Laser (Refractive) Eye Surgery: Pre-surgery Instructions

Laser vision correction or refractive surgery at UW Health in Madison provides an alternative to using glasses and contacts for vision correction.


The following instructions are for patients prior to undergoing either photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) or LASIK laser vision correction.


Pre-surgery Instructions

  1. Discontinue wearing soft contact lenses in the operative eye two weeks before your preoperative examination. Discontinue wearing gas permeable contact lenses one month prior to your pre-operative examination for every decade the contacts have been worn. The cornea needs this "rest period" for your treatment to be successful. Do not wear your contact lenses again between your pre-operative examination and the surgery date.
  2. Do not wear eye make-up, facial lotions, hairspray, perfume/cologne or aftershave on the day of surgery. Make-up can be a source of infection and fumes can interfere with the laser.
  3. You may receive oral sedation on the day of surgery. Therefore:
    • Make arrangements prior to your surgery for someone to drive you home.
    • Do not return to work on the day of your procedure.
    • Do not plan any activities for the remainder of the day.
  4. On the day of surgery, plan to spend two hours with us.