the eye institute of west florida

LASIK Questions and Answers

Do our physicians operate on both eyes the same day?

Usually, both eyes are done on the same day. Since the patient can resume most of their normal activities within 24 hours, most elect to have both eyes done the same day for convenience.

How long does the procedure take?

Correcting vision with the laser takes only seconds. The procedure itself takes about 7 minutes for both eyes. You will be at our office for about 1-1 1/2 hours on the day of the procedure to ensure that you are relaxed, that all of your questions have been answered and to allow you the opportunity to observe the procedure. We find that knowing exactly what to expect creates the most relaxed patient.

When will I be able to return to work?

Patients are checked the day following their procedure and may return to work and resume most normal activities.

Is LASIK safe?

LASIK is a very safe procedure in the right hands. To our knowledge, there have not been any reported cases of blindness. The most significant risk is an infection which is reported in 1 in 5,000 cases, whereas 1 in 500 contact lens wearers suffer from infections and corneal scarring.

Will it hurt?

LASIK is often referred to as a “painless” procedure. There is virtually no discomfort because the patient receives numbing drops prior to the procedure. Once the drops’ effect wears off, a patient’s eyes may feel a bit irritated for a few hours. Some patients feel no irritation whatsoever.

What if I move or blink during the procedure?

A lid speculum keeps your eyelids from blinking and our doctors control your eye movements with an instrument they designed specifically for this purpose. This keeps your eye centered on the target but if you sneeze or cough, the doctor removes his foot from the laser pedal and continues the treatment after he re-centers your eye.

To ensure your comfort and confidence, your head and neck are kept snug in an inflatable pillow, your lids are kept open with a speculum and your eyes are treated with numbing drops that prevent your eye from reacting to stimuli. Our doctors will indicate before each step what you may see, hear or feel so you are not surprised.

Is this treatment permanent?

LASIK correction is permanent. The eye may continue to change as a result of aging but these are only minor changes.

When will I be able to see after the procedure?

Most patients see better immediately upon sitting up. However, the vision is somewhat hazy due to all the drops and medication placed on the eye. This mild haziness usually clears after a short nap or the next morning.

What is the best correction I can expect?

Patients usually notice an immediate improvement in their vision after LASIK. However, it can take several weeks for the eyes to adjust to the final level of correction. Vision may fluctuate for a week or so. There may be some watering of the eyes and a slight feeling of a foreign body sensation. After having LASIK the great majority of patients do not wear corrective lenses of any kind. However, because people’s eyes can continue to change with age, there may be a need for additional vision correction (surgery or glasses) in the future.

What are the primary benefits of LASIK over PRK?

Photo Refractive Keratectomy, or PRK, treats the surface of the cornea with the excimer laser while LASIK treats the inner tissue of the cornea. For this reason with LASIK, there is less area to heal, less risk of scarring, less risk of corneal haze, less postoperative pain, less postoperative need for medications and vision returns more rapidly.

LASIK Self-Test Cataract Self-Test