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Can I Drive Myself Home After LASIK Surgery?

by Jose Quiceno, MD

Learn the precautions about driving right after eye surgery.

LASIK surgery, or laser eye surgery, is used to correct a variety of eye issues, adjusting the cornea to improve sight. By correcting vision problems, LASIK can alleviate the need for glasses or contact lenses.

Unfortunately, patients cannot drive themselves home after a LASIK procedure and will need to get a ride from someone else. There are a number of very good reasons for this. Patients generally receive a mild oral sedative, usually Valium, during the procedure. Since this sedation will not wear off for a couple of hours, it’s not a good idea for them to drive for some time.

Also, the patient’s vision will be a little blurry immediately following the procedure. It will take a few hours before their vision clears up enough to drive. In some cases, vision may remain blurry for a couple of days. In others, it will clear up by the next day. It’s important for patients to use good judgment when determining whether they should drive the day after the procedure.

This restriction is not unique to LASIK surgery. Hospitals and outpatient facilities generally don’t allow patients to drive following any ambulatory surgical procedure. It just makes sense to play it safe.

This Scripps Health and Wellness tip was provided by Jose Quiceno, MD, an opthalmologist at Scripps Clinic in San Diego.