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Am I Awake During LASIK Surgery? | Parkhurst NuVision

Category: LASIK

In the quest for clear vision without the hassle of glasses or contact lenses, LASIK surgery has emerged as a popular and effective solution. If you’re considering LASIK, it’s natural to have questions about the procedure and what to expect during it. One common question we hear is, “Am I awake during LASIK?”. We will explore the details of LASIK surgery, including what happens during the procedure and whether anesthesia or medication is used.

LASIK Surgery Explained


LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis) is a surgical procedure used to correct vision errors in the eye, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. It involves reshaping the cornea, the transparent front part of the eye, to improve its focusing power.


What Happens During LASIK Surgery?

Preoperative Preparation for LASIK

Before the procedure begins, you will have a comprehensive eye examination to evaluate your eye health and determine your eligibility for LASIK. This will most likely be the most thorough eye exam you ever have had! Your eye surgeon and their team will discuss the risks, benefits, and alternatives, addressing any questions you may have. If you’re deemed a suitable candidate, a surgery date will be scheduled.


LASIK Anesthesia and Medication

LASIK surgery is typically performed using topical anesthetic eye drops to numb the eye. This eliminates the need for general anesthesia or intravenous sedation, as the procedure is typically painless and well-tolerated by patients. However, we still ask that our patients go home to take a nap after their procedure to recover for the first to recover for the first 3-4 hours. 


Actual LASIK Surgery

The first step in LASIK surgery involves creating a thin, hinged “window” on the cornea. Your surgeon will use a femtosecond laser to create this window opening. The window is carefully lifted, exposing the underlying corneal tissue.


Once the cornea is exposed, an excimer laser is used to remold & reshape microscopic amounts of tissue in the central cornea. The laser ablation is guided by a computer, which takes into account your eye’s unique characteristics, such as corneal thickness, curvature, and refractive error (your prescription). This reshaping of the cornea allows light entering the eye to focus properly on the retina, resulting in improved vision.


After the cornea has been reshaped, the surgeon gently repositions the window, which adheres naturally without the need for stitches. This acts as a natural bandage, promoting rapid healing and minimizing discomfort.



Following the procedure, your surgeon will provide instructions on how to care for your eyes during the recovery period. This may include using prescribed eye drops, avoiding certain activities, and attending follow-up appointments to monitor your progress.


Are You Asleep During LASIK Surgery?

No, you are not asleep during LASIK surgery. The procedure is typically performed while you are awake, although your eye will be numbed using local anesthesia in the form of eye drops. Unlike other types of surgeries, laser surgery only takes a few minutes to complete. You will be given a mild sedative medication that will help promote a nap after surgery.


What If I Move During LASIK?

Some people are afraid that they will blink or move during surgery. No worries! Your doctor uses a very small instrument to hold your eyelashes back during the procedure. The laser will track your eyes’ movement many times per second. The laser will stop if it detects any sudden movements. The procedure is so fast! You are typically in the laser suite for only about 10 minutes for both eyes!


Benefits of LASIK Surgery

  1. Improved Visual Acuity: LASIK surgery has a high success rate in improving vision, with the vast majority of patients achieving 20/20 vision or better.
  2. Quick and Effective: The procedure itself usually takes only 10 minutes total for both eyes, and the results are often noticeable within minutes.
  3. Minimally Invasive: LASIK is a minimally invasive procedure that involves a quick recovery time and minimal postoperative discomfort.
  4. Long-lasting Results: In many cases, LASIK provides permanent vision correction, reducing or eliminating the need for glasses or contact lenses.


LASIK surgery is a safe and effective method for correcting blurry vision and achieving better quality of life. LASIK offers a multitude of benefits, including improved visual acuity, quick recovery, and long-lasting results.


Be sure to talk to one of our doctors about not only the benefits of LASIK, but also any risks of LASIK that may pertain to your individual needs and circumstances.


Parkhurst NuVision LASIK Eye Surgery