Will LASIK Hurt?

Will LASIK Hurt?

December 10th, 2019
Smiling young couple wearing sunglasses on the beach

Considering LASIK? The basic idea behind the procedure is simple: the cornea is permanently reshaped to correct refractive errors. Doesn’t sound painful, right?

That’s because it’s not! The thought of surgery can evoke thoughts of pain and discomfort. Your body is being cut into, so it’s a reasonable fear.

But even though LASIK is a surgery that you stay awake for, you will actually not feel any pain during the surgery! Keep reading to find out why LASIK is not painful!

Numbing Eye Drops So You Don’t Feel Any Pain

Before any lasers reshape your corneas, you’ll receive numbing eye drops. These are a topically applied anesthetic drop.

They block the pain receptors in the eye during LASIK. This means you will feel next to nothing during the 10-15 minute procedure. You might feel some slight pressure when your eye is kept open using a speculum, but this is not painful either.

After numbing the eye, a flap is created in the cornea using a femtosecond laser. This flap is left attached, allowing it to be reattached later on.

This reduces recovery time and helps prevent infection. The creation of the flap is one of the only parts of the surgery you may feel any kind of sensation. Patients usually describe it as a slight pressure that is uncomfortable at worst. Some do not register it at all.

Reshaping The Cornea

After creating the flap, it is then left open. This allows the surgeon to remove a precise amount of tissue from the cornea. This inner layer is thicker than the layer where the flap is created.

Using this layer gives the surgeon enough material to safely work with. A second laser called an excimer laser is also used to remove corneal tissue.

This laser works using a process called “ablation”. During ablation, the laser emits light at a very specific wavelength. This creates a beam of ultraviolet light that is not hot.

The ultraviolet light penetrates a minuscule amount of tissue. This allows the surgeon to remove pieces of cornea a quarter of a micron at a time.

This gives the surgery an inhuman level of quality and precision. It also prevents the laser from removing too much tissue or penetrating too deeply into the eye.

Coupled with sophisticated computer software that guides the lasers, LASIK is tailored to the specific needs of your eyes.

Flap Closure Without Stitches

After removing the proper amount of corneal tissue, the flap is then closed. Closing the flap does not need any stitches. Instead, the tissue will reattach itself during recovery.

During recovery, you will need to be extra careful, as most complications from LASIK occur due to the flap being disturbed while it is healing.

After the numbing drops wear off, you may experience some minor pain. This will usually go away after a day or two and shouldn’t be severe. Recovery from LASIK is generally fast and easy for most people.

You will find out about all the necessary steps you’ll need to take to recover from LASIK during your LASIK consultation. Take this opportunity to ask any questions you may have about LASIK.

Ready to find out if LASIK could be right for you? Schedule a LASIK consultation at the Laser Eye Center in Huntsville, AL!