like to see you on the first postoperative day for a simple check of your vision and the health of the eye. If you have prearranged to see a qualified eye care provider near you home that responsibility can be delegated to that eye doctor. In either case, you may fly in an airplane as soon as you feel comfortable after Lasik. For most people that would be the following day.
Lasik surgery does not affect the strength of the eye to any significant degree nor does physical exertion have any adverse effect on healing. As a result, you may result strenuous exercise immediately following Lasik. The only restriction would be to wear protective eye wear if you are participating in a sport such as basketball or soccer where it might be possible to be poked in the eye. We also advise against swimming or going into a hot tub for 2 weeks following Lasik. That will allow the flap to seal well at the edges and reduce any chance of an infection from bacterial contaminants in the pool or hot tub water.
We typically recommend that women refrain from using eye make-up such as mascara for three days following Lasik. Using that regimen, we have never seen a complication related to the use of eye make-up in over 25 years.