Laser in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK) is surgery to improve how well you can see. It reshapes the outer part of your eyeball called your cornea. This can fix vision problems in one or both eyes. These problems include nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.
To do the surgery, the doctor first cleans your eye and puts drops in it. The drops numb your eye. Then he or she uses special tools to keep your eye open and to put pressure on your cornea. With a blade or laser, the doctor cuts a flap in your cornea. With another laser, the doctor reshapes the cornea and then puts the flap back. Then the doctor puts more drops in your eye and covers it with a clear shield.
The surgery takes about 10 to 20 minutes. Before surgery, you may get medicine to help you relax. During surgery, you may feel pressure in your eye. After surgery, your eyes may burn or itch. You may feel like there is something in your eye. Your eye may also water more than usual.
You may see better as soon as the surgery is over. Or things may look blurry for a few days. You will probably be able to go back to work or your normal routine in 1 to 3 days.
For some people, it takes 3 to 6 months to see as clearly as possible. But most people no longer need glasses or contact lenses.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Surgery can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for surgery.
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Current as of: March 3, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& A. Evan Eyler, MD, MPH - Family Medicine, Psychiatry
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