Does LASIK Hurt During & After?

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Key Takeaways

Laser-Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK) is a popular refractive surgical procedure performed worldwide to correct refractive errors without the dependence on glasses or contact lenses.  As with any surgical procedure, a common curiosity is the associated pain level during various phases of LASIK. Considering the incredibly short healing time (less than 24 hours) associated with LASIK, the pain level is very reasonable.

Anesthesia is achieved by multiple applications of anesthetic drops prior to LASIK surgery. There are two potential sources of discomfort during LASIK: 1. when the speculum is placed in the eye, and 2. during the corneal flap creation.

Sources of Discomfort

The speculum is a device placed along the upper and lower eyelids to keep the eye open with the aid of numbing drops. It is best not to try to squeeze out the speculum to prevent inducing unnecessary discomfort. Dr. Iskander gives patients instructions on how to relax their eyelid muscles and relieve any discomfort within seconds. The creation of the corneal flap is measured in microns and the femtosecond laser is extremely precise. This process takes seconds, and it is important the patient remains relaxed to prevent sudden movements. If the patient is relaxed, there is usually no discomfort. However, if the patient is squeezing the eyelids or tries to move the eye, the laser will hold the eye in place and the patient will feel pressure. This is a safeguard as there is no room for eye movement for precise flap creation. The anesthesia lasts 20 minutes. Pain goes away in 4-6 hours after the anesthesia wears off.

After The Procedure

After LASIK surgery, it is normal for the eyes to feel a foreign body sensation. Tearing eyes and burning sensations are normal and to be expected. We advise patients to go home immediately after the procedure, insert the medicated drops prescribed, and cover their eyes with special goggles. Sleeping is encouraged to keep eyes moist and hydrated. We see all LASIK patients the next day and in less than 24 hours, the majority of patients are thrilled to see clearly without the aid of glasses or contact lenses.

From LASIK surgery day to the following 1-day post-operative visit, patients are amazed at how fast the procedure takes (minutes) as well as the healing time in achieving visual freedom. Patients return to work or school the next day without any physical limitations. Dr. Iskander has been instrumental in improving the vision of tens of thousands of patients. Quite often we hear patients telling us how life-changing LASIK is and their only regret is not having the procedure sooner.

For Your Eyes... Don't Compromise?

If you are tired of the cost and hassles of glasses and contacts, consider investing in LASIK. Come consult with Dr. Iskander at your complimentary LASIK prescreening and let him guide you for a customized treatment plan, unique to your vision. For your eyes...Don't compromise! Call (210) 822-9800 or visit

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