What To Expect During A Lasik Operation

LASIK eye surgery is a complex and involved procedure. It does not involve the use of a general anesthetic, so you will remain awake for the duration. Other circumstances of the process can be somewhat strenuous. Being aware of what the procedure entails can be helpful, especially if you’re having second thoughts about it.

Before the Procedure: Preparing for LASIK Eye Surgery

Your doctor will probably instruct you to make certain preparations before the actual LASIK procedure. If you regularly wear any type of contact lenses, he will have instructed you to avoid using them: two weeks for soft-lens users, three for rigid-gas-permeable lenses and four for those wearing hard contacts.

You may be advised to avoid using any of the following products near your eyes or face in the 24 hours before the surgery: skin creams and lotions, make-up and perfume.

He may also have asked that you keep your eyes as clean as possible, since dirt and residue in or around the area can cause complications during the procedure and further eye problems down the road.

In the Chair and Under the Laser

LASIK eye surgery lasts only 30 minutes, but it involves complex, precise steps like any other surgical operation.

Although your eye will be numbed, you will not be put under general anesthesia. A mild sedative is used, so you won’t feel extreme pain, but parts of the procedure may cause discomfort. Certain LASIK patients have reported the scent of burning hair, and the excimer laser makes a potentially disconcerting ticking sound.

The actual steps are as follows:

  • After your eye is numb, a lid speculum will be used to prop open each of your eyelids.
  • The surgeon then cuts a flap out of your cornea using either a mechanical keratome, with a physical blade, or a laser keratome.
  • Your cornea must be flattened for the operation, and the process may not be comfortable. Once this is over, your vision will be blurred.
  • The surgeon will instruct you to stare at a fixed light while the laser reshapes your cornea by eliminating problem areas.

After LASIK Eye Surgery

You’ll want to take care to shield your eyes for up to two days after surgery is over, since stitches aren’t used to hold the corneal flap in place. LASIK surgery recovery varies depending on the patient and the specific nature of the procedure. To ensure proper healing, follow the post-operative precautions as you would the other requirements for LASIK surgery.