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Great question about when to perform LASIK after the assessment.
Many patients are confused about the variation in practices on when to perform LASIK. Some practices do perform the assessment and LASIK all on the same day primarily for the patients’ convenience.
Many practices however do not encourage same day surgeries. There are several reasons why. The most important reason is that the suitability assessment requires dilation of the pupil. Once the pupil is dilated, it takes at least 6 hours or longer for the pupil to regain its natural size and position. It is important to understand that many laser systems rely on the pupil position to find the right location on the eye. Hence, the pupil is very important for the laser to mark its targeting accurately. As you can imagine, a poorly targeted laser treatment could result in a unsatisfactory result. Some practices use eye drops to artificially constrict the pupil quickly. To us, this is still inadequate as the pupil in this artificially contracted state may still not be in the natural position.
My practice is to separate the LASIK treatment from the day of the suitability assessment. This allows me to maximise the quality of the surgical results and reducing the risk of resultant haloes and glare for my patients by way of greater precision in centring the laser.
In my view, the risks of same day LASIK having a de-centred treatment far outweighs the benefits of convenience. We should prioritise good long term results over short term convenience.
Dr David Chan
Senior Consultant Eye Surgeon
Atlas Eye Specialist Centre