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How long should I wait to drive after Lasik surgery?

It is not recommended that you drive after your LASIK surgery for the first day. At your first postoperative visit your vision will be measured. It will probably be 20/40 or better. In the United States, it is legal for you to drive with 20/40 vision. However, some patients may wish to wait longer if they are not comfortable. Once you are at 20/40 vision it is legal for you to drive.

 
Jose I. Quiceno, MD
Ophthalmology
Unfortunately, you will not be able to drive yourself home after a LASIK procedure and you will need to get a ride from someone else. There are a number of very good reasons for this. People 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 to drive for some time.

Also, your vision will be a little blurry immediately following the procedure. It will take a few hours before your vision will clear 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 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 people to drive following any ambulatory surgical procedure. It just makes sense to play it safe.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.