What is LASIK?

LASIK is a surgical procedure that uses laser technology to reshape the cornea to correct vision conditions including nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. LASIK is performed using topical (eye drop) anesthesia in a two-step procedure:

  • First, a thin, circular flap is made in the cornea using a microkeratome or femtosecond laser. The surgeon then folds the flap out of the way.
  • In the second step, the corneal tissue underneath the flap is reshaped using an excimer laser (a cool ultraviolet light beam) to remove microscopic pieces of tissue from the surface of the cornea in order to reshape it. The flap is then laid back in place.

The procedure is quick and virtually painless. Today, LASIK employs advanced technologies including:

  • 3D digital mapping of the eye
  • Wavefront-guided or optimized excimer lasers
  • Microkeratome or femtosecond laser flap technology

These advanced technologies provide superior safety and precision, enabling surgeons to customize procedures for the patient and better visual outcomes.

Interested in Refractive Surgery?

Answers to questions about LASIK, PRK and vision-correcting cataract surgery.

Glossary

ARSC’s vocabulary of vision

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