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LASIK eye surgery, is a refractive vision correction treatment for:
LASIK surgery involves creating a corneal flap with a microkeratome, a sharp blade device. Then the surgeon uses an excimer laser to reshape the cornea.1
The cornea is the transparent front part that focuses light on the retina This enables you to see. Reshaping the cornea enhances its focus on the retina, which results in improved visual acuity.
Over the years, traditional LASIK surgery has improved by promoting procedure safety protocols.
Epi-LASIK is less invasive than traditional LASIK surgery. It involves the formation of a thin epithelial flap instead of a corneal flap.
In iLASIK surgery, surgeons use laser technology that is both less invasive and more accurate than blades used in traditional LASIK procedures.
Thinking about LASIK? Start a conversation with an experienced Patient Counselor to find out if laser eye surgery is right for you. Learn More
After LASIK surgery, your doctor will prescribe pain medications and lubricating eye drops to ease any discomfort.
You’ll need to care for your eyes to avoid irritating, dislodging, or infecting the treated area. Your ophthalmologist will give you post-op care guidelines to help you manage the healing flap.
For most people, the flap will heal within 24 hours. You can resume normal activities after about a week of recovery. In some cases, however, full recovery may take up to 3 months.
Remember to regularly visit your eye doctor for close monitoring as you recover.
After LASIK surgery, you may experience side effects, including:
Most of the above side effects are normal and will improve gradually. Follow your doctor’s instructions for successful healing.
The benefits of LASIK include:
The potential of severe LASIK complications is rare. Potential complications include:
LASIK has a high success rate.
LASIK outcome studies indicate about 99 percent of LASIK patients achieve satisfactory outcomes (20/40 vision or better).5
LASIK is also less invasive than other treatments such as lens replacement surgery. New versions of LASIK, such as IntraLase LASIK or iLASIK, have enhanced the procedure’s success by eliminating the sharp blade. iLASIK creates the flap by using laser-guided technology (wave-front technology).
The outcomes of LASIK surgery typically last about 20 years to a lifetime. However, this timeline depends on the age you undergo surgery and the long-term health of your eyes.
Some people may experience vision issues years after LASIK surgery. This usually requires secondary interventions such as LASIK enhancement.
According to one study, 35 percent of people who have had LASIK may require enhancement after 10 years.6
In most cases, LASIK enhancement is necessary when an underlying issue affects vision, not because LASIK has failed. These issues include presbyopia (age-related farsightedness), cataracts, keratoconus, and diabetic retinopathy.7
After LASIK surgery, you’re less likely to need glasses because the procedure corrects all types of refractive errors.
However, some situations may require you to wear eyeglasses:
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Contact lenses aren’t recommended after LASIK surgery. They can irritate or dislodge the healing corneal flap and cause complications.
In addition, contact lenses will not fit well or may cause discomfort because of corneal surface changes after surgery.
If vision deteriorates after LASIK surgery, talk to an ophthalmologist about LASIK enhancement or other refractive surgery options. Wearing prescription eyeglasses is a safe practice until then.
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