The Day of LASIK

What will I experience during the LASIK procedure?

On the morning of your procedure, your surgeon will ask you not to wear any makeup, as it could stain the cornea, or perfume/cologne that could damage the laser. At the laser surgery center, you will usually be given a Valium pill to help you feel calm during the procedure. The LASIK procedure itself usually takes less than 10 minutes for each eye. You will lie on a special bed under the laser. A blinking red light serves as a target to focus on during the procedure.

A lid holder will be used to hold your eyelids open and numbing drops will be placed on the eye. Then, the LASIK flap will be made; you may feel some squeezing and pressure on the eye. Your vision will dim out during the flap making process, and may even go completely away for a few seconds - this is normal. The flap is lifted back, at this point your vision will return, but will be blurry.

The laser is then applied; it typically takes less than a minute to change the shape of the cornea. The laser tracks the eye, so if small eye movements occur, it will follow and still apply the laser in just the right position. Large eye movements will cause the laser to stop its treatment to ensure that only the correct treatment is performed. The flap is put back into place and left to dry for a few minutes. Last, eye drops are placed in the eye and the eye is closed with paper tape. The doctor will then perform the same steps on your other eye.

After the procedure is completed, your surgeon may examine your eye, or simply have you go home and take a long nap. Your eyes will start to burn and feel irritated about half an hour after the surgery as the numbing medicine wears off. The nap, plus the eye drops your surgeon administers help your eyes feel more comfortable. Your doctor will see you the next day, at which point the eyes are usually feeling pretty comfortable. You will continue using eye drops for several weeks after the surgery, and then see your doctor again in about a month for a vision check. Unless there is an issue, your doctor will see you again in 6 months to a year for another vision check. During the few months after the surgery, artificial tears should be used regularly to help limit dryness of the eyes while they heal.

Minnesota Eye Consultants

Minneapolis, MN

Thomas Eye Group

Atlanta, GA