You decided to have laser surgery for correcting your vision? Great! SMILE and Lasik surgery is a boon to many of us who are wearing contact lenses or eyeglasses since long. I finally said good bye to my eyeglasses after wearing it for more than 12 years – for once and forever.
However, as you know, it is a real surgery. So compromising is never beneficial. Your eye is the most valuable part of your body and you must prepare before having the surgery.
Here are eight preparations you should make before going for the surgery. This will be very useful to you, and I wish I knew everyone of these points before I went for the surgery. However, none of the works I did after SMILE surgery proved to be a complication for me health-wise, although some did give me a hard time. Disclaimer: I’m not a medical authoritative person. I’m just a patient, someone who did this procedure. So all I’m sharing is my experience after the surgery, not a professional medical advice.
Pointers 1 to 3 are to be taken seriously because not complying with them might be a health hazard.
1. Stop wearing your contacts at least 7 days before the surgery
Your doctor will probably advise this but it is very important to remain on the safe side. The contact lenses can alter the shape of your cornea. Since the SMILE surgery is a laser procedure done by altering your cornea, it is very much essential that your cornea is in natural shape before the surgery. Otherwise, the refractive correction might not be correct. It is also advised to stop swimming 7 days prior to the procedure.
2. Do not wear makeup of any kind on the day of surgery
Also, don’t wear eye makeup since the day prior. As funny as it may sound, on the day of my surgery, a fellow patient showed up with a full facial makeup and eye mascara. She had the surgery scheduled for the same day. Her mascara could not be cleaned completely, so she had to come back the next day. Have a good shower that day but don’t use any soaps or shower gel. Also, no shampoo or perfume is allowed. A little information: Perfumes are not allowed in operation theatres, so if someone is accompanying you for the operation, tell him/her to not wear perfumes or cologne that day.
3. Get a UV blocking sunglass ready and bring it to the hospital
After the Lasik surgery, your eyes will be intolerant to bright lights for almost 4-5 days. In addition, they are much more vulnerable and sensitive to dust and fumes. A sunglass will keep the dust particles away while blocking UV and bright light.
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Get yourself ready for post operative care.
Do you think surgery is the hardest part? Think again, because after the surgery is complete, you are not allowed to read, write, use phones, watch TV, go outside for almost a week. So what do you do?
4. Do not touch anywhere near your eye.
After the surgery, my eyes were tearing up. So I casually wanted to wipe the tear on my cheek. The nurse saw this and joked that my hands will be tied if I did that again. Use a facial tissue and wipe the tears. Do not ever touch your eyes, eye lashes or around the eyes for a week after surgery. This also includes: no washing your eyes with water.
5. Download audio books to your phone before the operation.
You have all day to yourself – a day without internet, or TV and even a book. What do you do? If you want to follow me, fill your phone with audiobooks of your choice. I read (listened) to 4 different audiobooks on my first 7 days of solitary boredom.
This is also a very good time to stock up on your favorite songs. It will be somewhat tiresome for your eyes to search for music after having the laser surgery.
5. But first, have tissues ready.
Because you will be tearing up a lot for 4-5 hours after the surgery. No, it won’t hurt, but pulling out a tissue and soaking up the tears every 3 minutes is not exactly fun. Oh, and did I mention you will have to put eye drops every 15 minutes for the next 12 hours? Yup, no rest until you go to sleep that day.
Also, do not buy wet tissues because they are of no use. Facial tissues work best.
6. Invite your friends and family over
You might not have thought about this, but guess what – you aren’t a sick patient. All you can’t do is have more screen time. You can perfectly walk, you can perfectly talk and even have a small party. Hell, I made my favorite snack and tea for my family members that day. It is perfectly normal. However, you should take the rest your eyes require so that it can heal completely. For Lasik patients, it is recommended to keep your eyes closed for 6 hours until you go to sleep.
7. Clean your eyes with cotton and warm water
You should not use the tap water to wash your face for about a week after the eye surgery. Instead, soak some cotton in water and bring the entire mixture to boil. After about 30-40 seconds, turn off the flame and let the mixture cool down. With clean hands, use the cotton to clean your eye lashes and the area around your eyes.
8. Don't get off the medicines
No matter how good and perfect your eye feels, never discard using eye drops until instructed by your doctor. Normally, you should use the antibiotics for 7 days after the surgery. Artificial tears can be used after that too, even in five minutes if your eyes feel dry.
Believe it or not, these are the entire finished containers of eye drops I used in just two weeks after having the surgery.
How is Lasik Surgery Performed (Video)
This video explains the entire lasik surgery very well. The patient himself is narrating the whole procedure. I watched the video before going to the surgery. While I found it really creepy, I think it helped me better in the operation theatre.