• Laser Surgery Recovery

    Written by: Kierstan Boyd
    Reviewed by: Brenda Pagan-Duran MD
    Jan. 09, 2017

    How long does it take to heal after laser eye surgery?

    One of the benefits of correcting refractive errors with laser surgery is that, in most cases, recovery is relatively quick.

    Immediately after LASIK, LASEK, or other similar procedures that create a replaceable flap in your cornea, your eye begins to heal. The day after your surgery, your eye surgeon or other eye doctor will test your vision and check to see that your eyes are healing as they should. In most cases, you can return to work, as well as drive, the day after the procedure.

    If you have had PRK, healing may take a little longer. This is because a thin, outer layer of corneal cells is removed (rather than replaced as a flap like with LASIK or LASEK). The cells grow back, but it takes a few days after surgery to do so. This will delay the amount of time it takes to comfortably and safely get back to working and driving.

    For several weeks or even months after laser eye surgery, it is normal to have some blurry vision or notice your vision changing. You may also have dry eyes, or see glare or halos around lights.

    For six months or longer after laser surgery, you will probably be scheduled for regular follow-up visits with your eye doctor to check how your eyes are doing. In most cases, vision is stable and clear at about six months after surgery. If you had dry eyes or other visual disturbances after surgery, you should find most of these symptoms have disappeared or are much less obvious.

    Past the six-month point after laser eye surgery, if you still have vision issues, your ophthalmologist may recommend another laser surgery procedure—called an enhancement—to fine tune your eyesight.