Risk In Wearing Contacts Before LASIK Surgery?

I have gone for my Lasik consultation were they checked my eyes. I did not wear my contacts for two weeks and came back to have them dilated and checked again. I have my actual surgery scheduled for 1 week from now. My question is that my daughters first birthday party is 2 days before my surgery and I really want to wear my contacts. I would wear them for two hours and then take them out. Since they already have all the measurements and my prescription can I wear them for just two hours?

Doctor Answers 3

Removal of contacts before Laser Surgery

In our office, we recommend that patients stop their daily wear soft contact lenses at least a week before final measurements for LASIK and also for surgery.  In our office, WaveScans are always performed on the day of the surgery.  For those who sleep in their contacts or wear toric contact lenses, it is best to remove them for two weeks before surgery.  A few hours of contact lens wear before LASIK should not be of concern in most circumstances, but best to leave to an absolute minimum.  The use of tear drops and avoiding the rubbing of your eyes will also help the corneas to stabilize.

Chicago Ophthalmologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Removing Contacts Before LASIK or PRK

I recommend that soft contacts be removed between 7-14 days prior to surgery, depending on the amount of astigmatism. If the patient wears gas permeable contact lenses, I recommend the time period of one month per decade of wear(for example,  if a patient wore GP lenses for 30 years they would leave the lenses out for 3 months). This protocol has served me very well over the past 18 years of Laser Vision Correction. Cheating on this protocol....ie, wearing the lenses, even for short intervals, will increase the liklihood of needing an enhancement, so I recommend sticking to the instructions.

Anthony J. Kameen, MD
Baltimore Ophthalmologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Contact Lens Wear Before LASIK

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. Personally, I like soft contact lenses out 3 days before surgery, hard or gas perms out 3 weeks before surgery.  This allows the cornea to return to its natural state before having Lasik or any similar surgery.

Wearing your lenses for 2 hours 2 days before the surgery will probably not have a big impact on the results.  There may be a slight increased risk of needing an enhancement or getting a corneal abrasion during the procedure.

My advice to you would be to discusse this with your surgeon and follow his guidelines.

Cary M. Silverman, MD
West Orange Ophthalmologist

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.