From your initial eye evaluation to getting used to life without glasses or contacts, knowing what the typical LASIK process includes can help you better understand every step of your procedure.

What happens before LASIK?

Before a LASIK procedure, you will need to have an eye evaluation to determine which LASIK procedure is best for you. The evaluation will usually include the following:


  • Testing your vision


  • Mapping the shape of your cornea


  • Screening for eye disease


  • Eye measurements


Keep in mind that you may be asked not to wear contact lenses for up to two weeks prior to your eye evaluation. This will help your eyes return to their natural shape. It is also common that you will be asked to not wear contacts for up to two weeks before the actual LASIK procedure.

What happens during LASIK?

The LASIK procedure itself may be quick, typically lasting less than 30 minutes. In the case of procedures using WaveLight® LASIK technology with CONTOURA® Vision, it could take as little as 10 minutes per eye. The entire experience, from the time you walk in the door to the time you walk out, may only take up to two hours for most patients.


It varies from procedure to procedure, but you can usually expect the following:


  • Anesthetic drops will be placed in each eye


  • You will lie down on a patient bed under the laser system


  • You will be asked to focus on a small blinking light


  • The doctor will use the laser to create a thin flap of the top layer of the cornea


  • Pulses of laser energy will precisely reshape your cornea


  • The flap is then laid back into place acting as a natural bandage



CONTOURA® Vision is revolutionary to LASIK, working with WaveLight® LASIK technology to tailor your laser vision correction to the contours of your unique eye.

Does LASIK hurt?

In short, no — most patients feel little or no pain throughout their procedure. However, keep in mind that there is no guaranteed level of comfort for a LASIK procedure.

What to expect after LASIK

After LASIK, many people have noticed improved vision instantly. Once your procedure is complete, your LASIK doctor will likely have you rest in a postoperative room for up to an hour.


You should also follow a few additional recommendations to take care of yourself and your vision after you leave the procedure:


  • Have someone drive you home and plan to not drive for 24 hours after the procedure


  • On the way home, pick up any medications you may have been prescribed


  • Keep your eyes clean and avoid rubbing them


When your eyes have completely recovered, your results may be similar to those reported in studies of LASIK outcomes. With CONTOURA® Vision, 92.6% of eyes achieved 20/20 vision or better — and 15.7% achieved 20/10 vision or better — according to an analysis of FDA study results.1

What to avoid after LASIK

Immediately after your LASIK procedure, it’s important to allow your recovery to proceed normally for the best possible results.


Make sure to protect the health of your eyes as they recover from LASIK:


  • Your doctor may direct you to use eyedrops — avoid using drops that have not been recommended


  • Avoid touching your eyes


  • Keep foreign material out of your eyes, such as sweat and dust


LASIK recovery

Recovering from LASIK is typically quick and easy. Your doctor will most likely schedule a follow-up appointment to check your eyes about one week after your procedure. By this time, you are likely starting to see what your life looks like without keeping up with contact lenses or glasses.


In an assessment of FDA study results, many patients even experienced a continued improvement in vision up to a year after the procedure.1 For example, while 7% of eyes achieved 20/10 vision three months after surgery, by one year, 15.6% of eyes had achieved 20/10 vision.1


Anyone who gets a LASIK procedure can have a different recovery experience. Many people are able to return to work the very next day. Others might experience a few minor side effects, such as watery or red eyes for a few days.



1. Durrie DS, Potvin R, Petznick A. More eyes with 20/10 visual acuity at 12 months versus 3 months in a topography-guided excimer laser trial: Possible contributing factors. Paper presented at: ASCRS; March 14, 2018; Chicago, IL.

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