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This is How Long LASIK Can Take

lasik procedure with clock overlaid

Key Takeaways

  • Consultation & Pre-Surgery Tests
    Time to Prepare: Engage in detailed consultations and a variety of pre-surgery assessments to ensure eligibility and prepare optimally, usually over several days to weeks.
  • Day of the Procedure
    Swift Surgical Experience: On surgery day, expect to spend about 1.5 to 2 hours at the center, though the LASIK procedure itself swiftly completes in under ten minutes per eye.
  • Immediate Post-Operative Period
    Rapid Recovery Initiation: Directly after the procedure, a brief recovery period at the surgery center is necessary to monitor for any immediate complications, lasting only a few hours.
  • Post-Surgery Recovery Timeline
    Quick Visual Enhancement: Vision typically approaches 20/20 by the morning after surgery with potential minor fluctuations stabilizing within a few days to weeks, leading to long-term improvement.

The time involved in LASIK is more than just the surgery

LASIK surgery has revolutionized vision correction, offering a quick, efficient, and painless solution for those seeking freedom from glasses or contacts. But before undergoing LASIK surgery, it is essential to understand the time commitment involved in the procedure, from pre-operative preparation to post-operative care.

Pre-Operative Preparation

Consultation with an Eye Surgeon

Although LASIK surgery itself is generally lower-risk, ensuring the best outcome can be complex and multifaceted. Therefore, it is crucial to have a thorough consultation with our experienced eye doctors before beginning the process. During this consultation, your candidacy for LASIK will be assessed, and your surgeon will discuss expectations, potential risks, and any concerns you may have.

Pre-surgery Assessments and Tests

In addition to the discussions with your surgeon, you will undergo a comprehensive eye exam to assess your eye health, vision prescription, as well as overall health. Pre-surgery tests include:

  • Refraction and prescription check
  • Corneal mapping
  • Pachymetry (corneal thickness measurement)
  • Intraocular pressure check
  • Slit-lamp examination

Day of Surgery

Arrival at the Surgery Center

On the day of your LASIK procedure, it is important that you arrive at the surgery center a few minutes earlier than your check-in time to complete any necessary pre-operative paperwork and consent forms. Plan for a stay of 1.5 to 2 hours in total.

Pre-Operative Procedures

Pre-op will include a vitals check, a brief health assessment, and discussions with our medical team. The surgeon may also order some final measurements and adjustments to customize your treatment plan and ensure the best results possible. During pre-op, you will be given medication as needed to help you relax and keep your eyes still.

The LASIK Procedure

The surgery itself is a painless procedure that typically takes under ten minutes per eye, with your surgeon guiding you through each of the steps:

  1. Preparation and Numbing: Just before the surgery begins, numbing eye drops are administered to ensure your comfort throughout the procedure.
  2. Creation of the Flap: A femtosecond laser creates a thin flap in the cornea’s outer layer. This flap is gently lifted to expose the underlying corneal tissue.
  3. Reshaping the Cornea: With the corneal flap lifted, an excimer laser is used to reshape the cornea according to the precise measurements determined during your pre-operative assessments.
  4. Repositioning the Flap: Once the cornea has been reshaped, it is carefully repositioned back into its original position, where it adheres naturally without needing stitches.
  5. Final Checks and Cleanup: Your surgeon will perform final checks to ensure that the flap is securely in place and that the cornea has been reshaped as intended. Any excess moisture or debris is gently removed from the eye.

Post-operative Care

Immediate Recovery Period

Following LASIK surgery, you will recover in a designated area and be monitored for any immediate complications. Make sure to alert our medical team if you feel any pain, nausea, or other concerning symptoms during this time.

Post-Operative Instructions

Your surgeon will provide you with post-operative instructions, including the use of prescribed eye drops and precautions to avoid certain activities. Adhering to these instructions carefully is essential to promoting optimal healing and minimizing the risk of complications.

Recovery Timeline

First Few Hours After Surgery

In the hours following LASIK surgery, you may experience initial vision improvements, along with possible discomfort or mild pain, which can be managed with prescribed medications.

First Few Days After Surgery

Most people have a vision that is close to 20/20 the next morning after the surgery. However, minor fluctuations in vision are normal at this point. Over the next few days, your vision will gradually stabilize, and you will be scheduled for follow-up appointments to monitor your progress. Long-term recovery and visual acuity will continue to improve, with potential fluctuations in vision to be expected before reaching the final outcome.

Long-Term Recovery and Visual Acuity

Although patients generally experience significant improvements in their vision shortly after LASIK, the length of full recovery may vary from person to person. That said, LASIK is a well-practiced surgery with very high success rates and minimal side effects, leaving 98.5% of patients satisfied with their long-term recovery.

LASIK surgery offers a quick and painless solution for achieving clearer vision in only a few minutes per eye. By understanding the duration of LASIK surgery and adhering to post-operative care instructions, you can embark on your journey to improved vision with confidence and peace of mind.

Schedule Your Consultation & Comprehensive Exam

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