Can you smoke the day before? Day of? Week After? A Few Simple Guidelines that will help you get your optimal surgical experience.
Since eye surgery, whether it be LASIK, LASEK, PRK, or a variety of other procedures is one of the only surgeries where the patient is awake throughout the procedure, many people are nervous and anxious when going into the surgical room. To relieve some of this surgical anxiety, some think it is a good idea to smoke weed (pot, marijuana, mary-jane, whatever your term of choice) before the surgery to get into that familiar relaxed state. This is NOT a good idea. You can smoke all you want up to at the minimum one full day before your surgery, and don’t smoke again until at least one full day after your surgery.
THC, the main component of marijuana, is a vasodilator which means is causes the smooth muscles that surround blood vessles to relax, allowing the blood vessels to dilate (enlarge) and thus your blood vessels are thinner walled and appear larger (this is the reason your eyes appear red after smoking weed). During eye surgery, pressure is applied to the eye, and if you have just smoked marijuana and have dilated blood vessels in your eyes a hemorrhage (blood vessel bursting) is much more likely and that is an unnecessary complication no one wants. Furthermore, after surgery your eyes are very sensitive and the top layer of your eye needs a few days to properly heal so complications are again more likely if the eye is not in its natural state but in a THC induced altered state with enlarged and therefore more fragile blood vessels.
So to sum up, don’t smoke the day before, the day of, and the day after your eye surgery. If you feel you need to calm your nerves on surgery day your ophthalmologist will most likely prescribe you an anti-anxiety pill such as Lorazapem (brand name Ativan). As a final note this is another reason why full disclosure with your doctor is SO important, don’t be shy to talk to your ophthalmologist about your recreational activities because even if you think they might not affect the outcomes of your surgery, they might actually make a world of a difference! Trust me, your doctor won’t care if you smoke pot or how often, they only want you to get the best possible results from your surgery.