Seeing Clearly: The Truth about Lasik

September 28, 2013

LASIK stands for laser in-situ keratomileusis. All laser vision correction surgeries work by reshaping the clear front part of the eye, called the cornea, so that light traveling through it is properly focused onto the retina located at the back of the eye. LASIK is only one of a number of different surgeries used to reshape the cornea. (Source:

    ADVANTAGES: LASIK has many benefits. They include:
  • No bandages or stiches are required.
  • Vision is corrected almost immediately or the day after.
  • Adjustments can be made years after the surgery to correct the vision further.
  • After the procedure, most patients have a dramatic reduction in eyeglass or contact lens dependence.
  • It corrects vision. About 90 percent of patients will have their desired vision after LASIK. (Source:

    DISADVANTAGES: Although there are some good advantages, LASIK still has some disadvantages.
  • Changes made to the cornea cannot be reversed.
  • LASIK is technically complex. Problems could occur when doctors cut the flap, which can permanently affect vision.
  • LASIK can rarely cause a loss of "best" vision, referring to the highest degree of vision that you can achieve while wearing contacts or eyeglasses.
  • There are some potential side effects, including: dry eyes, glare, seeing halos around images, fluctuating vision, and difficulty driving at night. (Source:

WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS DURING SURGERY: During LASIK, an instrument called a femtosecond or microkeratome laser is used to cut a thin flap in the cornea. The cornea is then peeled back and the underlying corneal tissue is reshaped using another laser. After the cornea is reshaped, the cornea flap is put back in place and the surgery is complete. The patient is under local anesthesia in the form of eye drops and usually takes about ten minutes. Sometimes, patients can request mild sedation. After the surgery, patients' eyes will be dry even though they do not feel like they are. The doctor will give prescription eye drops to prevent infection and inflammation and eye drops to keep the eyes moist. Healing after LASIK is usually rapid. Vision could be hazy and blurry for the first day, but most patients notice improved vision within a few days after surgery. (Source:

For More Information, Contact:

Sheri Rowen, MD, FACS
Directory of Ophthalmology, Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore
Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Maryland

Copyright © 2024 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.