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How long is the recovery time from lasik surgery?

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Updated May 28, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Recovery from LASIK
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Question: How long is the recovery time from lasik surgery?
Answer: The recovery time from having Lasik surgery varies, but most people will see significant improvements in their vision within the first two days. Depending on the skill of your Lasik surgeon and the type of refractive procedure performed, acquiring good vision may take between two and seven days. However, full recovery from Lasik surgery may take at least six months.

Short Term Recovery From Lasik

You will need to arrange transportation for the day of your Lasik surgery, as you will not be allowed to drive. Your doctor will send you home with strict instructions to rest for the first few hours following surgery.

During the first few days following Lasik, you will probably feel some eye pain, along with irritation and weeping. You may be instructed to wear a patch or shield over your eye for the first few days, especially during sleep, as you must avoid rubbing your eye and eyelid. Your eyes may also be sensitive to light and your vision may be blurry for the first few days.

You will most likely have a check-up appointment within 48 hours after your surgery. Your doctor will examine your eyes and test your vision. You may be given medicated eye drops to help prevent infection and inflammation. You should not wear contact lenses during your short term recovery period, even if your vision is still blurry.

Long Term Recovery From Lasik

The complete healing time after Lasik is normally about six months. Be aware that you may experience several vision fluctuations during the recovery period. You will have several scheduled follow-up visits to check the progress of your recovery. Your follow-up appointments are critical to your full recovery and vision and must not be neglected.

Your six-month recovery period may include several restrictions in order to ensure proper healing. High impact activities should be avoided during the recovery process to help ensure that your eye heals properly. It is very important that you carefully follow all post-operative instructions.

Source:

Azar, Dimitri T. and Douglas D. Koch. Lasik: Fundamentals, Surgical Techniques, and Complications. Marcel Dekker, Inc.

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