SMILE laser surgery info
After SMILE surgery procedure
Laser surgery procedure is a solution to vision problems for many people. Still it’s important to remember that the eye like any other tissue or organ needs time to recover from the operation. It would be good to come to the surgery procedure with a companion. There could be inconvenience or sense of rubbing or foreign body in the eye right after the operation. The eyes can be sensitive to light and watery, and reddening of the eye whites might occur. Vision is hazy at first and pain in the eyes can be present. Keeping the eyes shut as much as possible, frequent use of artificial tears and wearing sunglasses usually helps to alleviate these complaints.
Do not rub the eyes in spite of the sense of inconvenience as this might cause the displacement of the corneal patch!
The complaints usually disappear within a few days after a LASIK surgery procedure. In case of an Epi-K procedure they last for somewhat longer, but usually resolve within a week after the operation. Vision is hazy after an Epi-LASIK surgery procedure during the first week, especially when looking at close objects. It would be practical to plan to stay away from work or school for a couple of days; we recommend planning a working-free period of up to 3 days after a LASIK procedure and up to 10 days after an Epi-LASIK procedure, depending upon the profession.
Try to rest on the day of surgery procedure! Caution should be exercised in case of activities where something can get into your eyes or where is a risk to touch or rub the eye (e.g. contact with building dust or playing with small children). Also those activities that can worsen the dryness of the eyes should be avoided, including working with computer or watching TV. It is recommended to wear special protective glasses when sleeping that will be provided free of charge with the eye drops and sunglasses on the day of surgery. In case of a LASIK surgery procedure it is recommended to use the protective glasses when sleeping during the first week after the operation. Anti-inflammatory eye drops and artificial tears should be used at home as prescribed by the doctor. Painkillers may be taken, if necessary. Protective contact lenses will be inserted on the cornea after an Epi-LASIK surgery procedure (and sometime also after LASIK procedure) that will be removed by the doctor after 3–4 days. Please do not try to remove these yourself, even in case you are experienced in removing contact lenses!
24 hours after the surgery it is allowed to take a bath, but not a shower. Avoid soap and water getting into the eyes. It is allowed to read and watch TV, but it should not be forgotten to moisten the eyes with artificial tears. In dry and air-conditioned rooms (including on a plane) artificial tears should be applied at least every 30 minutes. Driving a car is allowed when the doctor has confirmed at the follow-up visit that the vision has recovered sufficiently. It is generally not recommended to drive a car within one week after an Epi-LASIK surgery procedure.
48 hours after the surgery it is allowed to take a shower, but getting soap and water in the eyes should be avoided. It is recommended to apply anti-inflammatory eye drops after taking a shower. Sauna is not allowed during the first week after the operation, later it is recommended to use moisturising eye drops right before and after the sauna. Applying makeup to the face is allowed, but cosmetic products should not be applied within a close proximity around the eyes. It is very important to moisten the eyes regularly when working with a computer.
3 days after the operation light exercise may be started (for example jogging on a treadmill, riding a stationary bicycle). Caution should be still exercised when playing with children! Moderate alcohol consumption is allowed.
1 week after the operation it is allowed to apply makeup to the eyes, but touching the eyes should be avoided. Running, roller-skating and bicycling with moderate effort is permitted. Playing golf and lifting weights is also allowed.
1 month after the operation intensive exercise may be initiated, such as tennis or squash with special protective glasses, swimming, diving, sailing, skiing, driving a motorbike or mountain bike, skydiving, and playing games like basketball, volleyball and football. It is also allowed to lie in the sun with sunglasses that protect the eyes effectively. However, sunlight can promote the formation of scar tissue; therefore, especially after an Epi-LASIK surgery procedure it is not recommended to plan holidays in countries with intense sunlight for half a year after the operation. It is advisable to wear sunglasses in daylight for one year after the operation.
3 months after the operation activities where water can get into the eyes at high pressure, like water skiing and surfing, may be initiated.
It usually takes three to six months until vision is completely stabilised. Problems with night vision might still persist that can pose risks when driving the car at night. Be careful when assessing your capabilities!
Please contact your doctor immediately if the eye starts to ache, or if you develop reddening or a strong sense of rubbing in the eye, or in case of vision impairment!
How to instill medications after SMILE procedure
To instill the eyedrops pull down your lower eyelid. Squeeze the eyedrop bottle to place 1 drop in the pocket between the eyeball and the lower eyelid. Wait 5 minutes between each type of medication.
Systane / Optive – lubricant eye drops
First day after the surgery - every 15 minutes
- 2 -7 days after surgery - every 30 minutes
- 8-14 days - once every hour
- Starting from 15 days - 4-5 times a week and also every time when feeling a burning sensation or itching in your eyes.
- Over the first 6 months it is recommended that you use the eye drops in the morning.
Tobradex – anti-imflammatory and antibiotic eye drops
On the first day every 1-1,5 hours
- From then on 5 times a day one week
- 3 times a day one week