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5 precautions to take after ReLEx SMILE surgery

1. Wear the eye shield and avoid getting water into the eyes for 3 days

After surgery, wear the eye shield before bedtime and before napping to prevent any unconscious rubbing and the eye must not come into contact with water for a minimum of 3 days. Showering or bathing is permitted as long as water does not come into contact with the eye. Refrain from exercise during the first 3 days to prevent sweat from getting into the eye.

2. Frequently use artificial tear drops

The artificial tear can be administered as frequently as needed to prevent dry eye. You can fly after the surgery. Your eyes will get dry easily on the plane because airplanes are dry forced-air environments so it is recommended to lubricate your eyes frequently with artificial tears to aid healing. Use all eye drops, including the antibiotic eye drops, that are prescribed by your doctor for one week.

3. Refrain from wearing eye makeup for at least a week

Facial makeup application is permitted but not eye makeup for one week after surgery.

4. Refrain from swimming and diving for 1 week after surgery

One week after the surgery, you can go swimming and diving. However, it is recommended to avoid opening your eyes under water both in pools and the ocean. (Chlorinated water in swimming pools can irritate your sensitive eyes during the recovery period and the ocean carry high levels of infection-causing bacteria. Therefore, you should wear protective goggles when swimming.)

5. Avoid being in smoky or dusty environments

You should wear your sunglasses anytime you go outside especially in bright daytime light, dusty or windy areas. You can resume normal activities including working at computer and reading. However, preservative-free artificial tears should be used frequently. A frequent break every 10-15 minutes is recommended to prevent dry eye and eye fatigue.

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