Do I Have To Be Awake During Lasik?

One of the most frequent questions that patients ask us at Eye Consultants of Pennsylvania is “Do I have to be awake during LASIK?”. It is a common concern that patients have, and frankly a common fear. We find that this fear often stems from a misunderstanding of the procedure, so let’s set the record straight to boost your confidence, shall we?

Patients are awake during the LASIK procedure, but you won’t feel any pain. We give you a mild oral sedative to relax you, so although you are awake, you will not feel nervous. We also administer numbing eye drops to prevent any eye discomfort while the LASIK surgery is being performed.

You likely won’t feel anything at all, although some patients do report feeling a slight pressure on the eye. LASIK is a very short surgery, on average taking only 10 minutes per eye. However, the lasers are only in contact with the eye for just a few seconds. Even though the term “surgery” is used, this is not the traditional surgery you are thinking of, spending long hours in pre-op and post-operative recovery. LASIK is very fast and very safe, particularly in the skilled hands of our excellent surgeons.

What is the procedure like?

LASIK surgery is basically a three-step process:

  1. In the first step, the surgeon creates a hinged flap in the cornea, using a femtosecond laser to do so, then folds the flap gently back to expose the cornea.
  2. Next, the surgeon uses a different laser called an excimer laser to reshape the surface of the cornea, correcting for nearsightedness, farsightedness and even astigmatism.
  3. After the correction is complete, the surgeon repositions the hinged flap and it heals in place without requiring any stitches.

During the procedure, we will ask you to focus on a red light, which is not the laser but a light guide the surgeon uses to help steady your eyes. We use state-of-the-art laser technology which has a built-in tracking device that expertly follows your eyes to ensure an effective and safe surgery.

You will hear slight clicking sounds as the excimer laser is reshaping the cornea to correct vision. As we mentioned, LASIK is quick and painless, and has a very quick recovery. A family member or friend will of course have to drive you home the day of your procedure, and you will need to (and want to) rest your eyes for the rest of that day.

Many of our patients are also very worried that they will mess up their surgery if they move their head or blink. Don’t worry. You can’t mess it up, so rest assured. We stabilize your head in the operating room and we use special eye retainers to prevent you from blinking during the short procedure.

Our patients are speechless when they wake up the next morning with perfect vision. The more you know about LASIK, the more confident you will feel. If you are worried about whether you have to be awake during surgery, we have the answers. When choosing a LASIK surgeon, training and expertise matter, and you’ll find no better eye care than at Eye Consultants of Pennsylvania. Give us a call today so we can calm your fears about this excellent procedure.

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