Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) Surgery Patient Instructions | Clarity Laser Vision

Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) Surgery Patient Instructions

Dear Respected Patient,

Please read this handout on the day you receive it and prior to the surgery.

Please obtain all your eye drops and artificial tears before the day of surgery (this will be provided for you closer to the surgery date). People who are prepared for surgery and who take part in their care enjoy a better experience and can recover in less time with fewer or no problems. The information in this handout will help to get you, your family, and your home ready for surgery.

Thank you for allowing us to help with your care. We wish you a pleasant surgical experience and a quick recovery.


 Team Clarity Laser Vision

Preoperative Instruction

  1. Please stop contact lens wear before surgery.
    1. Hard contact lenses must be stopped 4 weeks before. Soft contact lenses 1 week before.
  2. Lid cleanliness:
    1. Please remove eyelash extensions and avoid false eyelashes a minimum of 2 weeks before surgery. You can resume 4 weeks after surgery.
    2. Please ensure the lash line is clean from makeup and debris. It is recommended to use an eyelid wipe or gentle cleanser to the lash line every evening for 3 nights before surgery. Lid wipes are available over the counter at most pharmacies and grocery stores.
  3. Before the day of surgery, please arrange to have a responsible person to
    1. Bring you to and from the surgical centre on surgery day and the next day for your one day follow up. You will NOT be allowed to drive yourself home or take a bus.
    2. Help you after surgery with daily activities and post-operative eye drops.


  1. Medications
    1. Your prescriptions will be faxed to your pharmacy the week before surgery. We will ask the pharmacy to give you a call when all medications are ready for you to pick up. You are responsible for the cost of your medications at the pharmacy. It is recommended to have acetaminophen (Tylenol®) at home to use if you have discomfort after surgery.
    2. Al-Ghoul has prescribed the use of Vigamox/Moxifloxacin and non-preservative artificial tears before surgery. Non-preservative artificial tears are available over the counter at most drug and grocery stores.
    3. Please start the non-preservative artificial tears 4 x per day at least 3 days before your surgery. If you were diagnosed with dry eye at your assessment, you may have received instructions to start at dry eye drop (Restasis/Xiidra/Cequa) least 14 days before your surgery.
    4. Please start the Vigamox/Moxifloxacin 4 x per day, 3 days before your surgery.
    1. No solid food, and no smoking after midnight the night before your surgery. If this rule is not strictly followed, your surgery may be cancelled..
    2. Up to 4 hours before your surgery you can have clear fluids: Sips of black coffee/tea, apple juice and water. Please no sugar, cream, or other dairy products/substitutes.
    3. No alcoholic beverages or cannabis for 24 hours before surgery.
  3. Please take all your regular medications with small sips of water only the morning of your surgery. I you have special instructions from your family physician for your medication please let us know so we can collaborate care. If you are currently using prescribed eye drops, please ask your surgeon for specific directions about stopping or continuing these after the surgery.
    1. If you are on Insulin: DO NOT TAKE INSULIN (please bring it with you to take after surgery). When your surgery is booked, please remind us that you are on insulin so we can appropriately arrange your arrival time.
  4. A post-operative kit is provided to you on surgery day that includes

    1. Protective sunglasses
    2. 2 eye shields for bedtime
    3. A roll of tape to adhere the shields
    4. 1 box of nonpreservative artificial tears
    5. 4 vials of Tetracaine freezing drops

    The nurse will review your surgery medications and instructions with you again on surgery day.


Day of Surgery

What to Bring and Wear

  • Please bring your Alberta Health Care Card and a form of photo ID.
  • Please bring payment by Cash, Debit, Visa, MasterCard, Bank Draft or Certified Cheque (make payment to Ahmed Al-Ghoul Professional Corporation). Make sure to check your bank re: your daily spending limits to allow for surgery payment. Personal cheques are NOT accepted.
  • Please wear comfortable clothing (e.g. loose pants and top with short or loose sleeves, and low-heeled,non-slip shoes). We will be checking your blood pressure throughout your surgery so please ensure you can comfortably remove your arm from bulky sleeves & sweaters.
  • If you have long hair, bring a hair tie.
  • Please DO NOT WEAR loose jewelry, make-up or false eyelashes. Face cream is okay. Acrylic nails and nail polish are okay, but please avoid dark colored, metallic polish.
  • Please bring your medicated eye drops with you on surgery day.

What to Expect

  • The surgery takes about 20-30 minutes. Expect to be at Clarity Laser Vision for about 2 hours
  • Preoperatively the nurse will ask you some questions, check your vitals, and get you prepped with a hair net and surgical shoe covers.
  • Before surgery you will meet with Dr. Al-Ghoul. He will review your surgical procedure and plan and do an additional refraction of your eyes.
  • You will walk with a nurse into/out of the operating room.
  • In the operating room, you will be laid down on a bed, and your eye will be cleaned.
  • The eyelid (of the operated eye) is kept open with a small, comfortable clip while the other eye is patched. Dr. Al-Ghoul will instruct you to keep both eyes open (under the drape) and look towards the two microscope lights. The lights may move or fade in/out during surgery.
  • During surgery, you may experience a mild pressure or pulling sensation, fluid bathing your eye and face, see unusual shapes, movements, and/or very brilliant colors.

Immediately After Surgery

  • After surgery, a shield is placed over your eye and held with tape. You will be moved to the recovery area where the nurses will check on you.
  • Before you go home, your nurse will review discharge instructions and ensure you have filled your prescription for eye drop medications and all of your questions are answered.
  • You are discharged when you are alert and stable.
  • Your vision will be blurry and begin to improve the following morning. Redness ofthe white part of the eye is also normal.
  • You may eat and drink normally. Resume taking all your regular medications and the ones prescribed for the operated eye. For discomfort, please use Tylenol® as directed

Postoperative Instructions

You will receive a prescription for three (3) medicated eye drops: Vigamox, Lotemax Gel, and Acuvail. Also on the prescription are non-preservative artificial tears (available over the counter. The pharmacy may give you generic drops.

  • When using two or more eye medications, always wait 2-5 minutes between eye drops.Only one drop from each bottle is required each time.
  • Please start the drops 2-3 hours after the surgery and follow the medication schedule.

For discomfort

  • Please use a cold pack (wrapped in a towel) on the eyes for 5 minutes, then off for 10 minutes. This ice pack rotation can be continued to help with discomfort.
  • Put all your eye drops in the fridge so they are cooling when instilled.

For at Least 2 Weeks After your Operation:

  • Avoid rubbing your eyes, getting them wet, and protect them from dust particles.
  • Wear dark glasses to protect from bright light, as the eye may be sensitive.
  • Do not squeeze or poke the eye with fingers or glasses. Always place your thumbs over the ends of your sunglasses (by your ears) when removing.
  • Clean the eyelid margins with a clean face cloth or Q-tip. Do not exert any pressure on the eye or eyelids.
  • Always wear a protective eye shield while sleeping for 2 weeks after the surgery. This will protect your eyes from being rubbed or scratched in your sleep.

Activity After Surgery:

  • It is recommended to take 1-2 weeks off work to ensure proper healing.
  • Hold all regular and strenuous activity for 2 weeks. If you have any questions regarding specific activities, be sure to ask your doctor.
  • Avoid lifting anything over 10 pounds for 2 weeks.
  • Bending for short periods (seconds) is allowed (e.g. putting on your shoes).
  • Reading, writing, working on a computer and TV watching are permitted but only for short periods to avoid eye strain. If you feel fatigue, pressure, or strain in your eye, STOP the activity immediately and rest your eye.
  • DO NOT ALLOW ANY WATER IN THE EYE FOR 1 WEEK. Please take baths instead of showers. Hair may be washed by tilting your head back in the shower and not letting any water touch your face. If you do not have a bathtub ensure you protect your eyes with the post op sunglasses when showering and avoid any water, product, or misting from getting in the eyes.
  • Please do not schedule dental work, massage, or chiropractic work for 2 weeks after surgery.
  • No driving for 1-2 weeks or as stated by your eye surgeon. Your depth perception isaltered, vision has changed, and objects may now appear further or closer than they actually are. • Air travel is allowed after 4 weeks; please consult with your surgeon before flying.
  • Do not go into a pool, hot tub, sauna, or body of water for 3 weeks post surgery.
  • Do not get eyelash extensions, lash tinting, permanent eyeliner, or permanent brow for 4 weeks post op.

Warning Signs to be Aware of:

If at any time before or after the surgery you develop any of the following symptoms, contact Clarity Laser Vision immediately at (403) 640-0400. DO NO WAIT UNTIL YOUR NEXT APPOINTMENT. REMEMBER RSVP as explained below.

  1. Significant, increasing Redness with discomfort of the eye
  2. Sensitivity, Floaters, Flashing lights, or a curtain like shadow over your visual field
  3. Vision changes/blurring or significantly becoming less clear
  4. Constant aching or Pain in the eye (not just a moment of fleeting pain)

You will be given an “after hours” emergency number where you can contact Dr. Al-Ghoul in the event of an emergency outside of clinic hours. Please try and contact Dr. Al-Ghoul before calling Health Link at 811 or going to emergency. If you go to the hospital because of complications from the surgery, please contact Clarity Laser Vision.

Preoperative Drops

When using two or more eye drops, always wait 2-5 minutes after instilling the first eye drop before instilling the next one. Only one drop from each bottle is required each time. Use the chart below to track drops by filling in a circle every time you use an eye drop.

Postoperative Drops

Use the chart below to track drops by filling in a circle every time you use an eye drop

Please be aware that there is a possibility that your surgical date may be moved or postponed in the event of an emergency surgery that requires your surgeons operating time. Please note that this is an infrequent occurrence and in the event that your surgery needs to be moved you will be contacted by the office as soon as possible

Clarity Laser Vision

Suite 110, 1016 – 68th Ave SW

Calgary AB, T2V 4J2

Coordinator Direct Line: 587-390-8177

Fax: (403) 640-0456