Preparation for Laser Eye Surgery (LASIK)

Getting ready for Laser Eye Surgery requires a just a little planning and organisation. Following the advice below will get you through your treatment smoothly with great results and minimal fuss. 

After researching the procedure, finding a suitable clinic and getting confirmation you’re eligible for laser eye surgery, you’re halfway there to achieving a life with great vision and free of glasses. 

The focus is now on the procedure and what it involves and you’ll be asking questions such as how long is the procedure? what should I wear to ensure comfort during surgery? how should I travel home from the clinic and how long will I need to take time off work? 

Apprehension is normal at this point with nervous questions such as will everything go to plan? What if I cough or sneeze during the treatment? 

Many of these questions and concerns can be addressed by your eye surgeon, Dr Reece Hall who will put any worries you may have to rest. 

The 7 Steps of preparing for Laser eye surgery 

1. Time off work 

Most people could be back at work after 24 hours from their Laser Eye Surgery, however for some patients it can be up to 4 days. You can discuss this with your surgeon before the treatment so that you can make necessary arrangements. 

2. The ride home 

You won’t be able to drive your car home after the treatment and you may find public transport tiring, so it’s a good idea to organise alternative means of transport. Get a friend or family member to pick you up afterwards, or even bring them along as a support person. 

3. A support person 

You can bring one or two people with you on the day of your procedure and the good thing is they will then be able to drive you home. However we only allow clinical personnel in the treatment room. 

4. A place to rest your eyes 

If you live out of town, you may find it easier to stay in local accommodation or with a friend on the night of your procedure. You will want to relax and plan a quiet evening after your treatment. 

5. No alcohol consumption 

Alcohol should be avoided for 24 hours before surgery and 24 hours after surgery. This is because it can dry out your eyes. You are also advised to avoid wearing perfume, cologne, hair spray, and other hair products. A good rule of thumb is to avoid anything with a high alcohol content. 

6. Wardrobe without the make-up 

Avoid wearing mascara, eye-liner, or other eye make-up which may interfere with the surgery for at least 24 hours prior to the procedure. This is because on the day of your surgery, your face needs to be totally free of make-up. 

7. Comfortable and lint free clothing 

Make sure to wear comfortable clothing and avoid anything made from wool or anything that may produce lint on the day of your surgery. This is because in similarity to make up, the small fibres can sometimes cause unwanted inflammation.


Common questions and concerns prior to having LASIK

How long is the waiting list?
Generally at Bowen Eye Clinic the waiting list for Laser Eye Surgery can range from 1 to 4 weeks. 

How long does the treatment take? 

Expect to be in the clinic 60 minutes. Most of the treatment time is taken up by preparation which involves re-checking your eye measurements and programming the laser. This takes around 30 minutes. The good news is the procedure itself is performed in a few minutes, with the laser only active for 5-15 seconds. 

What will I feel during the procedure? 

It’s a day procedure and only requires eye drops as local anaesthetic so that you’ll feel very little aside from a bit of pressure with the first laser. 

What happens if I look away, blink, cough, or sneeze during the procedure? 

Absolutely nothing thanks to eye-tracking technology. This is in place to compensate for eye movement and ensure the treatment is performed in exactly the right place. 

What is the risk of complications during Laser Eye Surgery? 

There is always a small level of risk involved with any surgery. Statistically, the chance of a complication arising with Laser Eye Surgery is around 0.1%. The best decision you’ll make is to find a surgeon with the right experience and expertise so that if complications do occur, they can be managed effectively. This will give you confidence that your eyes are in the best and most experienced hands. 

If you would like to book a consultation with  Dr Reece Hall at Bowen Eye Clinic, or find out more about Laser Eye Surgery (LASIK), call us on 0800-69-20-20 or email us at 



Excimer laser this type of laser removes tissue by non-thermal vaporisation (photoablation). Excimer lasers are extremely accurate and do not damage the surrounding tissues.

Femtosecond laser this type of laser is designed to cut any 3D shape in clear eye tissues such as the cornea with a high degree of accuracy. They work by creating a 3D pattern of tiny gas bubbles, which is traced through the target tissue at high speed.

Laser eye surgery correction of sight using excimer and/or femtosecond lasers to alter the curvature and focusing power of the cornea.

LASIK (laser in situ keratomileusis) this is the commonest form of laser vision correction in which a thin protective flap is created using a femtosecond laser. The protective flap is hinged aside by the surgeon before optical reshaping of the cornea using an excimer laser. The flap is then replaced, and adheres without stitches, keeping the corneal skin layer intact and giving a fast visual recovery.