|Contacts must be removed days to months before having Lasik.
Contact lenses must be removed long before calculations are made
for receiving conventional or custom wavefront Lasik, Bladeless Lasik, PRK, LASEK, or Epi-Lasik, to assure the most accurate and predictable outcome.
All contacts can effect changes to the cornea. Contact lenses can warp the cornea and the decreased
oxygen to the cornea cause by extended contact lens wear can cause edema. These changes need to have dissipated before accurate
measurements for Lasik can be performed.
There is no universal agreement on how long someone should be
out of contacts before Lasik. Some doctors will say a few days,
others weeks or even months. Different procedures are more critical
than others. We are probably a bit more conservative than most.
We suggest that if you wear soft contacts, you should not wear
them for at least two weeks before final measurements are taken
to determine refractive error for Lasik surgery. This is especially
important if your surgery will involve a wavefront-guided ablation - also called Custom Lasik. If your soft contacts are toric correction for astigmatism, then three weeks.
If you wear rigid gas permeable (RGP) hard contacts, you should
not wear them six weeks for every three years you have worn RPGs,
up to a total of six months out of RGPs. To keep from being in glasses
for months, it may be appropriate to wear soft contacts without
toric correction for an extended period of time, then be without
any contacts for a few weeks.
Natural State for Calculations
In all cases, the cornea must return to its natural state, no
matter how long that takes, before having Lasik or any similar surgery.
The condition of the cornea is important with any refractive surgery. If your contacts have caused any irregularities
in your cornea or smoothed out natural irregularities, it will be
necessary to treat the induced changes or allow them to dissipate
before surgery. It is important to remember that if the calculations
for surgery are created with a cornea that is distorted or damaged
by long-term contact use, the surgical (and permanent) correction
will be equally distorted.
Looking For Best Lasik Surgeon?
If you are ready to choose a doctor to be evaluated for conventional
or custom wavefront Lasik, Bladeless Lasik, PRK, or any refractive surgery procedure, we recommend you consider a doctor who has been evaluated and certified by the USAEyes nonprofit organization.
Locate a USAEyes Evaluated & Certified Lasik Doctor.
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