How Long Does the LASIK Procedure Last?

By Andrew E Holzman, MD FACS on July 16, 2019

Eye treated with LASIK laserMany people would like to see clearly without the aid of glasses or contact lenses. LASIK surgery has made that possible. Dr. Andrew E. Holzman has helped countless patients in the greater Washington, DC metro area see clearly thanks to safe, state-of-the-art LASIK surgery.

We receive many questions about LASIK, and many of them involve what happens during the surgery itself. Specifically, people wonder how long the LASIK procedure takes to perform. Let’s go over the basics of what happens during LASIK and then breakdown the actual length of the surgery.

What Happens During LASIK Surgery?

During the actual LASIK procedure, there are a few key steps:

  • After cleaning the area around the eyes, patients are given anesthetic eye drops. These drops numb the eyes and prevent discomfort during the surgery. Most patients are also be given a mild sedative to help prevent anxiety and to promote a greater sense of relaxation.
  • Next, the patient lies flat on their back and has their eye held open with an ophthalmology speculum. This speculum keeps the eyes open and helps prevent eye movement during the procedure.  IT DOES NOT HURT and it is a small, flexible device!   
  • With everything in position, the corneal flap is created and a laser reshapes the cornea to improve overall vision quality. The process is computer-guided to ensure optimal results with low risk of human error.
  • Once the reshaping is completed, the corneal flap is set back down and we check the patient's eyes before they can return home.

How Long Is the Actual Surgical Procedure?

The actual LASIK procedure will take about 5 to 10 minutes per eye. It’s extremely fast, and custom LASIK technology has made the procedure safer and much more efficient. That’s why our laser eye surgery practice serving the greater Washington, DC area is committed to offering the most state-of-the-art vision correction technology available.

How Long Does the Laser Take to Reshape the Cornea?

What’s fascinating about the LASIK procedure is that the actual laser reshaping of the cornea is a brief process. The LASIK laser only reshapes the cornea for 5-30 seconds depending on how high the prescription of the patient is.  Most of the surgery involves proper positioning of the patient and ensuring the patient is in a relaxed, positive state of mind.

Planning Your Day Around the Procedure

Since the LASIK procedure only takes about 15 minutes in total,  patients are able to plan their day around the surgical procedure.  We typically ask patients to plan on spending about 1.5 hours at the center that day as we spend time explaining the post care and also examining the eyes once again.   Patients may be able to put in a half-day at work depending on the time of their surgery and the nature of their job. This brief surgical procedure also allows ample time for recovery at home, which is crucial to the success of LASIK.

During the consultation process, we can discuss the ideal time for your LASIK surgery as well as various do’s and don’ts for the day of your procedure. We will also discuss ways to prepare for LASIK in the weeks leading into surgery and what you can expect while recovering from the brief recreative surgery.

Learn More About LASIK

If you live in the Washington, DC area and would like to learn more about LASIK and how it can benefit you and your vision, contact a skilled laser eye surgeon. You can schedule a consultation with us by calling (703) 556-9155.

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