The LASIK procedure
After an initial consultation you will be given a date for your LASIK laser eye surgery. It is possible to have both eyes treated on the same day, or you can allow a short recovery period after the first eye. At less than 30 minutes, LASIK is performed on an out-patient basis so you can return home from surgery on the same day.
Lying back in a reclining chair, the surgeon will clean your eye and administer anaesthetic drops. A lid speculum will be fitted over your eyelids to gently hold them open during the operation. Next, a special ring will be attached to the surface of your eyeball and suction will form around the cornea, causing the vision to blur and dim.
Using a precision blade, the surgeon will cut a small flap in the outer layer of the cornea, known as the epithelium. This flap will be folded out of the way, and you will be asked to focus on a light. Meanwhile, a second light – the computer-guided laser – will begin pulsing and reshaping the middle part of the cornea (known as the stroma).
During this brief process you will hear a loud ticking noise (the sound of the laser pulsing) and you may smell burning (as the corneal tissue is removed). This is perfectly normal. Once the cornea is reshaped, light entering the eye will be refracted differently, resulting in a clear image landing on the back of the eye (known as the retina). The cornea flap will be precisely replaced and covered with a protective shield to reduce irritation.
Afterwards, you shouldn’t feel any pain although your eye may feel uncomfortable for a few hours. Your vision may be blurred for the next day or two but will fully stabilise over the next four weeks. Eye drops will help prevent infection, and sunglasses should be worn outdoors to protect the vulnerable eye from UV rays.