Following pre-operative instructions is important to ensure a smooth procedure and an easy recovery process. Pre-op instructions for eye surgery differ depending on which procedure you are undergoing. Some types of vision procedures involve the use of sedation, while others only require local anesthetic. While following these general guidelines are a good place to start, your doctor can provide you with more specific instructions based on your individual procedure.
Inform Your Doctor of Any Health Concerns
If you have a significant medical issue, such as diabetes or heart disease, you should inform your doctor in advance of your procedure. Some patients require antibiotics before undergoing surgery, such as those with artificial heart valves or a joint replacement.
Notify your doctor of any changes to your health before your procedure.
You should also provide a list of any medications you take regularly, including blood thinners and insulin. Some medications can interfere with healing and your doctor may need to adjust your dosage prior to treatment.
Notify your doctor of any changes to your health before your procedure. Do not ignore seemingly minor issues, such as a head or chest cold. Your doctor may recommend changing your appointment until your symptoms pass.
Preparing for Your Procedure
When getting ready for your procedure, you should:
Wear a comfortable shirt you can sleep in with a buttoned or zip-up shirt over it. For the first day or so, you do not want to bump your eye while pulling a shirt over your head.
Dress warmly. If you are having a laser procedure, keep in mind that the laser room requires a cold temperature, typically between 65 and 72 degrees. Wearing warm clothes can help keep you comfortable during your treatment.
Wash your face thoroughly. Make sure to remove all eye makeup, especially mascara.
Avoid wearing perfume, cologne, hair spray, or aerosol deodorant. These substances can harm the laser mirrors.
Remove jewelry, watches, and contact lenses.
Arrange for a ride to and from surgery. Patients are not typically allowed to drive after an eye procedure.
Take all routine medications unless otherwise instructed.
Avoid alcohol and tobacco products as they can interfere with your healing.
You may need to discontinue your use of contact lenses a few days before your procedure. This instruction is most common with LASIK.
Plan for Your Post-Operative Needs
In the days following your procedure, you may have limitations about what you can and cannot do. Your doctor can give you instructions about your specific post-op needs. However, there are certain things you can do in the days before your procedure to ease your recovery process.
For example, run any necessary errands in the week leading up to surgery. Do laundry, buy groceries, and fill any prescriptions you will need after the procedure. These types of preparations can help you focus on healing and relaxation and minimize stress while you recover.
Follow All Instructions
During your consultation prior to your procedure, your doctor will discuss all medications and pre-operative instructions with you. They will likely also give you post-operative instructions to help you prepare for the recovery process. Carefully following all direction from your doctor can help ensure a successful procedure and an easy recovery process.