“How long is the healing time after LASIK?” is a question which many people ask when initially considering this surgery. How long the healing time is after LASIK will depend on a number of factors including:
*Any complications which occurred during the surgery. Some complications will heal on their own, although the recovery time will be extended for a few more months; while others will require additional surgery or enhancements.
*How well the patient follows post-operative rules and cares for his eyes.
*If there are additional complications for any follow up procedures and surgeries and enhancements.
The healing time following a successful LASIK surgery without any complications will generally be about one day, with the patient enjoying improved 20/20 or 20/40 vision immediately after the surgery.
During the 24 hours immediately after the surgery, the patient will generally just need to rest the eyes, wear a protective shield to cover and protect the eyes, and apply antibiotic eye drops to prevent infection. Most patients can return to work the following day after the surgery without any side effects.
However, a number of complications which may occur after the surgery, these complications may be either a result of surgical error or the patient’s own visual and overall health. If complication occur, the healing time after LASIK will be lengthened considerably, extending the recovery period anywhere from one to six months.
Complications which will heal themselves without requiring any additional treatment include: halos/starbursts, dry eye, central corneal islands, infection, and visual regression.
LASIK healing time may also be determined by complications that require additional treatment such as irregular astigmatism, diffuse lamellar keratosis, central corneal island that do not resolve themselves, and epithelial ingrowth. These additional treatments will extend the recovery period to two months to one year.
The healing time after LASIK surgery is typically pain free and does not inhibit the patient from going about his normal everyday life. Complications may cause discomfort and less than ideal visual acuity, but are not debilitating or restrictive; in most cases the patient may still resume his everyday lifestyle.
Overall, the LASIK procedure is one of the safest and pain free surgical procedures, with one million plus patients undergoing the procedure in the US each year with a 95% satisfaction rate; this surgery has one of the quickest healing times overall for successful surgeries, and the healing time after this procedure is usually not a deterrent for most considering it.
In 2006, a study was done that concluded that contact wearers are at a greater risk for infection than individuals who have had Lasik eye surgery