Before and After LASIK-What to expect. By Kristina Oneill on August 20, 2013


If you decide to go ahead with LASIK surgery, you will need an initial or baseline evaluation by your eye doctor to determine wether or not you are a good candidate.  What you need to know to prepare for your eye exam and what you should expect are

If you wear contact lenses, it is a good idea to stop wearing them before your baseline evaluation and switch to wearing your glasses full-time.  We ask you to do this because contact lenses change the shape of your cornea for up to several weeks after you have stopped using them depending on the type of contact lenses you wear. Not leaving your contact lenses out long enough for your cornea to assume its natural shape before surgery can have negative consequences.  We tell our patients the following time frame for having your contact lenses out:

  • soft contact lenses, you should stop wearing them for 2 weeks before your eye exam
  • toric soft lenses or rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses, you should stop wearing them for at least 3 weeks before your eye exam.
  • hard lenses, you should stop wearing them for at least 4 weeks before your eye exam.


Also before your surgery, arrange for transportation to and from your surgery.


On the day of surgery you will come to the office with your driver.  We check you in and sign all consents and get you back in an exam room.  Dr. Holzman will answer any questions you may have and check your eyes.  If all of your questions have been answered Dr. Holzman will give you a xanax to help calm your nerves preoperatively and it will help your nap post-operatively.  Dr. Holzman uses INTRALASE on all of his patients in the first step of the surgery to create a thin corneal flap.  This is all-laser LASIK.  No blades ever.  Then we use the Allegretto Wavelight or the Visx Custom Vue (iLASIK) platform to fix the vision.   The whole process takes about 5 minutes per eye.   You will walk out of the surgery room seeing without glasses!    No bandages, you just walk do need a driver that day as you will be a bit blurry from the surgery and from the drops we place in the eyes after surgery.  We then have you head home with your driver.  


After your procedure your eyes begin to sting, you may use one of the numbing (comfort) drops that we give you to take home.  This will help with any burning and tearing.  Get to sleep as quickly as possible and don't go to lunch or dinner first!   You really want a 3 hour nap as this will heal the eyes.  You won’t have any stinging or tearing when you get up.  You will wake up and see without glasses!  You should use the medicated drops before the nap and upon wakening.   Vision will continue to improve over the next few weeks.  There is some night glare and haloing, which is much worse in the first few days after LASIK, these begin to subside over the first month.  Almost everyone can work or drive the next day and maintain regular activities the next day.  Your vision will be good, but not perfectly crisp just yet. Your eyes need a few days/weeks for healing and then your vision will be crisp.  Dr. Holzman does not have many restrictions.  Just no swimming for 2 weeks, do not rub the eyes for 3-4 weeks, and do not do gardening for several days as we don’t want dirt in the eyes.   You can exercise the next day, just don't bang the eyes.  Computer use is fine also, just remember that it always makes the eyes a bit drier and  you will need to use extra lubricant drops when on the computer.  Use the medicated eye drops as directed for the first week, and use the lubricant drops a lot (as much as you can remember) for several days/weeks to help healing.  That's all there is to it!  It is a 10 minute procedure that will give you a lifetime of benefit!

Dr. Andrew Holzman

Andrew E. Holzman, MD, FACS

Andrew E. Holzman, MD, FACS, is one of the most well-respected ophthalmologists in the greater Washington, DC, area. He is regularly sought out by professional athletes, media personalities, and other doctors for laser eye surgery. Dr. Holzman is a member of several prestigious organizations, including:

  • The American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • The American College of Surgeons
  • The American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery
  • The American Medical Association
  • The International Society of Refractive Surgery

To schedule a consultation at one of our five locations, please fill out our online form or give us a call at (703) 556-9155.

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