All You Need to Know About LASIK Eye Surgery

Imagine a world where you can wake up and see clearly without reaching for your glasses or fumbling with contact lenses. A world where you can swim, play sports, and enjoy your favorite activities without the limitations and physical constraints of corrective eyewear. Sounds almost too good to be true, right? Thanks to LASIK eye surgery, this dream can become a reality for many people. In this comprehensive guide, you’ll discover everything you need to know about LASIK – from understanding the procedure to determining if you’re a good candidate and learning about the benefits, risks, and recovery process.

Key Takeaways

  • LASIK is a laser-assisted eye surgery used to correct vision problems by reshaping the cornea.

  • Candidates must be thoroughly evaluated and certain medical conditions may disqualify them from being eligible for LASIK surgery.

  • Postoperative care, recovery time, lifestyle improvements, potential risks & complications should all be discussed with an eye doctor prior to undergoing the procedure.

Understanding LASIK Eye Surgery

LASIK Eye Surgery

LASIK, which stands for Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis, is a popular and safe refractive surgery that uses a laser to reshape the cornea and correct vision problems, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. LASIK enhances vision clarity by altering the corneal shape to improve how light rays focus on the retina, potentially negating the need for contact lenses or glasses.

The American Refractive Surgery Council recommends that patients considering LASIK should:

Research and understand the advantages and disadvantages of the procedure

Have realistic expectations regarding long-term vision outcomes

Ensure they are suitable candidates for correcting refractive errors

The LASIK Procedure

During the LASIK procedure, your eye surgeon will:

  • Use a femtosecond laser to create a thin flap on the outermost layer of the cornea. This flap provides access to the deeper layers of the eye.

  • Modify the corneal stroma using an excimer laser.

  • The amount of corneal tissue removed during the surgery depends on factors such as your prescription and corneal thickness.

Once the corneal flap has been reshaped, the surgeon repositions it, which results in improved vision. The anesthetic used during LASIK surgery is eye drops that numb the ocular surface, making the procedure typically pain free for most patients. This combined with LASIK's rapid visual recovery explains why patients love this procedure and most can return to their normal activities the next day.

​​​​​​​While LASIK is a common refractive eye surgery, there are other laser-assisted vision correction options. Therefore, if you’re thinking about vision correction surgery, a discussion with your eye care provider is necessary to evaluate the most suitable procedure for you.

Laser-Assisted Vision Correction

Laser-Assisted Vision Correction

As mentioned earlier, LASIK is just one of the laser-assisted vision correction options available to patients seeking improved vision. Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) is another option that also corrects refractive errors by reshaping the cornea. The primary difference between LASIK and PRK lies in the approach used to prepare the eye for surgery. While LASIK requires the formation of a flap on the cornea, PRK necessitates the removal of the outer layer of the cornea. For this reason, most patients pick LASIK over PRK due to virtually no pain and quick visual recovery with LASIK.

Candidacy for LASIK Surgery

Candidacy testing

To determine if a patient is a good candidate for LASIK surgery, a thorough eye examination, advanced corneal scans, and evaluation of medical history are necessary. The FDA have established guidelines for identifying LASIK candidates, ensuring that the procedure is safe and effective for suitable individuals. One option that may be discussed during the evaluation, especially if the patient is above 45, is monovision, a refractive correction achieved through LASIK where one eye is corrected for near vision and the other for far vision, possibly eliminating or reducing the need for reading glasses if the patient can adjust to the correction.

​​​​​​​Being a candidate for LASIK surgery goes beyond just meeting specific guidelines; it involves understanding the benefits and potential risks associated with the procedure. Let’s explore the pre-surgery evaluations and conditions that may disqualify candidates from undergoing LASIK.

Pre-Surgery Evaluations

An extensive eye exam is conducted prior to LASIK surgery to assess the health of your eyes.

This includes evaluating the:

  • Tear film

  • Corneas

  • Lenses

  • Retinas

  • Optic nerves

During this evaluation, your doctor may perform tests such as corneal topographic/tomographic analysis and measurements to determine if you’re a suitable candidate for LASIK surgery.

In addition to the eye examination, your eye doctor will discuss the potential risks and benefits of LASIK, as well as your vision goals and expectations. This comprehensive evaluation is fundamental to a safe and successful LASIK experience.

Conditions that May Disqualify Candidates

Certain medical and ocular conditions may preclude a patient from being eligible for LASIK surgery. Do you have a medical history of Diabetes? Rheumatoid Arthritis? Scars from contact lens corneal infections? LASIK surgery may not be indicated if you do. It depends on the severity and the stability of these conditions. During the evaluation process, make sure you discuss any pre-existing eye and medical conditions with us to determine if LASIK is an appropriate option for you, and if not, we will help you explore other great options to correct your vision.

Benefits of LASIK Eye Surgery


LASIK eye surgery offers numerous benefits, including high success rates, improved vision, and reduced dependence on glasses or contact lenses. Approximately 90% of patients who undergo LASIK experience visual acuity between 20/20, eliminating the need for corrective eyewear. In addition to its impressive success rate, LASIK surgery is a rapid and convenient procedure, with most patients able to resume their daily activities within a day or two following the surgery.

Not only does LASIK offer permanent vision correction and improved visual acuity, but it also provides an increased quality of life. Patients who undergo LASIK often find that they can engage in activities that were previously difficult or impossible due to their reliance on glasses or contact lenses.

Success Rates and Satisfaction

The success rate of LASIK surgery is impressive, with over 94% of individuals attaining 20/20 vision without the need for glasses following the procedure.

The high satisfaction rate of LASIK patients speaks to the life-changing benefits of the procedure. With clearer vision and reduced dependence on corrective eyewear, patients are free to enjoy a more active and fulfilling lifestyle.

Lifestyle Improvements

LASIK can significantly improve a patient’s quality of life by allowing them to engage in activities that were previously difficult or impossible due to their reliance on glasses or contact lenses. For those who wear glasses or wear contact lenses, swimming, playing contact sports, and even enjoying a day at the beach without worrying about losing or damaging your eyewear becomes much easier after LASIK surgery.

Our doctors at LASIK San Antonio can you give you a living testimony of what their OWN journey has been after having had LASIK surgery and how it has positively impacted both their social and professional lives.

Potential Risks and Complications

Potential Risks and Complications

Despite LASIK being generally considered safe with a risk of complications estimated to be below 1%, awareness of the potential risks and complications associated with the procedure is essential.

Some possible issues include:

Dry Eyes

Inflammation or Infections

Under or Over-Correction

Most side effects can be expected within the first three months, but will continue to improve even out to six months post-surgery.

A well-informed understanding of the potential risks and complications of LASIK is crucial for making an educated decision about the procedure’s suitability for you. At LASIK San Antonio we have highly qualified eye care providers that can recognize and effectively treat these problems in a timely fashion.

Handling Post-Surgery Issues

If post-surgery issues arise, such as increase in redness, pain, or decreased vision patients should promptly call us for guidance and treatment.

In some cases, medications like artificial tears or anti-inflammatory drugs may be used to address post-surgery issues. By seeking guidance and treatment from our eye doctors as soon as possible, you can help ensure a smooth recovery and maintain the best possible vision after LASIK surgery

Preparing for LASIK Surgery

LASIK Surgery prep

Before coming to your surgery appointment, you should also abstain from using lotion, makeup, and perfume to minimize the potential for infection. Also, please do not wear your contact lenses on the day of surgery.

Lastly, we do give you medication before the procedure, so we recommend you have a designated driver to take you to and from the surgery.

Pre-Operative Care

Before your LASIK surgery, your eye doctor will conduct a thorough eye examination, assess your vision, detect any eye diseases, and evaluate the curvature of your cornea. They will also inquire about your medical history and any medications you are currently taking. This pre-operative care process is essential for determining your candidacy for LASIK surgery and ensuring a safe and successful outcome.

In addition to the eye examination, your doctor will discuss your vision goals and expectations, as well as the potential risks and benefits of LASIK surgery. You will also be provided with guidance on how to prepare for the procedure, including any medications or activities to avoid.

What to Expect on the Day of Surgery

On the day of your LASIK surgery, you can expect to:

  • Arrive at the clinic and follow all pre-operative instructions provided by your doctor

  • Immediately following the procedure, your vision will likely be hazy for a few hours

  • You may experience burning, itching, tearing, or a feeling of something in your eye

  • It would be best to close your eyes for the first few hours, and hopefully with the happy medication we give before the procedure, you can take a nap.

Post-Operative Care and Recovery

Post-Operative care Guidelines

Adhering to post-operative care guidelines after LASIK surgery is essential for a smooth recovery and optimal vision results. This includes:

  • Using prescribed eye drops

  • Wearing protective eyewear for one week at night while sleeping

  • Avoiding contact with soap or chemicals during showers

  • Avoiding make up use around the eyes for the first week

Immediate Aftercare

In the hours and days following your LASIK surgery, it’s important to follow your surgeon’s instructions for immediate aftercare. This includes:

  • Using prescribed eye drops

  • Wearing protective eyewear for one week at night while sleeping

  • Avoiding contact with soap or chemicals during showers

  • Avoiding make up use around the eyes for the first week

You should also attend follow-up appointments with your eye doctor as recommended, typically within 24 to 48 hours following your surgery. These appointments allow your doctor to monitor your vision progress and detect any potential complications or side effects, ensuring a smooth recovery.

Long-Term Recovery

Long-term recovery from LASIK surgery typically takes 3-6 months, during which time visual acuity is expected to improve gradually. If your vision does not get to the , further treatments or enhancements may be necessary.

Undergoing regular eye exams, ideally at least once a year, is essential to ensure stable vision and identify any complications after LASIK surgery. These exams can help monitor your vision and eye health, allowing any potential issues to be promptly addressed.

Comparing LASIK to Other Laser Eye Surgeries

LASIK is one of several laser eye surgery options available for patients seeking improved vision. While LASIK is the most frequently performed refractive laser eye surgery, other options such as PRK may be more suitable for certain patients. Each procedure has its unique approach, recovery times, and potential benefits and risks, so it’s important to discuss your specific needs and vision goals with your eye doctor.

A consultation with your eye doctor and careful consideration of your options can help you make an informed decision about the laser eye surgery procedure, a type of laser surgery, best suited to your specific needs and vision goals.


In conclusion, LASIK eye surgery is a life-changing procedure for many individuals, offering numerous benefits such as improved vision, reduced dependence on corrective eyewear, and an enhanced quality of life. However, it’s essential to consider the potential risks and complications, and most importantly determine if you’re a suitable candidate for the procedure. One thing you can be sure of at LASIK San Antonio, you will get an honest opinion if LASIK is the best, or if there is another procedure that might be better for you. It all starts with a consultation, we hope to see you soon.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does LASIK permanently fix eyes?

LASIK is permanent and corrects the vision prescription at the time of surgery. However, any underlying conditions that progress over time can cause changes to your vision, reducing its effectiveness.

How much is a Lasik eye surgery?

LASIK typically ranges from $2000 to $3500 per eye in San Antonio, Texas.

What does LASIK surgery do to your eyes?

LASIK surgery is an outpatient procedure that uses an excimer laser to reshape the cornea, enabling light rays to be focused clearly on the retina. This permanently changes the shape of your cornea, improving your eyesight to a normal or near-normal level.

However, age-related vision changes can still occur in the years after the surgery. Nobody beats old age.

How long does it take for LASIK to heal?

It typically takes 24 hours to achieve vision between 20/20 and 20/40 range. Some studies have shown the vision continue to improve even up to 9 months post-operatively.

Is LASIK surgery safe?

LASIK surgery is widely considered safe, with a low risk of complications estimated to be below 1%.
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