Am I awake during LASIK?

When we think of surgery, most of us immediately imagine getting put to sleep under general anesthesia. LASIK eye surgery is different in that patients remain fully awake for the procedure.

Fear of pain or injury from sudden coughing or sneezing are two of the most common reasons for a patient to feel afraid about being awake for laser eye surgery. Even though you will remain awake during LASIK, there is no need to worry about discomfort or risky movements during treatment.

The procedure is painless thanks to numbing drops (a local anesthetic), but the eyes are held open for the entire process – from the creation of the corneal flap with the laser to the moment your LASIK doctor closes the flap. The surgical team will keep your eyes moisturized during this time.

Here, we’ll discuss the procedure your LASIK surgeon puts in place for your safety, as well as things you can do to make your laser procedure less scary.

How should I prepare for my LASIK procedure?

There isn’t much a patient needs to do to prepare for LASIK. However, if you wear contact lenses, your laser eye doctor will ask you to stop wearing them about one week ahead of your LASIK procedure.

You will also need a friend or family member to drive you to the clinic the day of your procedure. Choose a driver who is comfortable around doctors or familiar with LASIK to keep your mind off of lasers so you’re less likely to get nervous.

Are you ready to take the next step in your vision journey?

How will my surgeon keep me calm and still during laser eye surgery?

When laser surgery is ready to start, you’ll be asked to lie in a comfortable position and look straight ahead. Because you’re awake during LASIK, your surgeon will use a sophisticated tracking device to monitor involuntary eye movement and adjust the laser accordingly (but feel free to warn your doctor if you have a strong urge to cough or blink).

At Brinton Vision, we believe information (and powerful numbing drops!) is key to alleviating fear and worry about the laser. We explain every step of the process so you know exactly what to expect. Once a you’re numb and familiar with what’s to come, you’ll probably feel most of your fear slip away. If not, we’re ready for that too …

What if I’m really anxious before surgery?

If you experience a high degree of fear and anxiety before LASIK eye surgery, your LASIK surgeon may provide you with a mild sedative to help you relax yet remain awake. If you already have a prescription for a mild sedative, talk with your surgeon before taking it to make sure there are no potential drug interactions to worry about. You also get to pick your favorite type of music to further reduce stress. We also offer a stress ball, weighted blanket, and a hand to hold during your procedure.

Is LASIK eye surgery painless?

Most patients feel no pain during surgery. However, it is normal in the days and weeks after certain vision correction procedures to experience mild discomfort or dry eyes. Patients receive special antibiotic and steroid eye drops to assist in healing and prevent swelling.

If you do experience redness or pain after surgery and fear infection, contact the surgery center immediately.

What if I can’t stay awake during LASIK?

It would be difficult for patients to drift off to sleep during laser eye surgery, because general anesthesia is not used. In fact, it’s better to be awake during LASIK so your surgeon can work with you to gauge your progress and achieve the best possible results.

You will not be put to sleep for LASIK eye surgery. However, your surgeon will use a tool to hold your eyelids open during surgery and apply numbing eye drops to your eyes prior to the procedure so you can’t blink or feel pain. The entire procedure takes mere minutes per eye, leaving little time or desire for sleep.

What to Know About LASIK at Brinton Vision

Brinton Vision is home to caring, talented LASIK eye surgery professionals using the most advanced laser technology available, so you can have a comfortable, worry-free experience.

While many high-volume laser eye surgery centers offer a free LASIK consultation, Brinton Vision does charge a standard appointment fee for the initial consultation to keep patients on schedule and ensure that the eye doctors on our team are compensated for their time. Even though there is not a free consultation, the fee paid will be applied to the cost of surgery.

Your LASIK consultation with us includes the most thorough eye examination you’ll likely ever have, including precise mapping and imaging of your eyes, vision tests and a conversation with a LASIK and vision correction specialty doctor to determine if you’re a candidate for LASIK surgery. This is also a time when people can feel free to ask about their surgical procedure and clear up any concern they may have about their own risks.

Know that even though we don’t offer a free consultation, all your follow-up care and appointments with our eye doctors are included in your LASIK surgery fee.

Are you ready to take the next step in your vision journey?

Schedule Your LASIK Consultation

If you have nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, or presbyopia and are interested in breaking free of glasses and contact lenses, talk to Brinton Vision to schedule a LASIK consultation. Brinton Vision specializes in LASIK surgery, as well as all six modern LASIK alternative surgeries. Call 314.375.2020 to learn more about vision correction.

Dr. Jason P. Brinton is an internationally recognized specialist in the field of LASIK and refractive surgery. He is a graduate of Harvard College, earned his medical doctorate from the Harvard Medical School and is board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology.