The laser procedure is performed as an outpatient procedure at Lions Eye Institute and takes about 2-3 hours in total.
You will have some oral sedation and analgesia and will need someone to drive you home and to bring you back again the next morning.
The LASIK procedure itself takes about 20 minutes for each eye and is performed with local anaesthetic eyedrops (the same as we use in the clinic). You will be lying comfortably on a bed during the procedure and the surgeon will talk you through each step. The flap in the cornea is created with the Intralase iFS laser. Next the refractive change to correct your vision is made with the Schwind Amaris excimer laser.
The laser part itself will take between 15 and 60 seconds. The laser tracks your eye movements during the treatment but it is important to keep as still as possible. The procedure is usually not painful but there can be some unpleasant sensations, including some pulling and stretching of the eyelids, pressure, and very bright lights.
What you need to know
Contact lenses need to be left out prior to your surgery or appointments prior to surgery to allow the front of your eye to return to its natural shape;
Soft or disposable contacts (monthly, fortnightly and dailies) should be left out for a minimum 1 week, or as advised
Hard contacts should be left out for a minimum of 1 month
Please ensure NONE of the following are worn on the day of surgery:
- Any makeup, particularly eye make up (Non-tinted moisturiser is allowed)
- Perfume or cologne or aftershave
- Hair spray or gel
Do not drive following the procedure. We also recommend you do not drive to the post operative appointment the next day. We will check your vision the next day to ensure you pass the driving standard.
A mild relaxant will be given to you prior to surgery. Please advise the nurse if you have any changes in medication since your consultation.
Fasting is not required prior to surgery. In fact it is better to ensure you have had a light meal/snack prior to attending your surgery so you are comfortable.
Comfortable clothing is suggested on the day of surgery. You may also like to bring socks to wear due to the cool temperature of the theatre.
After the surgery
After the surgery you will wear a clear protective shield over your eyes which can be removed the following morning. Keep these as you will be required to wear the shields while sleeping for 5 nights to prevent your eyes being knocked or rubbed during sleep.
The following day you will come in for a post operative check. The doctor will check your eyes and give further post operative instructions regarding eye drops and care. It is recommended that you attend a follow up appointment again at 6-8 weeks after surgery, then as recommended by your doctor. It is best to arrange these appointments well in advance as they are often heavily booked.