The Day of Your LASIK Procedure:
Before the procedure:
- No restrictions on eating, drinking, or medications.
- Please eat breakfast or lunch prior to your appointment.
- Wear comfortable clothing. Bring a sweater or jacket (the laser room must be kept cool).
- Do not wear makeup & ensure all traces of makeup are removed.
- Arrange transportation for the day of your procedure.
- Allow yourself approximately 2 hours at Dello Russo LaserVision for preparation, treatment & recovery time.
When you arrive for the procedure:
- Check in with the front desk.
- Please read & sign the Informed Consent Form & discuss any questions or concerns with a staff member or a doctor.
- Check, certified check, money order, credit card, or pre-arranged financing are acceptable methods of payment for the procedure. The center prefers not to be paid in cash. Consider a money order or cashier’s check.
- If you have ANY questions or concerns about the procedure that have not already been addressed, PLEASE ask to speak with Dr. Joseph Dello Russo or Dr. Jeff Dello Russo prior to your surgery.
- A laser counselor will explain the contents of your post-operative kit, instructions & medications.
The pre-operative waiting area:
- Keep both eyes closed as much as possible while waiting to prevent dryness.
- If you are anxious, we can offer you a Xanax tab by mouth.
First Step – Intralase (Creating your corneal flap):
- Time for entire LASIK surgery is usually less than 10 minutes for both eyes.
- If you have any allergy to iodine or shell fish, please tell us before your eyes are cleaned.
- Once you are brought in to the procedure room, your eyes will be washed/cleansed and prepped for the procedure.
- Topical anesthetic will be applied.
- You will be positioned properly under the laser.
- A lid speculum may be used to prevent you from blinking.
- The laser procedure takes approximately 10-15 seconds per eye.
Second Step – Wavefront Eye-Q Laser by Alcon:
- Immediately after the flap is made, the table will swing you under the Wavefront laser.
- Again, a topical anesthetic & lid speculum will be used to prevent blinking.
- Dr. Dello Russo will lift the corneal flap.
- The laser tracker will “lock” on to your eye, and the laser will begin to tick.
- Your only responsibility while the laser is operating is to STARE DIRECTLY AT THE BLINKING RED OR GREEN LIGHT ABOVE YOU. Your doctor will do the rest of the work!
- Stopping & restarting the laser during the procedure is extremely common.
- The actual laser time is generally less than 30 seconds per eye.
- After the treatment is completed, a bandage contact lens is placed on each eye to protect the flap.
Once the LASIK procedure is completed:
- A bandage contact lens will be applied to each eye to stabilize the flaps. You will be escorted to our lounge room where you will remain for about one hour with closed eyes. After an hour, the contacts will usually be removed. On occasion, the lenses will be left in overnight, and you will be asked to return the next day for their removal.
- You will be asked to return to the office within about 72 hours of surgery.
- Dr. Joseph or Dr. Jeff Dello Russo or staff will examine & go over some final instructions with you before your discharge.
- Your driver will then be able to take you home to rest.
- If you are from out of town, please let our receptionist know where you are staying & leave a local telephone number where you can be reached.
- One of our staff will give you a cell phone number to be used in emergencies. You are not alone. We are only one call away.
The day after your surgery – follow-up visit:
- Some patients may be asked to return the day after surgery.
- DO NOT expect that your vision will be perfect. First, you have to heal!
- You may need someone to drive you to Dello Russo LaserVision for your appointment although most can drive the next day.
- DO NOT take a shower or wash your face before your follow-up visit, this is a very common way for patients to unintentionally move the flap.
Dr. Dello Russo or staff will remove your bandage contact lens – PLEASE DO NOT attempt this on your own under ANY circumstance. If the contact lens falls out on its own, DO NOT attempt to replace it.
Your follow-up visit should not last more than 5-10 minutes.
Our doctors and staff are always happy to answer any last minute questions you may have!
How to Use Your Eye Drops:
- Gently pull the lower lid toward your cheek.
- Place the drop on the inner surface of the lower lid.
- Close the eye for 30 seconds after installing the drop.
- Wait approximately 3 minutes in between drops, so that you don’t wash one out with the next drop. (The order in which you use the drops is not important).
- It is not necessary to use the drops when you are sleeping.
- You will be given a specific instruction sheet on how to use your medicated drops (Zymar™, Acular LS™ & Predforte®).
- You will be using preservative free artificial tears quite aggressively at first. The tears will be tapered slowly. Expect to continue use each day for 3 months post procedure.
- Do NOT be concerned if the drops sting or burn when you put them in. This is normal.
What to expect during the healing period: The first 36-48 hours:
REMEMBER: You just had surgery! DO NOT EXPECT TO SEE PERFECTLY THE DAY AFTER YOUR PROCEDURE. Typically, patients are expected to be seeing about 90% of their level after the first or second day.
There are two very good reasons why it takes time for vision to clear:
- YOU HAVE BANDAGE CONTACT LENSES IN BOTH EYES. The lens will blur your vision very slightly.
- YOUR CORNEA IS SWOLLEN FROM THE SURGERY. Just like having surgery or trauma to any part of your body, there is swelling. It takes several days for the extra water in your cornea to be absorbed. As a general rule, patients who go home & sleep as much as possible immediately following surgery see better & feel better more quickly. You are discouraged from trying to read, watch T.V., work on the computer, or drive for at least 2 days after surgery. Your recovery will be much more comfortable if you rest your eyes during this period.
48 hours & beyond:
DRYNESS IS THE SINGLE MOST COMMON REASON THAT PATIENTS EXPERIENCE DELAYED RECOVERY.
Most patients will experience dryness temporarily due to the procedure. The length of this dry period varies from patient to patient.
WE CANNOT PREDICT HOW DRY YOUR EYES WILL BE AFTER SURGERY. A number of variables may cause severe dryness including SMOKING, certain MEDICATIONS (specifically anti-allergy & psychiatric medications), pre/post-MENOPAUSAL woman, and some GENERAL MEDICAL CONDITIONS.
Symptoms of dryness include the following:
- Night glare
- A sensation of sand trapped under your lid
- Fluctuation in vision
- Feeling as if it takes your eyes time to focus when you wake in the morning
These symptoms are expected in all patients in the first few weeks after the surgery.
Persistent dryness is likely if these symptoms linger past several weeks.
Treatment for persistent dryness may include the following:
- A thicker moisturizing drop (i.e., Refresh Liquigel® or Refresh Celluvisc®). Thicker drops last longer in the eyes. These drops should be used every hour for several weeks & gradually reduce their use.
- Ointment (i.e., Refresh PM®) or a very thick drop (Refresh Endura®) prior to going to bed. For many patients, this is the most important part of the dry eye regimen.
- Sleep with a humidifier (this is important during the winter months when the atmosphere is much drier)
(NOTE: ALL REFRESH BRAND TEARS ARE OVER THE COUNTER THERAPY. TEARS CAN BE PURCHASED IN ANY PHARMACY OR DRUG STORE WITHOUT A PRESCRIPTION FROM YOUR DOCTOR).
- Schedule an eye appointment for punctum plugs. This is painless and will help tears in your eyes.
- Dietary supplements rich in essential fatty acids such as FLAX SEED Oil have been demonstrated to improve the dryness experienced after surgery.
- RESTASIS will be prescribed. Your doctor will determine if you are a candidate.
- Do NOT allow yourself to get dehydrated. Drink 6-8 glasses of water per day. Avoid caffeine and alcohol.
- Unless instructed, use PRESERVATIVE FREE ARTIFICIAL TEARS. (Preservative Free tears come in vials, not bottles! Do not use tears that come in a bottle).
- If you plan to travel in the immediate post-operative period, please be aware that airplanes have an extremely dry environment. Lubricate your eyes aggressively before & during your flight.
FLAP COMPLICATIONS ARE UNCOMMON & MOST ARE AVOIDABLE!
In the first 2 weeks after your surgery PLEASE DO NOT do the following:
- Rub or touch your eyes
- Point your face directly at the shower
- Put your face under water
- Use eye makeup
- Squeeze your lids
- Play contact sports
- Sleep on your stomach
- Pick up small children – unless it’s arm’s length
Please sleep with the “goggles” that are provided in your post-operative kit for the first 2 nights. This is done to avoid rubbing the eyes while sleeping.
If you exercise, you may resume all aerobic activities (biking, jogging, etc.) after 3 days. NO heavy weight lifting for 2 weeks. Racket & contact sports may be resumed after 4 weeks. (PLEASE use eye protection).
If your occupation puts your eyes at risk, PLEASE be conscious of using appropriate eye protection.
IF YOU DISPLACE YOUR FLAP you will feel a sensation of pain, notice redness,and see a dramatic change in your vision. INSTILL DROPS IN YOUR EYES & CALL DELLO RUSSO LASERVISION IMMEDIATELY (800-393-2273).
Your two eyes are not the same.
It is important to recognize that you had two different operations, on two different eyes. Do not expect that they will recover at the same rate. After surgery, patients will often look in the distance by covering one eye at a time & compare the two sides. While this type of comparison is useful to a point, it is IMPOSSIBLE for your eyes to be perfectly symmetrical. Just the same way that we all have hand dominance, we all have eye dominance. One eye has a better contrast sensitivity and may even be capable of reading better on the vision chart. This difference is based on your brain and,therefore, is not affected by surgery on your eye. The two halves of your brain are not the same and therefore, neither are your eyes. If you are not sure which eye is your dominant side, think about which eye you would hold a camera up to.
Yes, the Drops May Burn When You Put Them In:
The medicated drops are a real medicine. Think of the temporary burning sensation as a way of knowing the medicine is working. A true allergic reaction to the drops used is extremely rare!
Returning to Dello Russo Laser Vision:
At a minimum, patients typically come back to see us for a routine follow-up visit 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, and 4-6 months after surgery. If you feel you are not seeing at the level you expected, Dello Russo LaserVision encourages you to schedule an appointment prior to this time. OUR PROMISE IS TO BE HERE FOR YOU! DR. JOSEPH, DR. JEFF & THE DELLO RUSSO LASERVISION STAFF WANT YOU TO BE HAPPY!
While refractive surgery has made dramatic improvements in recent years in terms of obtaining reliable and consistent outcomes, we cannot foresee every variable during or after surgery. Not every patient responds to the laser in exactly the same fashion and we all heal slightly differently. Approximately, 5% of patients will require a two-laser procedure to meet their expectations. Statistically, the larger your prescription is,the more likely you will require an “enhancement.” Slight under or over corrections are common (it is counterproductive to think of them as a failure of the surgery). We accept the fact that re-treatments are inherent to this type of surgery and that a small percentage of patients will require a second treatment. There is no charge for an enhancement within 12 months after LASIK.
If a second procedure would be to your benefit, we will discuss the pros and cons with you in detail. In addition, all of our safety parameters must be satisfied. Furthermore, you must be fully healed from your first procedure before we can offer you a second treatment.
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT US AT 800-393-2273IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS IN THE FIRST FEW MONTHS. On Sundays or after hours, ask for a technician or Dr. James. REMEMBER, WE WANT YOU TO BE HAPPY WITH YOUR EXPERIENCE AT DELLO RUSSO LASERVISION. IF WE DON’T HEAR FROM YOU, WE WILL BE IN CONTACT BY PHONE DURING THE FIRST FEW MONTHS.
Dello Russo LaserVision is one of the most celebrated eye care practices in New York and New Jersey. Not only are we a family-run business, but we are also a business that will treat you like family. Drs. Joseph and Jeff Dello Russo and their staff have built a trusted reputation based on experience, expertise, and quality care. We are proud to be a premier provider of laser vision correction and other comprehensive eye services to residents of New York and North Jersey, including patients from Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, and other areas on the East Coast. Please contact us today at 800-393-2273 to set up your complimentary consultation.