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LASIK (pronounced "LAY-sik") stands for laser in-situ keratomileusis. It's a technique for reshaping corneal tissue to help you see better without glasses or corrective lenses. This procedure uses an excimer laser, which produces a concentrated beam of cool ultraviolet (UV) light. Each pulse of the laser can remove a tiny portion of corneal tissue. LASIK can be used to correct hyperopia (farsightedness), myopia (nearsightedness), and astigmatism (vision distortions caused by irregularities in the cornea).
Before treatment, you may be given medication to help you relax.
Eyedrops numb your eyes. A device is used to keep your eyes open.
You may feel light pressure, but no pain, as your surgeon creates the flap in your epithelium (top layer of the cornea). The flap is folded back, remaining attached to the cornea.
Your surgeon uses a computer-guided excimer laser to reshape the cornea. Laser treatment lasts for 10–90 seconds.
The flap is put back into place. The corneal tissue sticks to itself while it heals.
After treatment, your vision will start to improve right away. It should become stable in 1–3 months.
Little, if any, postoperative pain
Very accurate, even for severe refractive problems
Serious postoperative haze unlikely
Structure of cornea remains intact
Risk of flap complications, infection, or inflammation
Risk of blurred or distorted vision
Possible temporary or permanent dry eye
Risk of night vision problems, such as halos, glare, or starbursts
Possible undercorrection or overcorrection
Possible loss of best corrected vision