Eye News Volume II Issue 19
As surgeons, we want to be conservative but as realists we want patients to get back to their daily routine. Below are some general guidelines:
Driving is usually possible the morning after LASIK surgery. While night driving can be more variable, we need patients to exercise good judgment.
Swimming is usually restricted for two weeks. Recent discussions on Kera-Net (a chat line for Ophthalmologists) suggest that even less time may be required. Scuba diving, surfing, high diving, and waterskiing should be avoided for two weeks. Chlorine and saltwater are not a special concern.
Exercise can begin the next day. Effort should be made to reduce sweat in the eyes by using a headband or a hat.
Showers can be taken any time after surgery. It is best to keep your eyes closed gently for a few days while showering.
Golf is a special case. We ask golfers to wait at least eight hours before getting back onto the green. You can use your surgery as an excuse for a bad game for at least six to twelve months.
Alcohol use is not restricted after the first twenty-four hours. Smoky environments (bars, concerts, parties) may require an extra dose of the non-preserved tears. They can be found in your post-operative kits. Sometimes your eyes will be tired. Go home.
Commercial airline travel is fine after you are seen the day following surgery. Because the plane’s atmosphere is extremely dry, you may need to use a lubricating gel and close your eyes on longer trips.
Makeup is not my area of expertise. Nor are questions like “when is it OK to have my hair done?” I recommend waiting about a week. Make sure nothing touches the eye (eyeliner) and no powders, cremes, ointments, lotions, fumes, etc. get into the eye for at least that long.
Allergies are rarely a problem for LASIK patients. The medications given control itching and can be used for an extended period if necessary. Rubbing the eye should be kept to a minimum, and a real good rub should be avoided for several months.
Little children are my biggest fear. Whether they belong to you or not, they have an uncanny ability to touch and wrinkle your LASIK flaps during the first 72 hours. It is best to keep children at arms length for at least that much time.
There is no need to avoid the sun or the beach. Sunglasses should be used to protect your eye from the sun, sand and wind. I ask all patients to make sunglasses a regular part of their gear. Studies have shown a reduction in retinal disease and cataract development with sun protection regardless of LASIK. Of course, sunscreen is not an eye drop.
Sleeping immediately after LASIK is a required activity. We apply protectors for the eyes after surgery to prevent trauma (rubbing). Night shields (in your kit) are also advisable for several additional days.
Skydiving, extreme mountain climbing, and contact sports are best delayed for a month. There is no better substitute than good judgment.
Computer use and reading can begin soon after surgery. Remember, take frequent breaks and use non-preserved lubricants. If you feel as if you’ve had enough, you probably have!
A: Some doctors rent lasers. They are not committed to LASIK surgery. They don’t invest because they want to minimize their financial risk. Companies lease lasers to doctors and charge over one thousand dollars for each patient treated. Theses companies get 20 to 25% of your surgical fee.
Some doctors own their own laser but still charge too much! They are not better surgeons. They do not represent higher quality.
Others groups charge so little they have to run their office like an assembly line.
Q: Am I safer going to a University setting, a large corporation, or what?
A: No. An established physician is your best choice. Pick someone with a commitment to the community and an excellent reputation. They will be there for you tomorrow.
ihateMyglasses.com has never changed its price ($2500 for both eyes) nor its mission. We provide excellent care, top quality equipment, and a professional environment. We don’t overcharge, and we don’t run a LASIK factory.
Dr. Lewis has many years’ experience performing sophisticated vision correction procedures. He is renowned throughout the greater Philadelphia as a highly skilled Bucks County, Elkins Park and Phoenixville LASIK and Epi-LASIK surgeon. In addition, he enjoys a reputation as a talented Visian ICL Philadelphia specialist.