Frequently Asked Questions About LASIK

  • Is LASIK safe?

    Just the thought of a laser pointed at your eye can seem a bit scary! Although all surgery – even LASIK – has risks, but most people who undergo LASIK treatment do not suffer from serious side effects. The most common risks of LASIK surgery include dry eye syndrome; the possible need for glasses or contact lenses after surgery; visual symptoms including halos, glare, starbursts, and double vision; and loss of vision. Be sure to talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of LASIK surgery before you decide whether it is the right option for you.

  • What does LASIK mean?

    LASIK is an acronym for laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis. LASIK is a type of laser vision correction in which a laser reshapes the cornea to improve vision.

  • How is LASIK done?

    A thin, hinged flap is created on the surface of the eye using either a blade or a laser beam. This flap is gently lifted to expose the cornea. A laser beam is then used to gently reshape the cornea. The flap is brought back into place and serves as a natural bandage.

  • How do I know if I’m a good candidate for LASIK?

    Only a qualified eye care professional can determine if LASIK is right for you. They will perform a comprehensive preoperative examination, which includes tests, measurements and a review of your medical history to decide if you are a good candidate for LASIK.

  • What happens on the day of the procedure?

    Because each doctor’s method will vary slightly, you should talk with your doctor about what exactly to expect. For a general idea of what happens, visit My LASIK Surgery.

  • Does LASIK hurt?

    Some people feel slight pressure or mild discomfort, but because anesthetic drops are administered to your eye before the procedure, the surgery tends to be painless.

  • What kind of vision should I expect in the first few days after surgery? Or in the first few months?

    Immediately after your procedure, while your cornea is still healing, you may be sensitive to bright light. Your vision may also be slightly blurry. However, most LASIK patients say their eyes feel normal the day following their procedure and are very pleased with their vision. Your vision will continue to improve in the months following the procedure.

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Important Information About the WaveLight® Excimer Lasers

WaveLight® Excimer Lasers are prescription medical devices that are approved for use in performing laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) to correct certain kinds of nearsighted (myopia), farsighted (hyperopia), and astigmatism. Only doctors who have been trained in laser refractive surgery (including laser calibration and operation) should use an WaveLight® Excimer Laser.

You should not undergo LASIK surgery if you are pregnant or nursing; if you have a collagen vascular, autoimmune or immunodeficiency disease; if you show signs of keratoconus or any other condition that causes a thinning of your cornea; or if you are taking isotretinoin (Accutane*) or amiodarone hydrochloride (Cordarone*). The most common risks of LASIK vision correction surgery with refractive lasers include dry eye syndrome; the possible need for glasses or contact lenses after surgery; visual symptoms including halos, glare, starbursts, and double vision; and loss of vision.

Talk to your doctor and review the appropriate WaveLight® Excimer Laser Patient Information Booklet for your condition to learn more about the potential risks and benefits for laser refractive surgery. For further information, please refer to the additional Important Product Information on this site, or FDA’s web page on LASIK surgery.

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