About Your Surgery

At St. Michael’s Eye & Laser Institute, we are committed to the safety and comfort of every patient we work with. We believe every patient should fully understand our process and how to best care for their eye health during and after their procedures.

Click on the Frequently Asked Questions below to learn about your procedure.

The questions below may help you before, during, and after your surgery.

Before Procedure

What to expect before the procedure.

What tests are required prior to my procedure?

Any pre-operative tests will be determined by your ophthalmologist and communicated to you prior to the date of your surgery.

Will I be contacted prior to my procedure by the facility?

Yes. You may receive up to three calls. You will be contacted a few days prior to surgery by a member of your health care team. This call will include a routine health assessment, instructions for the day of surgery, and answers to any questions you may have. You may also be contacted by someone in the facility’s business office to address financial matters such as your responsibility for co-payments and deductibles. Finally, you may also be contacted by your ophthalmologist.

What should I bring?

  1. Please bring photo identification and your insurance card(s). Our staff will need to verify and make copies when you check-in on the day of your surgery.
  2. Please bring a list of all medications and supplements you are currently taking.
  3. Please bring payment of any patient responsibility (e.g. co-payment or deductible)
  4. Please do not bring rings, watches, or other valuables.

Should I arrange a ride to the facility?

Yes. You will not be allowed to drive after surgery. Please arrange for an adult to drive you home and for someone to be with you when you arrive.  If you need assistance with transportation you may call the center prior to the day of your procedure for assistance with this. Uber transportation is not permitted.

What may I eat and drink before procedure?

Your ophthalmologist or a pre-operative nurse will inform you of eating and drinking restrictions prior to surgery. It is very important that you follow the provided instructions. If you do not, your surgery may be delayed or canceled.

• Should I take my routine medications on the day of procedure?

You will be given instructions regarding medications by your ophthalmologist or a staff member. Also, as noted above, please be prepared to list all medications (including name and dose) you are taking.

What can I do to help ensure that I have the proper procedure on the correct site?

Your safety is our primary concern. Your entire health care team will follow rigorous guidelines regarding site identification and procedure confirmation. National Patient Safety Goals have been developed which require your involvement too. You will be asked numerous times to confirm both the procedure you are having and the surgical site. You should take a very active role in all discussions with your ophthalmologist staff regarding the identification of your procedure and the correct surgical site. In most cases, your surgeon will mark the site prior to your procedure.

What can I do to help prevent a site infection?

Take a shower the night before and the morning of surgery. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Wash your hair first with any shampoo.
  2. Wash all of your body using a liquid antibacterial soap and a clean washcloth for each shower.
  3. Rinse well to remove all soap.
  4. Dry your body with a clean towel.
  5. Do not use lotion, cream, or powder.
  6. Do not shave or clip the area where the surgery will be done unless your physician directs you to do so.
  7. On the day of your procedure make sure you, your family and any other caregivers wash hands frequently while at the facility and at home following your surgery. Also, do not hesitate to ask members of your health care team at the facility if they have washed their hands!
  8. After your procedure make sure you, your family, and any other caregivers wash their hands frequently. Also, be sure you follow all instructions provided by your health care team regarding the care and cleaning of your surgical site as well as the administration of post-operative medications and bandages.

What if I think I might be pregnant?

Please be sure to notify your ophthalmologist and nurse prior to the date of surgery if you think you may be pregnant. The surgical procedure medications may be harmful to a developing baby. A pregnancy test is done on all women of childbearing age.

Day of Procedure

What will happen when I first arrive at the facility?

When you arrive at the facility, you will be checked-in by a member of our staff. The admission process is usually very quick as we have obtained most of your information prior to your arrival. This final check allows us to verify all of your key information so we can better serve you.

What should I wear?

For your comfort, we encourage you to wear clothing that can be easily removed and stored. Please avoid wearing any jewelry, piercings, nail polish, and cosmetics, and leave contact lenses at home or bring your lens case with you.

What should I do with my clothes and additional belongings?

A nurse will escort you into the pre-operative area where you will change your clothes. Your belongings will be safely stored until you are ready to go home. We recommend that you leave all valuables and additional accessories at home.

What happens after I check-in?

A nurse will conduct a pre-operative assessment that will include taking your vital signs and starting an IV if it is required for your procedure. Our staff will keep your family and friends informed of your progress. We understand the anxiety family and friends will have while you are having your procedure.  We will make every effort to keep them informed of your progress and when they will be able to re-join you after the procedure.

What can I do to help ensure that I have the proper procedure on the correct site?

Your safety is our primary concern. Your entire health care team will follow rigorous guidelines regarding site identification and procedure confirmation. National Patient Safety Goals have been developed which require your involvement too. You will be asked numerous times to confirm both the procedure you are having and the surgical site. You should take a very active role in all discussions with your physician and our staff regarding the identification of your procedure and the correct surgical site.  In most cases, your surgeon will mark the site prior to your procedure.

What can I do to help prevent a site infection?

Take a shower the night before and the morning of surgery. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Wash your hair first with any shampoo.
  2. Wash all of your body using a liquid antibacterial soap and a clean washcloth for each shower.
  3. Rinse well to remove all soap.
  4. Dry your body with a clean towel.
  5. Do not use lotion, cream, or powder.
  6. Do not shave or clip the area where the surgery will be done unless your physician directs you to do so.
  7. On the day of your procedure make sure you, your family, and any other caregivers wash hands frequently while at the facility and at home following your surgery. Also, do not hesitate to ask members of your health care team at the facility if they have washed their hands!
  8. After your procedure make sure you, your family and any other caregivers wash their hands frequently.  Also, be sure you follow all instructions provided by your health care team regarding the care and cleaning of your surgical site as well as the administration of post-operative medications and bandages.

Will I see my physician prior to procedure?

Most likely. The nature of most procedures will require that you and your physician confirm both the specific type of procedure you are having as well as the surgical site of that procedure.

How long can my family stay with me prior to my procedure?

This will depend upon a number of factors. However, we believe that familiar faces can assist in reducing your anxiety about the procedure, so please do not hesitate to inform the nurse that you would like a friend or family member to sit with you.

When should I arrive?

You will receive instructions regarding arrival time during your pre-operative phone call.  It is important that you arrive at the designated time.

What if I think I might be pregnant?

Please be sure to notify your ophthalmologist and nurse prior to the date of surgery if you think you may be pregnant. The surgical procedure, anesthesia and medications may be harmful to a developing baby. A pregnancy test is done on all women of childbearing age.

Can I smoke?

No. We advise against smoking on the day of your procedure. Smoking frequently produces nausea during the recovery period.

After Procedure

What will happen if I am not able to go home?

Admissions to a hospital from a surgery center happen occasionally. In certain circumstances, your physician may determine that you need to be transferred to a hospital for additional post-operative care.

What if I am not feeling well once I get home?

If you are in serious pain, or exhibit warning symptoms described in your discharge instructions, please call your physician, go to the nearest emergency room, or call 911.

What can I eat when I get home?

Your surgeon may have specific recommendations for your post-operative diet. We generally suggest that you eat lightly after surgery, and strongly encourage you to drink plenty of fluids. You should avoid alcoholic beverages.

What can I do to help prevent a post-operative infection?

In addition to following the recommendations below, follow your post-operative instructions carefully and notify your physician if you have any signs or symptoms which concern you.

Take a shower the night before and the morning of surgery. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Wash your hair first with any shampoo.
  2. Wash all of your body using a liquid antibacterial soap and a clean washcloth for each shower.
  3. Rinse well to remove all soap.
  4. Dry your body with a clean towel.
  5. Do not use lotion, cream or powder.
  6. Do not shave or clip the area where the surgery will be done unless your physician directs you to do so.
  7. On the day of your procedure make sure you, your family and any other caregivers wash hands frequently while at the facility and at home following your surgery. Also, do not hesitate to ask members of your health care team at the facility if they have washed their hands!
  8. After your procedure make sure you, your family and any other caregivers wash their hands frequently. Also, be sure you follow all instructions provided by your health care team regarding the care and cleaning of your surgical site as well as the administration of post-operative medications and bandages.

How will my pain be managed?

The management of your pain is of great importance to us. We will be assessing your level of pain from the time of admission until you receive our post-operative call at home. During your stay at the facility, you will be repeatedly asked to rate your pain using a numerical scale (1-10), or for children, the “Faces Pain Scale” (shown below).

We will often use a combination of different modalities to help make you comfortable – choosing from oral medications, intravenous medications, nerve blocks, injection of local anesthetic during the surgery, etc. Prior to the surgery, the management of your pain should be discussed with both your anesthesiologist and surgeon. Please feel free to bring up any concerns or fears you may have. Remember that information on pain management gives you the appropriate expectations and hence a smoother, more comfortable recovery. It is important to follow instructions regarding your post-operative pain medication closely.  Many pain medications take 20 to 30 minutes to begin to work.  For best results, the pain medication should be taken before the pain becomes too strong.

Can my family be with me after procedure?

Yes. After surgery, you will be taken to a recovery area. A nurse will monitor your vital signs and make sure you are comfortable. Once you are awake and alert, your family will be invited back to the recovery area. Special arrangements are made for children having surgery.

May I drive home?

No. Patients will not be allowed to drive after a procedure and must make necessary transportation arrangements. If you need assistance with transportation you may call the center prior to the day of your procedure for assistance with this. Uber transportation is not permitted.

Should I continue my usual medications after procedure?

Most patients should continue their usual medications after surgery. Patients who have diabetes and those patients on blood thinners may require some adjustment of their medications. These instructions will be clarified with you before you leave the facility. If you have any questions, please call your surgeon or primary care physician.

How long will I stay after my procedure?

The amount of recovery time varies from patient to patient. After your procedure, a nurse will monitor your vital signs and make sure you are alert and stable. You will be sent home as soon as your health care team feels it is safe to discharge you from the facility.