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What is Lasik eye surgery?

Updated on February 20, 2013

Laser eye surgery

What is Lasik eye surgery?

As someone who has had laser eye surgery I can honestly say I asked myself exactly the same question before I had the treatment! Now although I wouldn’t call myself an expert, having done lots of research on the subject I think I now know what Lasik eye surgery is.

The first thing to say about Lasik eye surgery is that it is a type of laser eye surgery in the same way that Volvos and Vauxhalls are types of cars. Lasik is one of the 2 main types of laser eye surgery as is Lasek surgery. The main thing that differentiates Lasik from Lasek is that during the Lasik procedure a flap is created whereas this is not the case with Lasek.

Lasik eye surgery

During the Lasik procedure once your eyes have anaesthetised (your eyes are numbed using eye drops not an injection as some people think!) a flap needs to be created.

Laser eye surgery is performed on the outer part of your eye which is the cornea. The actual lasering of the eye is performed in the deeper layers of the cornea so consequently the top part of the cornea needs to be lifted and put to one side before the laser is applied. This creation of the flap is performed using either a surgical blade of using a laser.

Three Main Layers of the Eye

This image shows the basic structure of the eye with the three main layers visible.
This image shows the basic structure of the eye with the three main layers visible. | Source

A surgical blade is used during standard Lasik, whereas a laser is used to create the flap during Intralase Lasik. Intralase Lasik is therefore said to be a bladeless procedure and for this reason it is the preferred method of Lasik. It is as you would imagine more expensive though.

Once the top layer (flap) is created and pulled to one side, the laser is then applied to the inner layers of the cornea. The actual lasering of the eye is not painful and I didn’t feel anything at all. It only lasts about 30 seconds and during this time the laser is effectively reshaping the surface of your eye to eliminate the prescription in your glasses. Once the laser has been applied the flap is then replaced and your eyes are left to heal.

For me the vision was perfect almost straight away although it can take a bit longer for some people.

I was certainly pleased with my Lasik surgery and 16 years on, I still have perfect vision. Although there are laser eye surgery risks if you do your research you could hopefully get the eyesight you always dreamed of having.

To read more about laser eye surgery you could check out which provides lots of useful information.

Major side effects of Lasik EYE surgery

Major side effects include:

  • blurry vision for the day following the procedure.
  • starbursts,
  • night-driving problems,
  • corneal scarring
  • eye dryness

My Lasik Experience, 24 Hours Later

Have you had Lasik eye surgery?

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    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 6 years ago from France

      steve: No, to be honest it was not painful at all. I was very nervous thinking it might be painful but it happen so fast and I was so at ease at the time of the treatment that I didn't feel pain either at the moment or after. A mild discomfort is what I would say instead of pain.

    • steve-bc-ca profile image

      steve-bc-ca 6 years ago from West Kelowna, BC, Canada

      Was it painful? It sounds frightening and I think your very brave for having this procedure. Very awesome!

      Thanks, Steve.

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 6 years ago from France

      ocbill: you are welcome, it is always worth being informed about your choices.

      Harvey: Love it or hate it? like they say here "ces't la vie"

      Ethel: Yes, I think that as long as you are well informed about your options, risks and advantages things are fine. Another thing to consider when looking at laser eye surgery is that in the long term it can save you money from having to change glasses every so often. Plus of course, the difference that it will make to your quality of life not having to use glasses -something very important in certain professions and for people who enjoy practising high impact sports.

    • ethel smith profile image

      Eileen Kersey 6 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      There are always risks with surgery but, if like you, people make an informed choice it should be fine.

    • Harvey Stelman profile image

      Harvey Stelman 6 years ago from Illinois

      Princessa, I know people that love it and hate it. My cousin was a world reknowned surgeon, after the lasik surgery he had to retire. H

    • ocbill profile image

      ocbill 6 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

      I may need to look into this from heavy computer usage. thanks

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 6 years ago from France

      sjk6101983: Yes, like with any other surgery (minor or major) there are risks involved. I am very aware of that and anyone who would like to be informed about the risks can check in here:

      I recommend laser eye treatment because I had it done years ago and it worked wonders for me. It is one of the best things, regarding my health, that I have ever done. My husband also had it done sometime ago and he is still very happy with the results. My grandmother also had laser treatment and she too is delighted with the results.

    • sjk6101983 profile image

      sjk6101983 6 years ago from Milwaukee, WI

      I'm not trying to be mean or rude here, but I'm trying to inform you because I want you to be careful. I did a report one semester for school about this and there are risks involved with this surgery. I just hope everything works out for you, but I'm saying this out of concern - that's all.