LASIK surgeons are accustomed to having patients as questions. Part of the physician’s role is to educate you as thoroughly as possible. Many LASIK centers offer written material designed to address your questions. Other LASIK centers show short videos that explain the procedure in detail. However, if you still have questions, or just want to discuss any reservations or fears, the consultation is the best time to do it.
Is LASIK Painful?
No. Before the procedure begins, your eye is numbed with eye drops. You may feel a slight sensation of pressure as the corneal flap is being made, but the procedure should not hurt at all. After the surgery, any discomfort you experience will last only a few hours. Sleep and lubricating eye drops, as well as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, are usually enough to take care of any discomfort.
How Long Does the LASIK Procedure Take?
Most patients are pleasantly surprised on how quickly LASIK is performed. Expect an experienced surgeon to complete the procedure in 5-10 minutes per eye.
How Long Will It Take for My Eyes to Heal?
The healing process is remarkably fast, with few associated side effects. Most postoperative discomfort and visual side effects are quite minor. You may notice a burning sensation and may experience watery eyes in one or both eyes for a few hours after surgery, but usually by the very next day, you should not have any significant eye discomfort. The most common discomfort that sometimes persists is dry eye. This occurs because the nerves in the cornea are temporarily altered when the corneal flap is made during the procedure. Symptoms related to post-LASIK dry eye are usually minor, can be alleviated with lubricating eye drops, and generally disappear within 2-6 months. In terms of visual acuity, most patients notice good vision the day after surgery. Visual clarity and crispness after LASIK tends to improve for 2-6 months and then stabilizes.
What Results Can I Expect?
Results vary. Finding a skilled and experienced surgeon maximizes your chances for the best possible outcome. However, with higher degrees of myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism, results are less predictable and enhancement procedures are common.