Q: How soon will I be able to see after LASIK?

Recovery of vision after LASIK is very rapid and you will notice an improvement within a few hours of surgery. Your vision will become very much clearer 24-48 hours after surgery, particularly after the protective bandage contact lens is removed from your eye the day after surgery.


Q: How soon will I be able to see after LASEK?

Recovery of vision after LASEK is a little slower than after LASIK. Most people notice some improvement  just a few hours after surgery. The protective bandage contact lens remains in place for a week after your surgery and your vision will be a lot better once this is removed. Depending on how high your initial prescription was before your surgery  it may take 4-6 weeks for you to achieve best vision. During this time you will be able to see well but your vision will improve each day.


Q. Can laser eye surgery correct astigmatism?













Q: How soon will I be able to drive after surgery?

It is recommended that you don't drive for at least a day after your surgery if you have LASIK and up to 5 days after LASEK, until you are seen and your vision is confirmed by the surgeon. The simple guidance on this is that you shouldn't drive until you are comfortable to do so and you are able to see a number plate clearly at a distance of 20.5 meters. 


Q: Will I be able to see what the surgeon is doing during the surgery?

During the surgery you will need to look  straight ahead at a bright light. You will not be able to see anything very clearly during this. You will be able to see movement and shadows.


Q: What if I move my eye during the laser treatment?

Modern lasers use sophisticated eye trackers that follow even the slightest eye movement and immediately adjust the laser pulse position. If you make a sudden big movement the laser will automatically cut out and stop firing.


Q: Will I be able to keep my eye open during the surgery?

During the surgery a small clip is placed between your eyelids to gently hold your eyelids open. You will not be able to blink during the procedure.


Q: Will the surgery hurt?

Surgery is performed after local anaesthetic drops are placed on the eye. You will not feel any pain once the anaesthetic starts to work. If you are having LASIK performed you may feel some pressure on the eye during flap creation with the Intralase laser.


Q: How long does the surgery take?

Surgery will take around 10 minutes for each eye. The actual laser component of this takes 10 to 40 seconds. During the laser you should try and remain as still as possible.


Q What will my eye look like after surgery?

It is common to have some redness around the edge of the iris after IntraLASIK.

This occurs because the Intralase femtosecond laser used to make the flap during LASIK applies gentle suction to the white part of the eye, which can rupture the tiny capillaries there. This does not in any way affect the accuracy of the laser treatment or do any harm to the eye. These red areas do not hurt and disappear within 14-21 days.

Bruising is uncommon after LASEK, although your eye may look a little pink for a couple of days after surgery.

Bruising on day 1 after IntraLASIK: The patient was completely pain free and could see 20/5 (6/4)

Bruising on day 1 after IntraLASIK: The patient was completely pain free and could see 20/5 (6/4)

Q: Will I need drops after surgery?

Yes, you'll need to put drops in immediately after surgery and for a few weeks afterwards. Initially these are antibiotic and steroid drops. Later on you may need to use lubricant moisturising eye drops for a few months after surgery. Lubricant drops help prevent dryness particularly if you use computers a lot.


Q: Is there anything I shouldn't do after surgery?

It is important not to rub your eyes in the week or so after surgery. Also, don't splash tap water directly into your eyes or get shower water into them. You should also not go swimming for 2-3weeks after surgery. 

You should wear the sleeping goggles that you will be given to prevent you rubbing your eyes whilst you are asleep for the first week after your laser vision correction. Always wash your hands before touching your eyes


Q. When can I smoke after laser eye surgery

There aren't any issues with smoking tobacco after laser surgery. Tobacco smoke can however irritate the eyes. Smoking marijuana in the first week or two after laser surgery can effect tear production and exacerbate dry eye symptoms.


Q. When can I wear makeup after laser eye surgery?

Don't wear any eye make up for at least 1 week after surgery as small particles of mascara and foundation can get into the tear film and under the flap after LASIK and also can cause infections after surgery.  


Q. When can I exercise after laser eye surgery?

Gentle exercise in the week after surgery is fine but you should not do any exercise where sweat could run into your eye. A week after most procedures it is ok to get back to the gym or play football. Bikram or hot yoga should be avoided for 2-3 weeks after surgery. You can return to swimming 3-4 weeks after surgery.


Q: Are there any problems after surgery?

Most patients do not have any issues after surgery.

Perhaps the commonest symptom is dry eye which can develop to some degree in up to 50% of patients for a few weeks after surgery. We give you lubricant drops to use after the surgery. In the majority of these patients dryness is mild and may occur in air conditioned environments or when using the computer for long periods of time. Moisturising lubricant eye drops may need to be used during the day for a few months after surgery. A few patients may notices more symptomatic dryness, particularly if you have had dry eye in the past or are post-menopausal. This may require use of lubricant drops for longer.

A few patients may notice haloes and glare around bright light sources such as car headlights at night for a short period after surgery. This usually settles after a few weeks and rarely causes any long terms problems.


Q: Is laser eye surgery safe?

Laser eye surgery has been performed since the early 90's and over 20 million surgeries are estimated to have been performed worldwide. 95% of patients who have had surgery are pleased with the results of their surgery. The surgery now is safer than ever due to huge advances in laser technology and also due to sophisticated technologies that detect patients who should not have surgery at all.

Despite these advances, laser surgery like any surgery carries a small risk of complications. The chances of losing your vision (blindness) due to laser eye surgery is estimated at being around 1 in 10 million. The risk of a serious infection that could cause scarring of the cornea is less than 1 in 1000 (0.001%). Risk of progressive thinning of the cornea (ectasia) is estimated as being roughly 0.0005%. 


Q: Will my glasses prescription return after laser surgery?

A small degree of your previous prescription can sometimes return after laser eye surgery. This tends to happen in patients who have a high prescription to start with and is called regression. Studies have demonstrated a change of 1 diopter over a 20 year period in myopic patients. This may actually be beneficial as you age and develop presbyopia.

Regression is usually mild but can require further laser surgery to perform enhancement in around 5% of patients. You are covered for enhancement surgery if you require it within 2 years of your initial surgery.


Q: What do I do if I have a problem with my eye?

Moorfields Eye Hospital offers a 24 hour service 365 days a year. If you develop an acute problem with your eye, particularly if it becomes red or painful, or your vision suddenly changes, you need to be seen urgently and you should report to the 24 hour eye emergency service at Moorfields Eye Hospital.

If you do not have an acutely painful eye but are worried about anything at all please call Dr Angunawela's personal assistant on 0207 521 4641.