It takes about 1-5 minutes for the eye to create a natural vacuum to hold down the flap. The cornea has the unique ability to seal itself back in place. The flap adheres like Velcro, so no sutures are necessary. The eyelid speculum will be removed. You will now be able to blink normally.
At this point, you will be asked to sit with your eyes closed for about thirty minutes. Then your eyes will be examined one more time to ensure that the corneal flap is properly positioned.
Patients who have undergone LASIK may experience some discomfort, which may last 6-8 hours. Patients describe this as a sensation of having sand or a dirty contact lens in their eye. Acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen, or similar over-the-counter pain medication can help. By bedtime the night of surgery, this sensation is usually gone.
Immediately after surgery, expect your vision to be somewhat blurred, similar to looking through a glass of water or wearing a dirty contact lens. However, upon awakening later in the day or the next morning, you will experience improved vision. Most patients report dramatic improvement within 24 hours.
When you are ready to go home, you will receive antibiotic drops, anti-inflammatory drops to promote healing, and lubricating eye drops, also called “artificial tears”. It is common for the eyes to feel somewhat dry after LASIK. You will be sent home with detailed instructions on the use of the various eye drops. You will wear clear plastic shields or goggles over your eyes for several hours after surgery and while you sleep that night. The eye shield prevent accidental trauma to the corneal flap during the healing period, in case you inadvertently bump your eye while you are sleeping.
Your surgeon will probably advise that you go home and take a nap. You may be given a mild sedative to make you sleepy. It is best to have your eyes closed for the first few hours after surgery, and sleep is the easiest way to accomplish this.