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LASIK surgery can be a life-changing experience, but it’s important to arm yourself with knowledge of the basics — surgery cost, recovery time, risks, and aftercare — before undergoing the procedure.

Here are 10 things to know before having LASIK surgery:

Know Your Surgeon

Research your options. Look for an experienced, board-certified ophthalmologist. Be sure to ask direct questions regarding your surgeon’s experience and complication rate.

Follow Your Doctor’s Pre-Surgery Instructions

We ask that you avoid wearing contact lenses and make-up prior to LASIK surgery. To avoid potential complications, we request patients wearing soft contact lenses discontinue their contacts 2 weeks prior to surgery, while those wearing hard or gas permeable contacts discontinue them 3 weeks prior. Wearing contacts actually alters the shape of your cornea, and it’s essential that they return to their original shape before surgery. Make-up avoidance reduces the risk of contracting an infection post-surgery.

You’ll Be Awake the Entire Time

LASIK is considered an outpatient surgical procedure. You’ll be awake during surgery, but your surgeon will use eye drops as an anesthetic to numb the surface of your eyes during the procedure. 

Perfect Vision Isn’t Guaranteed

While 96% of patients achieve 20/20 vision after LASIK, perfect vision isn’t guaranteed. If your doctor promises 20/20 vision, take that as a sign to look for a different doctor.

Ask About Your “Refractive” Error

The worse your eyesight is to begin with, the more likely you’ll need a repeat procedure, often referred to as “refinements”. The more myopic — or near-sighted — you are, the higher the chance of needing refinement surgery after LASIK.

Research the Risks Involved

It’s a quick procedure and you’ll be on your feet in no time, but LASIK surgery is still surgery with possible risks. Complications are rare, but knowing ahead of time means you’re prepared no matter what. Risks include inflammation, infection, and over or under correction.

Ask Questions Ahead of Time

You already know you’ll be awake for the procedure, so make sure you ask questions about LASIK ahead of time to avoid surprises and reduce anxiety.

Research Your Alternatives

Be your own advocate. Ask your surgeon if LASIK is the best option for your situation. Experienced eye doctors will be able to provide you with LASIK alternatives if you’re not a good candidate, which will allow you to weigh your options and choose the best one for yourself.

LASIK May Not Be Right For You

LASIK is not for every person. Those with certain corneal diseases, severe dry eyes, and other select eye conditions should not undergo LASIK.

Learn About Post-Surgery Care

Get the facts about post-surgery care beforehand. If used properly, prescription eye drops will heavily influence corneal healing and the final result of your vision. Ask about follow-up visits, how long to wait before using makeup, and playing sports.

If you are interested in LASIK surgery, contact us to schedule your LASIK consultation in Minneapolis. Minnesota Eye Consultants makes LASIK and recovery easy and we always offer our advice on how to best care for yourself after surgery.