The LASIK Procedure: What to Expect Before, During, and After the Surgery

LASIK, or laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, is a popular and effective procedure for correcting vision problems. These include nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. It is one of the most sought-after elective surgeries worldwide, one that can drastically improve the quality of your vision in just one session.

In most cases, patients once dependent on corrective eyewear for their daily activities find that they no longer need it after LASIK surgery.

What Is LASIK Surgery?

An eye surgeon performs the procedure, reshaping the eye's cornea with a laser to improve how light focuses on the retina. The procedure aims to reduce or eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses.

The procedure typically lasts 20 minutes per eye. Before beginning the procedure, the surgeon will use drops to numb the eye and a laser to cut a tiny flap in the cornea. He/she will then reshape the cornea using a different laser and reposition the corneal flap. After the procedure, patients might experience some pain, but most recover quickly and return to their regular lives.

It is important to note that not everyone is a good candidate for LASIK. So, you should consult an eye doctor to determine if you qualify.

A Step-by-step Guide to LASIK Surgery

It is crucial to comprehend what to anticipate before, during, and after the procedure. The following is a step-by-step explanation of what you should know before, during, and following LASIK surgery:

Before the Procedure:

  • Consultation

An eye surgeon will consult with you to ascertain your candidacy for the procedure. He/she will go over your medical background with you, perform a comprehensive eye exam, and go over the advantages and disadvantages of laser eye surgery.


  • Pre-op Guidelines

Your surgeon will give you detailed guidelines on preparing for the procedure. These include avoiding certain medications and forgoing makeup and contact lenses on the day of the operation.


  • Measurements

Your surgeon will use specialized tools to determine the curvature of your cornea to tailor the laser treatment for your eyes.

During the Procedure

To minimize discomfort during the procedure, your surgeon will use eye drops to numb your eyes. LASIK surgery takes place one eye at a time and typically requires 15 minutes to complete on both eyes. To fix your vision issue, your surgeon will use a laser to make a tiny flap in the cornea. After that, he/she will reshape the underlying tissue before replacing the corneal flap.

After the Procedure

Although most patients feel some discomfort, they generally recover quickly and resume their regular activities. You will receive an eye shield to prevent you from accidentally touching or poking your eyes while the flap heals. Since some soreness is normal, your surgeon might advise that you take some over-the-counter pain medication when you get home.

Bottom Line

The idea of having surgery on the eyes can be daunting for some. By understanding the process, patients can feel more at ease and focus on the positive outcomes that it can provide. The above is an overview of what you can expect before, during, and after a LASIK procedure.

For more on LASIK surgery, visit Shepard Eye Center at our Solvang, Lompoc, Santa Maria, or Orcutt, California offices. Call (805) 410-9998, (805) 793-1800, (805) 667-0100, or (805) 937-9532 to schedule an appointment today.