Preparing for Surgery

Do I need an eye exam first?

Yes. Before treatment you will have a thorough eye examination to determine whether your eyes are healthy and suitable for laser vision correction. If you have been wearing contact lenses, it is important that the lenses be removed prior to the examination.

The rule of thumb is to remove the lenses two weeks before the exam if they are soft lenses, three weeks if they are gas permeable, and four weeks if they are hard lenses.

A detailed video and computer image is taken of your eye that will detail the curvature, shape, and overall smoothness and regularity of the cornea. Corneal thickness measurements are taken and refractive stability is verified.

How long do I need to go without makeup?

You should not wear eye makeup to your initial eye exam or on the day of surgery, and you should not wear eye makeup for two weeks after surgery. Base, powder, and blush are OK if you take care not to get anything in your eyes.

How long do I have to be out of my contacts?

Because contact lenses reshape the cornea slightly, you should remove your soft contact lenses two weeks before the initial eye exam. If you wear gas permeable lenses, you should remove the lenses three weeks ahead of time, and four weeks for hard lenses.

What other preparations are there before LASIK?

The day before surgery, you should stop using:

  • Creams
  • Lotions
  • Makeup
  • Perfumes

These products as well as debris along the eyelashes may increase the risk of infection during and after surgery. Your doctor may ask you to scrub your eyelashes for a period of time before surgery to get rid of residues and debris along the lashes.

Before surgery, be sure to arrange for transportation to and from your surgery and your first follow-up visit. On the day of surgery, your doctor may give you some medicine to make you relax. Because this medicine impairs your ability to drive and because your vision may be blurry, make sure someone can take you home after surgery.