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I’m scheduled to have LASIK performed in a week and am now wondering if I need to be re-evaluated before surgery? In the initial evaluation, I was asked if I wore soft contact lenses and I said yes, but I neglected to tell the appointment person the brand and the type: SoftLens by Bausch and Lomb (one of them is Toric). I then was advised to stop wearing contacts 1 week before the evaluation which I had done a few weeks ago.
I have since discovered the recommendations for these timelines vary among doctors (most recommend at least 2-3 weeks of non-wear for Toric lenses), but according to the FDA (which I imagine I can trust), it is advisable to stop wearing “toric soft lenses at least 3 weeks before the initial exam.” I am now wondering if my initial exam results are invalid and if I should postpone surgery in favor of another evaluation to obtain “more accurate results” or does the 1-2 week difference not really matter? I am going to try to see about contacting the ophthalmologist about this but this could be a delicate conversation to have with her.
Wearing contact lenses for an extended period of time will result in changes to the front part of the eye (cornea).
Before the pre-LASIK assessment, patients are advised to lay off contact lens wear for a period of 3 days to 1 month depending on the type of contact lens they are using. This difference is due to the rigidity of the contact lens material.
At my practice, I will advise my patients to stop soft contact lenses (toric/non-toric) for at least 3 days and hard lenses (RGP) for at least 14 days.
From my past experience, I personally find that 3 days (for soft contact lenses) is enough for the cornea to return to its original state. However, if during the assessment, I detect any possible corneal changes, I will then advise my patient to stop contact lens wear for a longer duration before re-evaluating.
If your surgeon does not detect any corneal abnormalities during the initial evaluation, it is most likely that the results are accurate.
Dr David Chan
Senior Consultant Eye Surgeon
Atlas Eye Specialist Centre