LASIK surgery or Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis is a type of refractive surgery to correct myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism.
Refractive surgery changes the shape of the dome-shaped transparent tissue (cornea) in the front of your eye. The desired result of LASIK eye surgery is to bend (refract) the light rays to focus more precisely on your retina rather than at some point beyond or in front. The end result of successful LASIK eye surgery is clearer sharper vision.

During the procedure, the eye surgeon creates a flap in the cornea and then uses a laser to reshape the cornea and correct focusing problems in the eye. LASIK surgery is most appropriate for people who have a moderate degree of nearsightedness (myopia), in which you see nearby objects clearly, but distant objects are blurry; farsightedness (hyperopia), in which you can see distant objects clearly, but nearby objects are blurry or astigmatism which causes overall blurry vision.
A good surgical outcome depends on careful evaluation of your eyes before the surgery.

Spectacles contain lenses that alter the incoming rays of light to allow them to focus on the retina and contact lenses enhance vision performance, especially for higher refractive errors, because they are placed on the cornea. But after LASIK surgery, you wear no lenses at all.

The procedure is typically performed under topical (eye drop) anesthesia. During the surgery you will be asked to lie down on the operating table and focus on a light above.
The entire LASIK procedure takes only 20 minutes and the Laser delivery itself takes less than a minute. Lasik is usually done for both eyes together as it gives a better visual recovery. You can return home a few hours after the surgery and go back to work after one to three days.

It is common to experience varying degrees of discomfort beginning 30-90 minutes following the surgery as the effect of the numbing drops begins to wear off. It is advisable to go home, close both eyes and rest for the remainder of the day following the LASIK procedure.

Advantages of LASIK surgery

You feel very little pain and recover fast.
Visual recovery is usually fast, because the surface layer of the eye does not need to re-heal after being removed, as it does in other types of refractive surgery such as PRK (Photorefractive keratectomy)
There is less corneal scarring in the long-term and less change due to healing and thus greater stability of the correction.
The effects of LASIK surgery are permanent.


Almost anyone with refractive errors is eligible, except those under the age of 18, as their eyes may undergo further internal changes. Of course, eligibility also depends upon the curvature and thickness of the cornea and other factors that the ophthalmologist will evaluate during the pre-operative check.

Some facts

It is important to have a discussion with your Ophthalmologist to understand the facts. This surgery is not as much a cosmetic procedure as one that is done to reduce your dependency on glasses. It is important not to have unrealistic expectations of the final outcome as well as healing as they may vary from person to person and also from eye to eye.

What to Expect
  • LASIK surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure using topical anaesthetic drops.
  • The procedure lasts 10-15 minutes only and actual laser treatment lasts for only 5-30 seconds.
  • You will be awake during the procedure.
  • You can return home right after the procedure, but will need to arrange for someone to drive you home.
  • You will not need glasses or contact lenses after the correction.
  • Patients with high refractive errors of over -10 may still need low-powered corrective lenses. The residual refractive error may be corrected in some, through a second refractive procedure.
How soon can you return to normal activities?

You may return to your normal activities after 1 to 2 days of undergoing the surgery on the advice of your doctor.

When can the patient first walk after the surgery?

You may walk within few hours after the surgery.

When can the patient return home after the LASIK surgery?
You can return home within few hours after the LASIK surgery. It is not advisable to drive home by yourself, so have someone accompany you home.

What precautions must a patient take after the LASIK surgery?

After the LASIK surgery, you need to follow certain precautions to prevent injury and infection of the eyes.

  • Instill your eye drops according to the prescription.
  • Clean your eye lid margins from the day after your treatment with sterile tissues.
  • You may watch TV and read from the day after your treatment.
  • You may work on computers from the 3rd day of your treatment.
  • You should wipe and clean your face away from the eye.
  • Use sunglasses when you go out and apply plastic shields while sleeping for 2 weeks.

Things to avoid

  • Avoid rubbing the eyes for a month. You can wipe your eyes with a soft cloth or cotton.
  • Avoid letting soap get into the eyes.
  • Do not wash your hair for 2 weeks after surgery.
  • Do not drive until you feel you are comfortable.
  • Avoid eye makeup for a month.
  • Avoid swimming for a month.
  • Avoid exercising for a week after.
  • Avoid dirty/dusty environments for a week.
  • Do not get your hair colored or use perfume for a week.
Is it painful?

There is no significant pain after the surgery. After recovery from anesthesia, you may have mild pain. You surgeon may prescribe pain relievers to get relief from pain.

What increases the risks?

Complications after LASIK surgery may occur if you:

  • Have the following conditions that impairs healing:Diseases that affect your immune system, including autoimmune diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and others) and immunodeficiency diseases (HIV) that increase the risk of incomplete healing, infection and other complications. Taking an immunosuppressive medication also increases the risk of a poor outcome after LASIK surgery.
  • Have persistent dry eyes.If you have dry eyes, LASIK surgery may make the condition worse.
  • Anatomic issues:  LASIK surgery may be inappropriate if your corneas are too thin, your corneal surface is irregular or you have a condition in which the cornea thins and gradually bulges outward into a cone shape (keratoconus).
  • LASIK surgery also may not be an appropriate option if you have an abnormal lid position, deep-set eyes or other anatomic concerns.
  • Have unstable vision.You may not be eligible for LASIK surgery if the pressure inside your eye is too high or the quality of your vision is fluctuating or getting worse.
  • Are pregnant or breast-feeding.Vision can fluctuate during pregnancy and breast-feeding, making the outcome of LASIK surgery less certain.
What are the risks of LASIK surgery?

As with any surgery, LASIK surgery carries risks, including:

  • Undercorrection, overcorrection or astigmatism.If the laser removes too little or too much tissue from your eye, you won’t get the clearer vision you wanted. Similarly, uneven tissue removal can result in astigmatism.
  • Vision disturbances.After surgery you may have difficulty seeing at night. You might notice glare or halos around bright lights or have double vision.
  • Dry eyes.LASIK surgery causes a temporary decrease in tear production. As your eyes heal, they might feel unusually dry.
  • Flap problems.Folding back or removing the flap from the front of your eye during surgery can cause complications, including infection, excess tears and swelling.

Q. Can I get both the eyes treated at a time?
A. Yes, you can have the treatment for both the eyes at a time.

Q. Should I need to wear my reading glasses after the surgery?
A. LASIK surgery is used to rectify the visual defects permanently. So you need not use your reading glasses after the treatment.

Q. What are the common side effects of LASIK surgery?
A. The common side effects of LASIK surgery include dryness of the eye and sensitivity to light.

Q. Does the treatment show permanent effect?
A. Overall, the vast majority of patients enjoy years of liberation from glasses and contact lenses.

Q. Will my vision be fine after the surgery?
A. Your vision will be normal after a few days of your surgery.