Does LASIK Surgery Hurt?
LASIK eye surgery is a very popular procedure in part because it is patient-friendly in a number of key areas. The procedure itself only takes about 15 minutes for both eyes, and the healing process begins quickly with little or no discomfort. It also doesn’t take long at all to start seeing positive results, and getting back to most of your favorite activities. The results of LASIK surgery are very consistent, as well, but that still leaves a few key questions.
One of the big questions is, does LASIK hurt? The short answer is no, for most people, it doesn’t. We’ll provide the long answer ahead, including a look at why LASIK eye surgery is able to deliver results with very minimal pain or discomfort.
Request a Free LASIK ConsultationGET STARTED
Does LASIK Eye Surgery Hurt? No, and Here’s Why
In order to understand why LASIK causes little or no pain, it helps to understand a bit about how laser eye surgery works. The goal of LASIK is to gently reshape the cornea, treating only very, very small portions of tissue, by using a precise laser. Throughout the process, your LASIK surgeon will also take every step to ensure that you are comfortable.
- Local Anesthetic – Before your LASIK eye surgery begins, your LASIK specialist will use eye drops to numb the surface of your eyes. These eye drops feel just like the type that you’d normally use to lubricate dry eyes, but contain a numbing agent so that you shouldn’t feel anything, except some pressure, during your LASIK procedure.
- No Sedation – With LASIK, you don’t have to worry about heavy sedatives, receiving injections of anesthetics, or “going to sleep” during the procedure. Those eye drops really do all of the numbing that you need, and the lack of heavy general anesthesia means you don’t have to worry about that foggy, groggy feeling after your LASIK surgery is complete.
- During LASIK Surgery – During surgery, the first step is creating the flap. You may feel a pressure sensation, but it is more of an odd or uncomfortable feeling than a painful one. Your eyelids will be held open with a special tool during the procedure, and while this may feel a little strange it is unlikely to cause any pain.
- Excimer Laser – The cool beam of the excimer laser used to perform LASIK eye surgery is incredibly precise, and guided by a computer which maps the structure of your eyes down to a microscopic level. During the portion of LASIK when your cornea is being reshaped, you actually shouldn’t feel any discomfort at all.
After your LASIK eye surgery is complete, you may notice some minor pain, itching, or discomfort as your eyes heal and your vision stabilizes. These symptoms are common, and typically clear up quickly as your eyes go through the healing process. So while no surgery can truly claim to be completely pain-free, LASIK surgery is about as close as it gets – both during and after your procedure.