Can I Smoke Marijuana After Lasik Intralase Surgery?

Can I Smoke Marijuana After Lasik Intralase Surgery?

Doctor Answers 3

Smoking Marijuana after LASIK

I think this is an important question. Historically, most surgeons have taken a "don't ask, don't tell" approach when it comes to marijuana use after Laser Vision Correction(PRK or LASIK). I believe we need to be more proactive and include this discussion on our list of "do's and don'ts" after surgery. I typically recommend abstaining from marijuana use for about 7-10 days after Lasik, as the environmental irritation of any kind of smoke(including cigarettes) can delay corneal healing somewhat. In addition, one of the known side effects of marijuana is a decrease in the rate of blinking while you are under its effects. This decreased blink rate can result in an increased incidence of temporary dry eye after Lasik.

The bottom line is to use common sense after Laser Vision Correction and follow your surgeons instructions. I am sure I have had thousands of patients, over the years, smoke marijuana the night of their Lasik surgery and just not mention it to me......and they have all done fine. On the other hand, when in the presence of some irritants that we know about, I think it is a good idea to exercise some caution for a short while.

Baltimore Ophthalmologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

LASIK, smoking marijuana

Decreased corneal sensation and lower blink rate after smoking marijuana can delay or hinder the healing process.  In addition, smoke, dust, and other environmental toxins should generally be avoided as much as possible after eye surgeries to allow the eye to recover without irritations.

Patients should avoid activities or environments that might expose them to greater risk for approximately 2 weeks following surgeries.  This includes swimming, cosmetics, or highly strenuous exercise.


Jay Bansal, MD
San Francisco Ophthalmologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Pot after LASIK

The problem w pot is it causes relative anesthesia of the cornea. This is slightly dangerous in the immediate postop period because you want to feel if anything is going wrong

lasik and IntraLase also cut your cornea in half so cut most of your corneal nerves which also causes decreased ssensation 

i had a couple of patients who smoked pot right after their LASIK so stared their eyes dry and caused decreased healing 

So to be safe I tell LASIK and IntraLase patients not to smoke pot for two weeks

it's less of a problem w Lasek and epiLASEK patients as those newer procedures are totally noncutting so don't cut your nerves so cause less corneal anesthesia

hope this helps 

Emil William Chynn, MD, FACS, MBA
New York Ophthalmologist
4.6 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.