How long out of contacts for intralasik?

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How long out of contacts for intralasik?

Postby GeneralPatientInquiry » Mon Jun 05, 2006 2:07 am

Hi,

I'm just hoping to get another opinion on a concern I have. I'm
25 years old and 6 diopters myopic with about 1 diopter astigmatism. I
absolutely hate contacts and have scheduled to have intralasik done (I
prefer intralasik over lasik since it "supposedly" is less invasive on
your cornea cells especially since I'm so myopic).

I have it scheduled to have it done in florida.

But my concern is... I have ALWAYS been told that you should not wear
your contacts for 2 entire weeks before the full exam and lasik
procedure because I know contacts change the shape of your cornea
affecting the prescription so they must be removed for a certain
amount of time before having the procedure done. But when I spoke to
the doctor's staff they all told me that I do not have to remove
my contacts for 2 whole weeks and that 3 days is the new rule they
follow and that 3 days is perfectly fine.

Are they wrong? That can't be right? I wear soft toric contacts and
they told me that I only need to have my contacts out for 3 days
before the exam and procedure, BUT I was 100% certain that it must be
2 weeks. Who is correct? Now I am very confused.

I'm having the full exam on the 1st and then the intralasik will be done
a week after the exam on the 7th

If I stop wearing my contacts 1 week before the full exam will that be
okay?

Because I'm going to be out of town and can't wear my glasses before
then unfortunately and I don't want to reschedule the intralasik
because they don't have anything else available for quite some time.

Are you sure 1 week is enough without contacts? They told me 3 days is plenty and now I'm a bit confused. So I fiqure if I do the 1 week thing I will be just fine?
This post is a reprint of a previously requested inquiry received by USAEyes.org via email.
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Re: How long out of contacts for intralasik?

Postby LasikExpert » Mon Jun 05, 2006 2:20 am

<i>Hi,

I'm just hoping to get another opinion on a concern I have. I'm 25 years old and 6 diopters myopic with about 1 diopter astigmatism. I absolutely hate contacts and have scheduled to have intralasik done (I prefer intralasik over lasik since it "supposedly" is less invasive on your cornea cells especially since I'm so myopic).</i>

Intralase creates a LASIK flap with more accuracy than a mechanical microkeratome, which safely allows a thinner flap. IntraLASIK and LASIK with a mechanical microkeratome are equally "invasive" procedures, but a thinner flap will retain more untouched corneal tissue for long-term stability.

<i>I have it scheduled to have it done in florida by Dr. F.</i>

The doctor you mention is not certified by our organization. USA<i>Eyes</i>.org certification is not a requirement to perform refractive surgery. I suggest you use our Tough Questions For Your Doctor to help evaluate an uncertified surgeon.

<i>They are the only place in florida who actually perform intralasik and not only lasik.</i>

That does not appear to be accurate. I checked the www.Intralase.com website and there is an Intralase laser at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute within a few miles of your zip code. You do have choices, although none of the doctors at Bascom Palmer are USA<i>Eyes</i>.org certified either.

<i>But my concern is... I have ALWAYS been told that you should not wear your contacts for 2 entire weeks before the full exam and lasik procedure because I know contacts change the shape of your cornea affecting the prescription so they must be removed for a certain amount of time before having the procedure done. But when I spoke to the doctor's staff they all told me that I do not have to remove my contacts for 2 whole weeks and that 3 days is the new rule they follow and that 3 days is perfectly fine.</i>

It seems that every other doctor has a different opinion on this. We are a bit more conservative. See How Long Out Of Contacts For Lasik

<i>Are they wrong? That can't be right? I wear soft toric contacts and they told me that I only need to have my contacts out for 3 days before the exam and procedure, BUT I was 100% certain that it must be 2 weeks. Who is correct? Now I am very confused.</i>

Welcome to the world of medicine. Most people think that there exists one set "standard of care" with which everyone abides. Not true. The "standard of care" is a very wide path with a lot of room for disagreement.

<i>I'm having the full exam on the 1st and then the intralasik will be done a week after the exam on the 7th</i>

Depending upon the laser used, it may be required to take another full wavefront evaluation immediately before surgery. This would give the most current information. Some lasers allow the data to be collected days or weeks before surgery. You will need to check with your doctor to determine his office's procedure.

<i>If I stop wearing my contacts 1 week before the full exam will that be okay?</i>

Quite possibly, but we think you should be out of toric contacts for at least three weeks so there is no possibility of residual corneal effects.

<i>Because I'm going to be out of town and can't wear my glasses before then unfortunately and I don't want to reschedule the intralasik because they don't have anything else available for quite some time.</i>

Let me be very blunt: Screw their schedule and get your own priorities straight. These are your eyes we are talking about. Wrong readings would give you a poor outcome requiring you to still need glasses or contacts, or your vision could be significantly off and may require additional surgery(s) to be corrected, if it could be corrected at all. Don't mess around with this.

<i>Are you sure 1 week is enough without contacts? They told me 3 days is plenty and now I'm a bit confused. So I fiqure if I do the 1 week thing I will be just fine?</i>

You are about to undergo microsurgery on your eyes. The results you will deal with for the rest of your life. My strong recommendation is to reschedule until you have time to have your contacts out so the readings are as accurate as possible. I also believe you may want to be evaluated by at least one more surgeon before making a final decision.
Glenn Hagele
Volunteer Executive Director
USAEyes

Lasik Info &
Lasik Doctor Certification

I am not a doctor.
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