Preparing for your laser eye surgery consultation and procedure
Simple steps can make your laser eye surgery journey easier. Read on to learn what you need to do.
You need to be aged 18 or above to be treated. Younger than this age, and your prescription may not be stable. If you’re under 21, we like to see two years of stable spectacle prescriptions from your optician before proceeding with treatment.
Are you pregnant?
As a general rule, it’s best to avoid all unnecessary interventions during pregnancy. This includes laser eye surgery. One reason to avoid laser eye surgery during pregnancy is that your vision may change, with some women requiring a change in their spectacle prescription. If you’re keen to improve your vision, it’s advised to wait a minimum 3 months until after you deliver.
Read up on the different types of laser treatments
LASIK vs LASEK vs PRK vs SMILE – do you know what the difference is? These acronyms describe different techniques for laser eye surgery. Our Treatment pages will help you find out more about the differences.
Removing contact lenses
In order for us to accurately measure your eyes, it is important that contact lenses are removed before your consultation: 1 week for soft lenses and 2 weeks for rigid gas permeable lenses. Prior to your surgery date, we ask you leave soft lenses out that day and the day before. For RGP lenses 1 week without lenses leading up to the day of your surgery is required.
- Try to keep mascara and eye liner to a minimum. Make-up often spills over inside the eyelids and washes over the surface of your eyes. This can interfere with your scans.
Day of treatment.
- No eyelid or face make-up, skin lotions or perfumes. This is because vapour from skin products can interfere with the laser energy delivered to the eye and adversely affect the accuracy of your treatment. This applies similarly to aftershave.
You will not be able to drive home after your laser eye surgery. Please ensure someone else can collect you by car or accompany you home. You’re advised not to take the Underground due to the risk of debris being blown into your eyes as the train pulls into the station.
Many patients see well enough to drive themselves to their follow-up appointment the following day, although this depends on your prescription and the type of procedure undertaken.
Time off work
Discomfort and downtime from work after LASIK is minimal. Your vision will likely already be 20/20 the following day. It’s best to keep the following day light, particularly screen time – some people find it preferable to take that day off after their treatment.
Recovery after LASEK is slower and you’ll need to take a week off work. Most patients reach the driving standard by day 7, but you may still not feel confident enough to drive.