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LASIK Eye Surgery Explained: A Step-by-Step Guide

Home - Health & Fitness - LASIK Eye Surgery Explained: A Step-by-Step Guide
Doctors doing LASIK Surgery

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LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis) eye surgery is a popular and effective procedure designed to correct vision problems such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. By reshaping the cornea, LASIK enhances the eye’s focusing power, providing clearer vision. This guide will walk you through the LASIK procedure, from the initial consultation to post-operative care, ensuring you understand every step of the process.

Understanding LASIK Eye Surgery

What is LASIK Eye Surgery?

LASIK is a type of refractive surgery that uses a laser to reshape the cornea, the transparent front part of the eye. By changing the shape of the cornea, LASIK improves how the eye focuses light onto the retina, resulting in clearer vision.

Who is a Candidate for LASIK?

Ideal candidates for LASIK eye surgery include individuals who:

  • Are over 18 years old
  • Have a stable prescription for at least one year
  • Have healthy eyes free from conditions such as cataracts or glaucoma
  • Have realistic expectations about the outcomes of the surgery

Benefits of LASIK Eye Surgery

  • Quick Recovery: Most patients experience improved vision within 24 hours.
  • High Success Rate: LASIK has a high success rate, with most patients achieving 20/20 vision or better.
  • Minimal Discomfort: The procedure is relatively painless, with most patients reporting only mild discomfort.

The LASIK Procedure: Step-by-Step

1. Initial Consultation

Before undergoing LASIK, a thorough eye examination is necessary to determine if you are a suitable candidate. During the consultation:

  • Vision Assessment: Your vision and prescription will be evaluated.
  • Corneal Thickness: Measurements of your corneal thickness will be taken to ensure there is enough tissue for the procedure.
  • Pupil Size: Your pupil size will be assessed in both bright and dim lighting.
  • Eye Health: A comprehensive examination will check for any underlying eye conditions.

2. Pre-Operative Preparations

In the days leading up to the surgery:

  • Avoid Contact Lenses: Stop wearing contact lenses several days before the procedure, as they can alter the shape of your cornea.
  • Eye Makeup: Avoid using eye makeup, lotions, or creams around the eyes for at least 24 hours before the surgery.
  • Medication: You may be prescribed antibiotic eye drops to use before the surgery to prevent infection.

3. The Day of Surgery

On the day of your LASIK procedure:

  • Arrival and Preparation: Arrive at the clinic, where you will be prepped for surgery. This includes cleaning the area around your eyes and applying numbing eye drops.
  • Positioning: You will be positioned under the laser system, and an instrument called a lid speculum will be used to keep your eyelids open.

4. Creating the Corneal Flap

  • Flap Creation: A thin, hinged flap is created on the surface of the cornea using a microkeratome or a femtosecond laser. This flap is then gently lifted to expose the underlying corneal tissue.
  • Precision and Control: The femtosecond laser provides precise control over flap thickness, ensuring optimal results.

5. Reshaping the Cornea

  • Laser Application: An excimer laser is used to reshape the cornea. The laser removes microscopic amounts of tissue, reshaping the cornea to correct refractive errors.
  • Customization: The laser is guided by a computer system programmed with your unique eye measurements, ensuring personalized treatment.

6. Repositioning the Flap

  • Flap Replacement: After the cornea has been reshaped, the corneal flap is carefully repositioned. It naturally adheres to the underlying cornea without the need for stitches.
  • Healing: The cornea begins to heal immediately, and the flap acts as a natural bandage.

Post-Operative Care

Immediate Aftercare

  • Rest: You will be advised to rest for a few hours after the procedure.
  • Avoid Rubbing: Do not rub your eyes, as this can dislodge the corneal flap.
  • Protective Eyewear: Wear protective eyewear or an eye shield as instructed to prevent accidental injury.

Follow-Up Visits

  • First Visit: Your first follow-up visit will typically be within 24-48 hours after surgery to check your healing progress.
  • Regular Check-Ups: Attend all scheduled follow-up visits to ensure your eyes are healing correctly and your vision is improving as expected.

Long-Term Care

  • Avoid Water Exposure: Keep water, soap, and shampoo out of your eyes for at least a week.
  • Sun Protection: Wear sunglasses with UV protection to shield your eyes from harmful rays.
  • Eye Drops: Use prescribed eye drops to keep your eyes moist and prevent infection.

Expected Results and Outcomes

Initial Recovery

  • Rapid Improvement: Most patients notice an improvement in their vision within the first 24 hours.
  • Mild Discomfort: Mild discomfort, dryness, or itching is normal and should subside within a few days.

Long-Term Results

  • Stable Vision: Vision typically stabilizes within a few weeks to a few months.
  • High Satisfaction Rate: The majority of patients are satisfied with their vision improvement and report a significant reduction in the need for glasses or contact lenses.

Potential Risks and Complications

Common Side Effects

  • Dry Eyes: Dryness is a common side effect that usually resolves with time and the use of eye drops.
  • Glare and Halos: Some patients experience glare, halos, or double vision, especially in low-light conditions.

Rare Complications

  • Flap Complications: Issues with the corneal flap can occur but are rare with experienced surgeons.
  • Under or Overcorrection: In some cases, additional laser treatment may be needed to achieve the desired vision correction.

FAQs About LASIK Eye Surgery

Is LASIK Painful?

LASIK is generally painless due to the numbing eye drops used during the procedure. Some patients may experience mild discomfort or a sensation of pressure.

How Long Does LASIK Surgery Take?

The actual laser treatment usually takes less than 10 minutes per eye. Including preparation and post-operative care, the entire process typically takes about an hour.

Can Both Eyes Be Treated at the Same Time?

Yes, both eyes are usually treated during the same session, allowing for quicker recovery and convenience.

What is the Success Rate of LASIK?

LASIK has a high success rate, with most patients achieving 20/20 vision or better. However, results can vary based on individual factors such as the severity of the refractive error and the patient’s healing process.

Are There Alternatives to LASIK?

Yes, alternatives to LASIK include:

  • PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy): Similar to LASIK but without creating a corneal flap.
  • LASEK (Laser Epithelial Keratomileusis): Combines elements of LASIK and PRK.
  • SMILE (Small Incision Lenticule Extraction): A minimally invasive procedure that reshapes the cornea through a small incision.

LASIK Eye Surgery in Gurgaon

For those seeking LASIK eye surgery in Gurgaon, it is crucial to choose a reputable clinic with experienced surgeons. Gurgaon offers advanced eye care facilities, ensuring high-quality treatment and successful outcomes. When selecting a clinic, consider factors such as the surgeon’s experience, the technology used, and patient reviews to make an informed decision.


LASIK eye surgery is a life-changing procedure that offers the potential for clear, glasses-free vision. Understanding the steps involved, from the initial consultation to post-operative care, can help you make an informed decision and achieve the best possible results.

Indira Gandhi Eye Hospital, a network of eye hospitals in India, provides top-notch LASIK eye surgery with experienced surgeons and state-of-the-art technology. If you are considering LASIK eye surgery, consulting with a reputable clinic like Indira Gandhi Eye Hospital can ensure you receive the highest standard of care and achieve optimal vision correction.