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Refractive corneal surgery - discharge

Nearsightedness surgery - discharge; Refractive surgery - discharge; LASIK - discharge; PRK - discharge; SMILE - discharge

You had refractive corneal surgery to help improve your vision. This article tells you what you need to know to care for yourself following the procedure.

I Would Like to Learn About:

When You're in the Laser Center

You had refractive corneal surgery to help improve your vision. This surgery uses a laser to reshape your cornea. It corrects mild-to-moderate nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. You will be less dependent on glasses or contact lenses after the surgery. Sometimes, you will no longer need glasses.

Your surgery most likely took less than 30 minutes. You may have had the surgery in both eyes.

If you had SMILE (small incision lenticule extraction) surgery there is less concern about touching or bumping the eye than with LASIK surgery.

What to Expect at Home

You may have a shield over your eye when you go home after surgery. This will keep you from rubbing or putting pressure on your eye. It will also protect your eye from being hit or poked.

After surgery, you may have:

For 1 to 6 months after surgery, you may:

Self-care and Follow-up

You will probably see your health care provider 1 or 2 days after surgery. Your provider will tell you what steps to take as you recover, such as:

Your provider will give you eye drops to help prevent infection and reduce inflammation and soreness.

You will need to take care of your eyes:

When to Call the Doctor

Call your provider if you have:

Related Information

Vision problems
LASIK eye surgery

References

American Academy of Ophthalmology website. Preferred Practice Patterns Refractive Management/Intervention Panel. Refractive errors & refractive surgery - 2017. www.aao.org/preferred-practice-pattern/refractive-errors-refractive-surgery-ppp-2017. Updated November 2017. Accessed September 23, 2020.

Sierra PB, Hardten DR. LASIK. In: Yanoff M, Duker JS, eds. Ophthalmology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 3.4.

Salmon JF. Corneal and refractive surgery. In: Salmon JF, ed. Kanski's Clinical Ophthalmology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 8.

Taneri S, Mimura T, Azar DT. Current concepts, classification, and history of refractive surgery. In: Yanoff M, Duker JS, eds. Ophthalmology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 3.1.

US Food and Drug Administration website. What should I expect before, during, and after surgery? www.fda.gov/medical-devices/lasik/what-should-i-expect-during-and-after-surgery. Updated July 11, 2017. Accessed September 23, 2020.

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Review Date: 8/18/2020  

Reviewed By: Franklin W. Lusby, MD, ophthalmologist, Lusby Vision Institute, La Jolla, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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