Blog Hero

How Does LASIK Work?

Schedule an Appointment
A surgeon performing laser eye surgery on a patient

Whether you’re self-conscious about wearing glasses or hate the inconvenience of using contacts, there are multiple reasons to consider eye surgery for vision correction. As medical science progresses, the options get better and more affordable all the time.

Unfortunately, not everyone can get LASIK because certain things increase the risk of complications. This is why it’s important to get a comprehensive eye exam to ensure the best possible outcome.

After examining your eyes, your eye doctor will offer you their recommendation on whether you’re a candidate for LASIK eye surgery. 

What is LASIK?

Laser-Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis—commonly known as LASIK—is an incredible, modern procedure that gives people a chance to have their vision corrected without glasses or contacts. It’s primarily used to treat near and farsightedness or astigmatism.

During LASIK, the eye doctor uses a precision cutting laser to reshape the cornea. How the cornea gets reshaped is determined by the issue getting treated.

LASIK is a highly successful procedure—more than 90% of people who undergo the procedure end up with 20/20 or 20/40 vision. However, even with its success, LASIK won’t prevent your eyesight from deteriorating over time from other issues. And you may still need glasses for certain activities.

Considering LASIK

Before deciding you want LASIK eye surgery, there are several things that you should consider.

  • You only get one set of eyes, so do your research on ophthalmologists in your area. Compare their experience and success with the procedure.
  • Whichever doctor you decide to see will insist on a comprehensive eye exam so that they can review your medical history and ensure there is nothing that puts you at an increased risk of complications.
  • The eye exam will also give you an opportunity to ask the ophthalmologist any questions surrounding the procedure, such as cost, risks, and what to expect during and after.

As long as you don’t have any underlying conditions that pose additional risks and the procedure is within your budget, there’s not much to deter you from getting LASIK.

A surgeon prepping a woman's eyes for laser eye surgery

What to Expect with LASIK

You’ve received the eye exam and scheduled the procedure. Now, what should you expect before, during, and after?


  • After the surgery is complete, you won’t be able to drive. So, before your surgery, arrange a ride to and from the office.
  • Follow any instructions given to you by the ophthalmologist regarding special care for your eyes and the surrounding area leading up to the appointment. These instructions are to minimize the chances of infection and complications.
  • If you’re a contact lens wearer, you’ll have to stop wearing them for several weeks before the surgery in most situations. This is because they can change the shape of your cornea, which is measured and recorded by the doctor. The ophthalmologist will give you specific instructions for your particular situation.


  • LASIK is usually a quick procedure, but if you’re unable to relax, the doctor may give you something to help because you need to be relaxed.
  • The doctor puts special numbing drops in your eyes and places an eye lid holder on your eye to prevent you from blinking during the procedure.
  • A special laser is then used to make a small incision and fold a thin flap of your cornea back. Then the laser reshapes your cornea.
  • After your cornea is reshaped, the doctor will put the flap back in place. This heals quickly on its own. In some cases, the doctor may put a cover on the eye to prevent rubbing or scratching the wound.


Ultimately, it’s important that you follow your ophthalmologist’s instructions on aftercare because every situation varies, and so does recovery time. Here are a couple of common things to be mindful of after the procedure.

  • Avoid rubbing your eyes or using things that could irritate them further—if you’re unsure if something is acceptable, ask.
  • If the ophthalmologist gives you eye drops, use them as directed—even if you don’t feel like you need them.
  • Your doctor will go over the common side effects that aren’t a cause for concern. But if you experience more severe side effects like vision loss or infection, see the eye doctor ASAP.
  • Follow up with the eye doctor as they recommend to make sure everything is healing properly.

Potential Complications from LASIK

Typically these complications are short-term, and in most people, they will clear up within a few weeks or months.

  • Dry eyes are a common side effect because of the temporary decrease in tears. Usually, your eye doctor will prescribe eye drops to relieve this symptom.
  • LASIK may reduce your night vision because of increased glare and light sensitivity. This typically doesn’t last more than a few weeks.
  • It’s possible for your vision to be under or overcorrected. If this happens, you will need another procedure to try and achieve the desired results.
  • LASIK does not guarantee that your vision will not deteriorate again. However, regression isn’t a common complication.

Before LASIK, part of your ophthalmologist’s exam is to determine if you are at an increased risk for these complications. 

Closing Thoughts on Getting LASIK Eye Surgery

If you’ve been thinking about it for a while, scheduling your eye exam is the first step. Visit our website and book it conveniently online. If you have questions, give us a call, and we’re happy to discuss any concerns you may have.

US Eye Better Together Logo

Written by Center for Sight

Center For Sight is one of the nation’s leading multi-disciplinary physician groups. We provide ophthalmology, optometry, dermatology, audiology, and aesthetic services. With several locations throughout Southwest Florida, we proudly offer our patients convenient access to nationally-renowned surgeons, compassionate staff members, and cutting-edge technology.

More Articles By Center for Sight
instagram facebook facebook2 pinterest twitter google-plus google linkedin2 yelp youtube phone location calendar share2 link star-full star star-half chevron-right chevron-left chevron-down chevron-up envelope fax