What To Expect During LASIK Surgery

What To Expect During LASIK Surgery

LASIK surgery can seem daunting, even if you know you’re a candidate and are ready for the procedure. The idea of being awake while a laser touches your eye can sound a little scary, but the process is actually quite simple and painless. Still, you may not know what exactly happens during LASIK surgery, so keep reading to learn more about LASIK!

Surgery Preparation

Before surgery, your doctor will ask you not to wear contacts for two weeks. You’ll also be asked to not wear any makeup on the day of your surgery. You should have someone drive you to and from surgery as you will not be able to drive yourself home after LASIK. LASIK is considered an outpatient procedure, so you will be able to go home right after the surgery has been completed. If you’re nervous about the procedure, your doctor may also give you medication to help you relax before you the procedure begins.


LASIK starts with your doctor putting special eye drops into your eyes to make them numb. This prevents you from feeling pain or pretty much anything during surgery. Once you blink after the drops are applied, the drops will spread over your eye and numb the whole surface. Then, your doctor will use an instrument to hold your eyelids open before they begin.

Making The Corneal Flap

Once your eyes are numbed for surgery, the first thing the doctor will do is make a corneal flap. The corneal flap is an incision that allows your cornea to be reshaped during LASIK. The flap is made with a device that uses a kind of suction, so you may feel a strange sensation when your doctor makes the flap, but it shouldn’t hurt– it just may feel a little weird. Although your eyes will be numb, you’ll feel a slight amount of pressure while the suction is used.

The Laser

The main part of the surgery involves having your cornea shaped by the laser. During this part, you won’t feel a thing. Your doctor will simply ask you to stare straight at a light to keep your eye fixed in place. While they use the laser to correct the shape of your eye, you’ll keep looking directly at the light. Measurements will be used from your pre-operative consultation to get the most exact prescription possible. Once the laser has finished reshaping your cornea, LASIK is over! There are no sutures or stitches needed as your eye will heal and the incision creating the corneal flap will heal on its own.

After Surgery

After surgery, you can go home immediately. When you get home, it’s important to rest your eyes for 4 hours afterward in a dark room. You’ll have to wear your eye shields to make sure no contaminants or debris get into your healing eyes. After this, you may experience some burning or dryness. This is normal and goes away after a few weeks, so be sure to use any eye drops that your doctor prescribes!  

There is a short recovery period where you will be asked to be extra careful as your corneal flap can be subject to misalignment while it’s healing. Mainly you just need to wear an eye shield when sleeping and avoid rubbing your eyes or getting anything in them. You’ll also need to avoid any strenuous activities for about a week after.

Want to learn more about LASIK? Contact Hodges Eye Care and Surgical Center today to schedule an evaluation!