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By Dr Angelo Appiotti

How to Prepare for Your Laser Eye Treatment

As a general rule, deciding whether or not to undergo surgery is a hard choice to make. When it comes to eye surgery, the choice is even more delicate. I speak of choice because more often than not my patients do want to undergo surgery and are fit for it, but are not required to.
As a surgeon, my role is to assess whether surgery is the most appropriate option and to adopt all possible strategies to correct the visual problem. In no way I try to convince my patients. I simply inform them about the pros and cons.
It is totally up to the patient to choose whether to undergo surgery or not. I would then be honored if they chose me as the surgeon who will help them improve the quality of their lives and get rid of glasses or contact lenses and the annoyances that come with them.
This freedom of choice means you can decide when is the best time for surgery. Keep in mind that, regardless of the procedure, refractive surgery is quick in terms of both operative time and recovery and causes no post-operative pain or discomfort.

How to Plan Your Laser Eye Treatment

Given a choice, I suggest you follow the guidelines listed below when making your choice:

1. A good time to undergo laser eye surgery is when your prescription has been stable for the last 12 months.
2. The state of your health also plays a role, as you should not have a history of past eye diseases, herpes, diabetes mellitus or any condition treated with cortisone.
3. Choose a time when you are free from stressful situations at work or personal commitments having you running around. It may seem obvious, but it’s not. Though eye surgery is not invasive, you should devote the right amount of time and space to it.
4. If you are trying to get pregnant, move up eye surgery, otherwise you will be fit for it only after delivery and breastfeeding (i.e. not earlier than one year).
5. Also move up surgery if you have an important forthcoming commitment (I am thinking here about many of my patients who are athletes (link gallery sportivi), but the same goes for people who are preparing for exams or are about to start a new job or function).

What to Do and Not to Do in the Days Before Surgery

I usually give my patients a list of dos and don’ts to help them get ready for surgery. Here are the most important:

• Do not wear contact lenses in the week preceding surgery or in the preceding months (2-3 in case of gas permeable contact lenses)
• Do not wear eye makeup in the three days preceding surgery
• Avoid anything that may trigger an eye allergy, and thus cause swelling or tearing
• Follow the prescribed therapy (eye drops and eyelid wipes)

The best advice I can give you is that there is no ideal time to undergo eye surgery. You should know by yourself when the time to solve your visual problem has come. Getting rid of lenses is a first step towards a better future. However, you need to clear your mind and stay focused on your goal: seeing well.