Refractive corneal surgery - what to ask your doctor
What to ask your doctor about refractive eye surgery; Nearsightedness surgery - what to ask your doctor; LASIK - what to ask your doctor; Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis - what to ask your doctor; Laser vision correction - what to ask your doctor; PRK - what to ask your doctor; SMILE - what to ask your doctor
Will this surgery help my type of vision problem?
- Will I still need glasses or contact lenses after the surgery?
- Will it help with seeing things that are far away? With reading and seeing things close up?
- Can I have surgery on both eyes at the same time?
- How long will the results last?
- What are the risks of having the surgery?
- Will the surgery be done with the latest technology?
How do I prepare for this surgery?
- Do I need a physical exam by my regular doctor?
- Can I wear my contact lenses before the surgery?
- Can I use makeup?
- What if I am pregnant or nursing?
- Do I need to stop taking my medicines beforehand?
What happens during the surgery?
- Will I be asleep or awake?
- Will I feel any pain?
- How long will the surgery last?
- When will I be able to go home?
- Will I need someone to drive for me?
How do I take care of my eyes after surgery?
- What type of eye drops will I use?
- How long will I need to take them?
- Can I touch my eyes?
- When can I take a shower or bath? When can I swim?
- When will I be able to drive? Work? Exercise?
- Are there any activities or sports that I will not be able to do after my eyes are healed?
- Will the surgery cause cataracts?
What will it be like right after surgery?
- Will I be able to see?
- Will I have any pain?
- Are there any side effects I should expect to have?
- How soon will it be before my eyesight gets to its best level?
- If my vision is still blurry, will more surgery help?
Do I need any follow-up appointments?
For what problems or symptoms should I call the provider?
American Academy of Ophthalmology website. Questions to ask when considering LASIK. www.aao.org/eye-health/treatments/lasik-questions-to-ask. Updated December 12, 2015. Accessed October 10, 2018.
American Academy of Ophthalmology website. Who is a good candidate for SMILE? www.aao.org/eye-health/treatments/who-is-good-candidate-smile. Updated May 3, 2018. Accessed October 10, 2018.
Taneri S, Mimura T, Azar DT. Current concepts, classification, and history of refractive surgery. In: Yanoff M, Duker JS, eds. Ophthalmology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 3.1.
Thulasi P, Hou JH, de la Cruz J. Preoperative evaluation for refractive surgery. In: Yanoff M, Duker JS, eds. Ophthalmology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 3.2.
Reviewed By: Franklin W. Lusby, MD, ophthalmologist, Lusby Vision Institute, La Jolla, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.