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FAQ Laser eye surgery

The preliminary exam

What do I need to know about the preliminary exam?
  • Please do not wear your contact lenses for at least two before after the preliminary examination. This is absolutely necessary because otherwise the measurements taken at the preliminary exam will not be precise enough.
  • After the preliminary examination, your contact lenses can be worn again until the day before the operation.
  • Your pupils will be dilated during the preliminary exam, so you may have trouble reading or doing close work. Accordingly, please do not plan any important work on this day.
  • Please do not drive yourself to or from the appointment
How long does the preliminary examination take?

It can take up to 2 hours to complete all of these comprehensive assessments so that we can plan the safest surgery with the best-possible visual outcomes.

Which laser is used?

We use the SCHWIND AMARIS excimer laser (which we co-developed). It is currently the fastest and safest excimer laser available in the world.

The operation

I am presbyopic, can I still benefit from laserrefractive surgery?

Yes, presbyopia can be treated with laser surgery. Get in contact – we would be more than happy to discuss the possibilities modern refractive surgery offers.

Is a preliminary examination and surgery possible on the same day?

In principle, this is possible, but the restriction of not wearing contact lenses for two weeks beforehand still applies.

Are both eyes operated on the same day?

Yes.

Where does the operation take place?

The operation will take place in our own operating room at the ELZA Institute.

What are the risks?

The surgeon will discuss the risks directly with you during the preliminary examination. Generally speaking, the risk of serious complications is well below 1 percent. Eye laser surgery has become one of the safest surgical procedures in the world these days. The immense experience of our surgeons helps to reduce this risk even more.

How is the eye anaesthetized?

No syringes: the eye is anesthetized with eye drops and the entire operation is painless.

Should I come alone on the day of surgery?

We don’t recommend it. Immediately after the operation, 3D vision is limited and it is better not to use public transport alone – and of course, driving immediately after the operation is prohibited by Swiss law.

Do I have to fast beforehand?

No. We only require local anesthesia (which comes in the form of eyedrops) so there’s no need to fast before the surgery.

How long does the surgery take?

It can last 30 to 45 minutes from entering the room to leaving (fully checked and briefed by the surgeon) – but you’re only under the laser for around two minutes, and the laser procedure itself usually takes less than 20 seconds.

Can I wear make-up?

No. You need to completely free of make-up on the day of surgery so we recommend you thoroughly remove make up the previous night. Please do not wear makeup for at least a week after surgery.

Will I have pain before, during or after the operation?

You will not experience any pain before or during the trans-PRK surgery. You might experience some stinging and scratching sensations in the first 24 hours after the operation, but we provide you with effective medications that will relieve this effectively.

Who operates on me?

You will always be operated on by the surgeon that performs the preliminary eye examination.

Will I have to wear an eye patch?

No. After TransPRK, the eye is covered with a bandage contact lens. An eye bandage is not necessary.

After the operation

How long should I take off work?

Ideally, you should take a week off work, but it’s usually possible to return to work after about four days (although the vision on the operated eye would not have fully recovered by this point).

When can I play sports/swim/go into the sauna again?

After a week, you’ll be able to perform all of those activities – but remember to avoid rubbing your eyes!

Can I shower after surgery?

Absolutely – but only up to the neck. Take care to ensure that no water gets in the eyes, as even the famously “clean” Swiss water can contain bacteria and even parasites.

How much do I see after the operation?

On the first day after TransPRK, you recover about 10% and 30% of your vision; after that, the recovery is very fast. After 4 weeks, your vision is usually about 60–90% of its final quality, and it will continue to improve after that. There might be some good days and bad days, especially in the second to third weeks, but this is normal and is nothing to worry about.

When do I have my inspection dates?

We inspect your eyes every day for the first 3–4 days, then at 2, 4 and 12 weeks.

How quickly will my vision improve after the operation?

On the first day after TransPRK, you recover about 10% and 30% of your vision; after that, the recovery is very fast. After 4 weeks, your vision is usually about 60–90% of its final quality, and it will continue to improve after that. There might be some good days and bad days, especially in the second to third weeks, but this is normal and is nothing to worry about.

How many drops do I have to take?

We will give you a pack full of everything you need to take after the surgery, and explain how and when to use the eyedrops.

Is it normal for my eyes to hurt/have a burningsensation/turn red/itch/swell?

You might experience one or more of these symptoms in the 72 hours after a TransPRK procedure, but the eyedrops we supply should help. But if you’re in any doubt, please feel free to call us at the office or visit ELZA during office hours. We also give you the surgeon’s telephone number after the operation so that you can get in contact outside of ELZA’s opening hours should you feel that you need to. We will be there for you if you need us.

I lost the bandage contact lens. Should I be worried?

The reason we place a bandage contact lens in your eye after TransPRK is mostly for your own comfort. If you lose the bandage contact lens in the evening, you can wait until the next day to see us.

How soon before I can fly in an aircraft?

You can fly, without restriction, 5 days after undergoing TransPRK, although as airplane cabins are very dry environments, we encourage you to use lubricating eyedrops liberally during the flight.

How long does the effect of the treatment last?

In principle, it’s a lifelong effect. Your distance vision will remain unchanged over decades. The only issue might be the onset of presbyopia (the stiffening of the eye’s lens), which starts at around the age of 45 years, which can make it harder for people to see objects nearby.

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