By Dr. Eric Donnenfeld
Parents who are considering LASIK for themselves have a different set of questions about the laser eye surgery than single people and couples without children. Two of the top questions parents ask me are: ““When will I be able to return to taking care of my kids?”and “Can I bring my children to watch the surgery?”
While the answers will depend on the surgeon, this is what I tell my patients:
When Can I Return to Taking Care of My Kids?
The patient needs to plan on being at the laser center for a minimum of two hours. The first six hours after surgery are the most important and the patient’s number one job is to go home and close their eyes. This means that your spouse, relative or a family friend needs to take responsibility for the children on the day of surgery. After the first day, the patient can resume full parenting duties, although they need to be extra careful – my biggest concern is babies or young kids accidentally poking mom or dad in the eye.
Can I Bring My Children to Watch the Surgery?
I allow parents with children aged three and older to bring them along to watch the surgery as it reassures them that nothing scary is happening to their parent and everything’s going to be okay. I will first explain to the whole family what is going to take place and then the children watch the procedure from the waiting room with a staff member supervising them and answering any questions. Afterwards, I let the children visit their parent in post-op and “help” take care of them.
Parents considering LASIK might want to compile a list of questions and have a conversation with their surgeon about how they can minimize the impact of their surgery on their family. For more information about LASIK, one site to visit is www.americanrefractivesurgerycouncil.org.
Dr. Eric Donnenfeldis one of the leading refractive surgeons in the United States and a member of the American Refractive Surgery Council. He is a Trustee of Dartmouth Medical School and Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at NYU School of Medicine. Dr. Donnenfeld participates in the latest research and clinical studies on laser eye surgery.