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What to Expect

The thought of laser surgery on your eyes might seem intimidating to some.  To make sure you feel totally comfortable with your decision to leave glasses behind, we’ve outlined what you can expect every step of the way through your laser eye surgery process.

Dr James Laser Eye Surgery Sydney

What to Expect

BASELINE EVALUATION

Prior to your baseline evaluation, patients wearing contacts should remove them and switch to glasses. The reason for this is that contact lenses may change the shape of the patient’s cornea and affect the assessment accuracy.

  • Hard Contacts: Stop wearing them a minimum of 4 weeks before the baseline exam.
  • Toric lenses: Take them out 3 weeks before the baseline exam.
  • Soft lenses: Remove them one to two weeks before the baseline exam.

EYE EXAMINATION

Dr Genge takes a comprehensive history and a through examination of your eyes. Ocular conditions that would preclude you from receiving laser surgery are looked for and eliminated. At all times Dr Genge adopts a conservative, careful approach and only procedures that are safe for that individual will be recommended. Occasionally Dr Genge will recommend not pursuing surgery if he deems this is the safest option for the patient. Ensuring a safe procedure producing an optimal outcome is the only influencing factor in Dr Genge’s recommendation of which procedure is performed.

COUNSELING AND QUESTIONS

Dr Genge ensures every patient has the procedure thoroughly explained; all pros and cons elucidated and all of the patient’s questions answered in a relaxed, unhurried environment.

PREPARATIONS FOR SURGERY

A day or two before the procedure, stop using eye make up.

Preoperative drops including FML and Ciloxan will be commenced 3 times daily for 3 days prior to surgery.

You should also be driven to and from the procedure. Nearly all patients are able to comfortably drive the day after their LASIK surgery.

THE PROCEDURE

STEP 1: PREPARING YOUR EYE

You will be given eye drops to anesthetize the eye. Your eyelids will be held open with a speculum, which imparts a mild stretching sensation but is not painful.

STEP 2: CREATING THE FLAP

The Alcon FS 200 Femtosecond laser will create a flap in the cornea in 6 seconds with unparalleled accuracy. Your vision will blur or grey out during this and you may be aware of a pressure sensation. The flap is painlessly elevated.

STEP 3: RESHAPING THE CORNEA

The Alcon  Wavelight EX500 laser will be positioned over your eye, you will be asked to focus on a light and Dr Genge will start the laser.

You’ll feel no pain and might hear a slight clicking noise

The Wavelight EX500 is the world’s fastest excimer laser and the treatment only goes for a few seconds. Throughout the procedure eye movements are tracked ensuring the laser treatment is always placed in the correct position.

STEP 4: FINISHING THE PROCEDURE

Once the laser treatment is complete the flap is repositioned and smoothed. Protective eye shields will be placed over your eyes to protect the flap, and you will wear these home.

ADVANCED SURFACE ABLATION/PRK

If Dr Genge determines you are unsuitable for LASIK due to your cornea being too thin or having irregular curvature, you may still be a candidate for Laser Eye Surgery. ASA or PRK involves painlessly removing the surface covering of cells of the cornea and performing the laser correction directly on the front surface rather than under a flap.

The procedure is as accurate as LASIK however the visual recovery is slower as the surface cells need to regrow and remodel. Functional vision (i.e. driving, using a computer) is generally achieved in 1 week however final visual recovery may take 6-8 weeks. Unlike LASIK that is pain free postoperatively, ASA / PRK causes considerable discomfort for 2-3 days and it is important to have a cleared schedule during this period.

AFTER SURGERY

The vision is generally sharp after a night’s rest however mild blurring can persist for a few days. With LASIK the eyes are usually completely comfortable. Some fluctuation of vision and dryness can occasionally occur for a few months. It is important not to rub your eyes following the surgery.

RECOVERY TIME

Here’s how long to expect to wait before doing these activities:

Work Up to three days (getting surgery on Friday will allow you to have the weekend to recover), though most patients do return to work the next day.
Wearing makeup or lotions Up to two weeks
Non-contact sports Up to a week
Contact sports One month
Swimming or any water sports Two weeks

Dr Genge will see you the first day after surgery. The next postoperative visit is one month and if everything is optimal you will then be discharged.

Laser vision correction has a less than 5% chance of requiring a touch up correction due to reshaping organic tissue. If you require an enhancement this is performed at 3 months after the initial surgery. There is no charge for enhancements up to one year.

If there are any concerns following your laser vision correction, Dr Genge will attend to them immediately.

Feel free to ask Dr. Genge any questions you may have about laser eye surgery or any other eye health issues.