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What Do You See During LASIK?

colorful eyeball with pupil

Understanding What You See During LASIK Surgery

Why You Need to Be Awake for Laser Eye Procedures


“What do you see during LASIK?” This is one of the most common questions we hear from LASIK patients before the surgery. They want to know how long the treatment will take, if it will hurt, and what they can see as LASIK is being performed on their eyes.

Many patients are understandably nervous about the idea of being awake during their LASIK surgery and anxious about what they will see during the procedure. Knowing that your surgeon will be applying the laser technology to your eyes while you are awake might seem scary, but it is actually for your benefit. Unlike other surgical procedures, for which you might receive general anesthesia, laser eye surgery requires you to be cognizant in order to achieve the optimal vision results. Your surgeon needs you to respond to several simple instructions about where to fix your gaze. However, if this does make you nervous, keep in mind that:

  • The entire surgery will be over in about 10 minutes.
  • Your surgeon is in control the entire time—you cannot “mess up” the results up by blinking or sneezing during LASIK. The use of eye drops to lubricate your eyes and keep them moist will help you blink.
  • You will be offered a mild sedative to help you relax.

So, with that being said, what will you see during your LASIK surgery?

Once you are in the surgical suite at LVC, you will be seated in a reclining position. Your LASIK surgeon will sit behind you and guide the lasers used in your refractive surgery. The treatment to improve your vision is divided into two brief parts: During the first part, a state-of-the-art femtosecond laser is used to create the corneal flap in each eye. You will be looking up at the flashing lights that help direct your eyes to the laser. Following this, your LASIK chair swivels to the Allegretto laser to correct your vision. You will be instructed by your surgeon to focus your eyes on the green flashing light—you will not be able to see the lasers “coming toward” your eyes. The actual time you spend being treated by the lasers is less than a minute! Other than that, you will simply see the surgical suite and your surgeon before and after the procedure.

We have created a short video of the entire LASIK process, including what it will be like when you are looking up at the lasers. We hope this eases your nerves by eliminating the fear of the unknowns about what you will see during LASIK.

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