Here are a few of the most common questions we hear. Don’t see your question answered here? No worries. You’ll have time to talk with our doctors and get your questions answered during your complimentary consultaton and again at your pre-operative consultation with our doctors. Or give us a call or drop a line to Sarah, our friendly surgery coordinator who will make sure your questions get answered.
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Please do not wear soft contact lenses for three days prior to your consultation appointments, and again for three days prior to surgery.
If you wear rigid gas-permeable contact lenses, you will need to refrain from wearing the contacts for several weeks or — in some cases — for months, because of the significant impact rigid lenses can have on the shape of your eye.
LASIK patients may begin working as soon as 1-2 days following surgery. Many patients do find that their eyes are tired, dry and/or gritty, especially in the first week following the LASIK procedure. If possible, you may want to decrease your hours for the first few days back.
PRK patients should plan to take a week off of work.
Flying in and of itself is not a problem after LASIK or PRK surgery, but it is important to make sure you are available for your postoperative appointments. We generally recommend that you remain local for the first 1-2 weeks after surgery.
Yes, reading and computer work are not harmful. However, your eyes may feel more tired or dry, and it is important to keep them well-lubricated with preservative free eye drops, no matter what activity you are doing.
Whether you opt for LASIK or PRK surgery, Dr. Dale will perform your procedure at TLC Laser Center at 13033 Bel-Red Road in Bellevue. All of your pre- and post-operative visits will be scheduled in our offices in Snoqualmie Ridge or North Bend.
In the past 12 months*, 91% of LASIK patients and 100% of PRK patients achieved uncorrected vision of 20/25 or better. As a frame of reference, Washington state requires vision of 20/40 or better to obtain an unrestricted driver’s license.
The first step is an initial complimentary consultation. We will review your goals, your eye health, and your prescription to determine if you are a good candidate for LASIK or PRK laser eye surgery. If you are an existing patient at our practice and have had an eye examination in the last 12 months, we may already have the information we need. Just give us a call and let us know you are interested!
After your initial consultation with Dr. Duvall or Dr. Livingston, you will have a surgical consultation with your LASIK surgeon, Dr. Rebecca Dale. She will thoroughly evaluate your eyes, as well as a discuss your goals for surgery.
Surgery can usually be scheduled within a few weeks of your surgical consultation.
After surgery, you will have postoperative checks at our offices in Snoqualmie or North Bend. Usually, there is an appointment the day following surgery, 1-2 appointments within the first 10 days, and then again at 1 month and 3-4 months. The postoperative appointments generally do not involve any dilation of the eyes. Your postoperative care is important and is included in the cost of the surgery. Visits to our office related to your surgery are not charged for 12 months following the procedure.
Preparing for LASIK or PRK laser eye surgery is fairly simple. At your surgical consultation, we will review your health and medication history and also explain any differences that may be unique to your situation. However, in general:
- You can continue to take your regular medications and supplements as you normally would unless our doctors have told you otherwise. The exception: If you take antihistamines (cold/allergy medicine), discontinue them 3 days prior to surgery.
- You will perform gentle eyelid and eyelash cleansing 3 days prior to surgery
- Prescription eye drops will begin 1 day prior to surgery, and usually, continue for several weeks after surgery
- PRK patients will take Vitamin C beginning one week prior to surgery and continuing for four months after surgery
On the day of your LASIK surgery, we want you to be comfortable. Most patients will take a calming medicine by mouth about 30 minutes before the procedure. You will need someone to drive you home from the surgery, and you'll be able to go home shortly after the procedure. The laser procedure itself process takes about 5 minutes per eye. At home, you should relax for at least a few hours. Many patients feel best if they take a nap for a few hours after surgery.
After surgery, there are a few things we will ask you to do to help your eyes heal well.
- Be very careful to avoid rubbing your eyes for the month after surgery
- Wear protective eyewear (we will provide this) when you are sleeping for the first four days after surgery.
- You'll continue to use prescription eye drops for a few weeks after surgery
- LASIK patients may begin working as soon as 1-2 days following surgery. When PRK laser surgery is your best choice, it is wise to schedule a week off of work, although some patients are able to return to work sooner.
- It is very important to keep putting in preservative free lubricating drops frequently (harder to remember when you become involved at work, but very helpful to keep your eyes comfortable and for healing).
- For LASIK patients, your vision will be significantly improved and clearer without glasses, even at your one day visit. It does take 1-2 weeks for your clearest vision, and there can be small shifts in the vision over the first few months.
- For PRK patients, it is normal for your vision will be hazy or blurry, especially in the first week after surgery. Although your vision will continue to improve rapidly over the first month, it takes approximately three to four months for you to experience the full improvement you can expect from the procedure.
Still have more questions? Let’s talk face to face. We look forward to seeing you in the office.