Does LASIK Eye Surgery Hurt?

July 23rd, 2019

Worried LASIK eye surgery will be painful? Don’t be.

Are you thinking about having LASIK vision correction surgery, but hesitating due to fear that the procedure will be complicated and painful?

While it’s natural to be a bit hesitant about undergoing any operation, you can rest assured that LASIK surgery does not hurt. With more than 700,000 patients undergoing the procedure in the United States each year, LASIK has proven to be a safe, pain-free, and effective method for treating myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism.

If you’re still not convinced, understanding exactly what LASIK entails can help assuage your fears. Should you decide to receive the procedure, your eye doctor will discuss the details of the operation and recovery with you at length, but here’s a brief summary of how LASIK surgery works.

During LASIK Surgery

Prior to the procedure, your eye surgeon will numb your eyes with anesthetic eye drops to prevent any pain during the operation. Your surgeon will then create a thin flap in your cornea using a small surgical instrument called a microkeratome. You may feel a bit of pressure on your eye during this step, but the creation of the flap shouldn’t last more than a minute.

Your surgeon will then hold the flap back and use an excimer laser to correct any refractive errors on the cornea. A lid speculum will prop your eyes open to prevent blinking and injury. During the surgery, you will be instructed to focus on a blinking target light. This light serves a “tracker” that adjusts to any minor eye movements, enabling your surgeon to continue targeting the proper areas of your cornea. You’ll hear a clicking sound during this process, but shouldn’t feel any discomfort.

Altogether, an outpatient LASIK operation lasts for about 20 minutes. Once the surgery is complete, you should have a friend or relative drive you home.

After LASIK Surgery

Once you return home, give yourself time to rest for the remainder of the day. Any pain you may experience after the anesthesia wears off should be minor and can be treated with over-the-counter pain medication. Discomfort will usually dissipate in a day or two, but you should contact your doctor immediately if you experience persistent or severe pain.

Your vision will be blurry immediately after surgery, but should become sharper by the following morning. It’s also common to temporarily experience watery eyes, a burning or itching sensation, and sensitivity to light in the days following LASIK. Over the first few weeks after surgery, your vision will begin to stabilize.

Your doctor will schedule a post-op check-up for the day after your surgery. Following LASIK surgery, most patients’ vision will improve to 20/20 or 20/40.

Thinking About LASIK?

The eye care specialists at Swagel Wootton Eye Institute are highly experienced LASIK surgeons. We can answer all your questions about the procedure to ensure you have a comfortable experience that results in a successful outcome.

Everyone deserves clearer vision that will enable them to lead a higher-quality life, and for many, LASIK surgery is the ideal solution. Contact us today to schedule your VIP consultation at our Mesa and Chandler locations; taking the first step toward improved vision.