Frequently Asked Question About Lasik

Safety

Q Does the LASIK procedure hurt?
A Patients are given a topical anesthetic (eye drops) to numb the eye; therefore, they do not experience pain during the procedure. When the surgeon applies the vacuum ring, the patient experiences a sensation of pressure just before his or her vision fades for a few seconds. The microkeratome (the instrument used to create the flap) and the laser do not cause any pain or discomfort. For several hours after the procedure, many patients complain of a mild burning sensation, which is similar to the burning effect experienced while swimming in chlorinated water. Therefore, patients are encouraged to nap for the first 2 to 3 hours after the LASIK procedure is performed. This uncomfortable feeling usually subsides after the first few hours.

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Q What type of anesthetic is used for LASIK?
A The procedure is carried out with a topical anesthetic (eye drops) to numb the eye. Patients may be given a small amount of oral sedative to help them relax.

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Q How safe is the LASIK procedure?
A According to several studies, there is approximately a 2% intraoperative and 3-5% postoperative complication rate. Most of these complications do not result in the loss of 2 or more lines of best corrected visual acuity or interfere with long - term vision. The rate of severe complications should be substantially less than 1%. It is important for patients to understand that LASIK is a surgery and that a small incidence of complications is to be expected.

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Q Will my eyes look different after LASIK?
A No. Your eyes will look exactly the same.

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Q How long has LASIK surgery been performed?
A LASIK has been performed internationally for approximately 10 years. It was first performed in clinical trials in the U.S. in 1995. It is important to note that the major components of the procedure have a long history. Ophthalmologists have been reshaping the cornea for over 50 years, creating a protective layer of tissue for over 35 years, and using the excimer laser since the 1980s.

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