How can I prepare for a LASIK evaluation?

By: Dr. Pankaj G. Shah

If you decide to undergo LASIK surgery, you will need an initial or baseline evaluation by your eye doctor to determine if you are a good candidate. This is what you need to know to prepare for the exam.

Certain contact lenses can actually change the shape of your cornea. Therefore, it’s a good idea to stop wearing them and use eyeglasses for a few weeks before your evaluation. If you don’t leave your contact lenses out long enough for your cornea to assume its natural shape before surgery, it can have negative consequences.

These consequences include inaccurate measurements and a poor surgical plan, resulting in poor vision after surgery, and may require corrective surgery. These measurements, which determine how much corneal tissue to remove, may need to be repeated at least a week after your initial evaluation and before surgery to make sure they have not changed, especially if you wear RGP or hard lenses.

Be sure to tell your doctor about your past and present medical and eye conditions. You should also discuss any medications you are taking, including over-the-counter medications and medications you might be allergic to.

Don’t hesitate to ask your doctor questions during this discussion and give yourself plenty of time to think about the risks and benefits of LASIK. Take some time to review any literature provided by your doctor before signing the informed consent form.

The day before surgery, you should stop using creams, lotions, makeup, or perfumes. These products can increase your risk of infection during and after surgery. Your doctor may ask you to scrub your eyelashes for a period of time before surgery to get rid of residues and debris along the lashes.

Also before surgery, arrange for transportation to and from your surgery and your first follow-up visit. On the day of surgery, your doctor may give you some medicine to make you relax. Because this medicine impairs your ability to drive and because your vision may be blurry, even if you don’t drive make sure someone can bring you home after surgery.

For more information, call the Shah Eye Center today to schedule a no-obligation consultation.

About Dr. Pankaj G. Shah: Dr. Shah is one of the only Cornea Specialists in the Rio Grande Valley. He is Fellowship-trained in Cornea, External Disease and Refractive Surgery. He is Board Certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and is a General Ophthalmologist with a Cornea and Refractive Surgery Subspecialty. LASIK is a procedure that reshapes the cornea of the eye.