Preparing for surgery? What you need to know

So you’ve been to your eye doctor, had your consultation, and decided that you’ll be getting laser eye surgery. Whether it’s to remove cataracts or simply to fix a long-standing issue with your vision, you’ll soon be seeing everything much more clearly. But now what do you do in the time leading up to the surgery? Is there anything you should be doing on your end to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible? There is, and we’ve put together a number of things you need to keep in mind before surgery.

First, you need to remember not to wear your contacts in the days to weeks leading up to surgery. Depending on the type of contacts you wear, this could mean that you stop using them a couple weeks before surgery, or even a full month. The reason for this is that contact lenses can change the shape of the cornea, and it’s important that your surgeon is making the changes to the natural shape of your cornea. Your surgeon will let you know exactly how long you need to have your contacts out, depending on what kind you use. But regardless, you’ll probably need to have some glasses handy to go about your business in the weeks leading up to surgery.

Remember to thoroughly clean your face and remove all traces of makeup. Don’t apply makeup the night before surgery, and even facial creams should be left off of your skin. Basically, make sure that you’re coming in with a clean face, with no foreign substances near your eyes. Also, please don’t wear cologne or perfume on the day of the surgery or wear any unnecessary jewelry or accessories.

You can eat before the procedure, but you may want to cut back slightly on the caffeine if you feel that you’re going to have anxiety about the procedure. Definitely don’t drink alcohol or take any medication that will make you drowsy in an attempt to fend off that anxiety. The procedure is pain-free and relatively quick, but if you’re still quite nervous, then you may be given some anti-anxiety medication beforehand.

You’re also going to need to bring someone along with you who can drive you home. You won’t be allowed to drive home on your own after surgery, so find a reliable friend or family member who can help you out on the day of the procedure. It’s also a good idea not to schedule any important or strenuous tasks right after your laser eye surgery. You may see immediate improvements in your vision, but there is still a recovery period during which you should take it easy and protect your eyes. You’ll  have a better idea of when you can get back to business as usual when you come in for your follow up appointment.

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