What to expect after Laser Eye Surgery

Here’s what to expect after your laser eye surgery (LASIK). Follow these easy guidelines on how to care for your eyes and you will enjoy a fast and stress free recovery. Please remember your vision can fluctuate in the first few days but becomes more settled over the following weeks. 

The Laser Eye Surgery that you planned for months is finally over and now you’re waiting for the magic to begin - the much anticipated freedom from glasses. It’s a liberating and unforgettable moment when you wake up in the morning for the first time and experience crisp unimpaired vision. 

It’s these simple moments that after having the procedure done that people get excited about, however the journey with Bowen Eye Clinic doesn’t end as quickly as the surgery took. 

Here’s a general overview which the majority of patients will find themselves following. It will help you gain a clearer idea of how Laser Eye Surgery may affect your normal day-to-day routine in the days, weeks, and months following the procedure. 

Normally you will be seen and your eyes checked at Day 1, Week 1, Month 1 and Month 3 and 6. Day 1 appointments are available in Wellington and Palmerston North. All other appointments can be arranged for Wellington, Palmerston North, Waikanae or Nelson.

Day one post surgery 

Your immediate vision will be foggy for 4-5 hours after LASIK treatment and your eyes can also feel irritated over this 4-5 hour period. You will start on regular 1 hourly artificial tears to treat the dry eye feeling. You will use another eye drop 4 times a day which contains a steroid and antibiotic, this prevents infection and inflammation.

Please do not rub your eyes at any time. Eye Shields are provided and can be taped on just before you go to sleep each night for the first week.

The day after your surgery you will have your first follow up appointment with Dr Reece Hall which can be in Wellington or Palmerston North. Almost everyone will have vision legal for driving without glasses at day one. But it is still advised to ask help from a family member or friend to bring you to this appointment.

Normally people would take three days off work (including the day of surgery) 

 Dr Reece Hall will guide you on what you need to be aware of depending upon your laser eye treatment done, work and lifestyle.

The first few weeks 

The cornea is the eye’s outermost layer and is now in the healing process and there are a few things that in the early stage of healing you need to be aware of and factor into your daily routine. 

Your vision can fluctuate during this period mainly secondary to the dry eye side effect. This is very common. This will improve with regular use of the preservative free artificial tears. 

In similarity to the preparatory stages before surgery, eye make-up should be avoided. We recommend not wearing it for at least the first two weeks post-surgery as it can cause inflammation in the healing area. It’s also advised to delay any hair colouring for ten-days after surgery. 

Your second follow up appointment with Dr Reece Hall will be about three or four weeks after your procedure. 

The first month 

Relax and take it easy, as it is recommended that you steer clear of any activities which could involve chemicals, dirt, or dust getting in your eyes. It is also advised to avoid swimming and contact sports until after one month.

If your work environment is dusty such as at a building site, you’ll need to wear a pair of safety glasses at all times. Limitations on practical activities begin to diminish as your cornea continues to heal and the dryness improves. 

The first 3 months 

After 3 months, you will have had another follow up appointment at the clinic.  Your vision will be settled now.  A small number of people (3%) may require or request an enhancement of their Laser Eye Surgery. This is done after 3 months once the eye has fully healed and the vision has stabilised. 

You should also wear UV protected sunglasses on sunny days for the first 12 months following surgery. In fact it is a good idea to regularly wear sunglasses. UV light exposure to your eyes can cause a Pterygium or Cataract to form over time. Using UV protected sunglasses can help prevent this and reduce the risk.

If you would like to book a consultation with Dr Reece Hall at Bowen Eye Clinic to discuss Laser Eye Surgery and find out more about our aftercare programme, call us on 0800 69 20 20


Cataract when the natural lens gets misty enough to make vision hazy it is called a cataract.

Cornea the clear part of the eye wall at the front of the eye. Two thirds of the focusing power of the eye is from the cornea.

Enhancement or re-treatment surgeries are performed when a full correction from the LASIK procedure has not been achieved due to the body’s natural healing response.

Enhancement surgery can be performed no sooner than three months after surgery and for up to one year. Around 3% of people who have LASIK have an enhancement procedure.

Laser eye surgery correction of sight using excimer and/or femtosecond lasers to alter the curvature and focusing power of the cornea, reducing the need for glasses or contact lenses.

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.

Pterygium is a wing-shaped growth on the surface of the eye causing redness, irritation and sometimes decreased vision. This is normally due to excess UV light exposure from spending a lot of time outside on the water or snow. A pterygium usually grows on the nose side of the eye but occasionally can grow in from both sides of the eye. Pterygium surgery removes the growth and a small graft from under your eyelid is used to help heal and minimise the chance of a re-growth. To minimise the discomfort, fibrin glue is used to attach the graft.