Breaking Down the LASIK Procedure Step by Step

LASIK surgery is one of the most popular options for surgical vision correction. Everyone knows someone that has had the procedure. If you wear glasses or contacts, you may be hoping for LASIK yourself. What you may not know is what actually happens during LASIK surgery. Join us on a step by step journey through the LASIK process at Will Vision and Laser Centers, one of the top refractive surgery practices in the Pacific Northwest.

Step 1: The LASIK Consultation

LASIK always begins with a consultation. Call us at 877-542-3937 to schedule your consultation at either our Salem, OR location or our Vancouver, WA location. Our consultation is complimentary and provides a valuable opportunity to talk about LASIK surgery with one of the premier LASIK surgeons in the Pacific Northwest, Dr. Brian Will.

Our practice uses some of the most advanced technologies available, making LASIK surgery accessible to more patients. If you’re interested in LASIK, we want to meet with you, even if you’ve been told that you’re not a good candidate elsewhere. We offer many surgical options including Bladeless LASIK, Monovision, Life Style LASIK, PRK, and the KAMRA corneal inlay.

Step 2: Pre-Operative Examination

If LASIK is a good fit, we’ll perform an extensive pre-operative examination. We use the iDesign system, a 100% objective measurement system that requires no patient feedback. This system is 25x more precise than the typical measurements used for glasses and contacts and is 5x more accurate than any other wavefront aberrometer.

This pre-op exam helps Dr. Will to prepare for your surgery. It provides us with the measurements we need to create accurate results during the procedure.

Step 3: Anesthetic Drops

After your consultation and exam, we’ll help you schedule your LASIK procedure. On the day of surgery, you’ll arrive, check in, and get situated in the treatment room. Anesthetic drops are applied to the eye to maximize comfort during the procedure. These take a minute to take effect before surgery starts.

Step 4: Create the LASIK Flap

Dr. Will needs easy and complete access to the eye during the LASIK procedure. To ensure you don’t blink, we hold the eyelids open with a special tool called a lid speculum. We may ask you to focus your vision on a special light.

While the eye is held open, a hinged flap is cut into the outer layers of the eye. This exposes the corneal stroma, a thick corneal layer that is reshaped during laser eye surgery. You may feel some pressure as the flap is created.

We typically perform Bladeless LASIK. This means that the entire procedure, including the creation of the flap, is performed using LASIK energy. Using a laser for flap creation gives the surgeon more control, results in a cleaner cut, and yields better results than flap creation using a microkeratome.

Step 5: Reshaping of the Cornea

Using specialized tools, computer monitoring, and a high-powered laser, the cornea is reshaped. Microscopic amounts of tissue are removed. The process isn’t painful, but you may smell a burning smell as the laser ablates the unneeded tissues.

Step 6: Flap Replacement

Once the ideal corneal shape is achieved, the flap is replaced, and you’ll head into recovery. The entire surgical process usually takes less than 30 minutes.

Step 7: LASIK Recovery

You’ll be back to your regular activities, but with better vision, very shortly after your LASIK procedure. First though comes rest. We encourage patients to take a nap after their procedure. This minimizes discomfort during the first few hours after LASIK. Our patients that fall asleep shortly after LASIK typically report little to no discomfort during recovery. The most uncomfortable time during recovery happens shortly after the numbing drops wear off and can avoided with a well-timed nap.

We’ll provide detailed recovery instructions. Noticeable improvement in vision is seen shortly after surgery. Most patients return to work after a few days.

Clear vision begins with a LASIK consultation at Will Vision and Laser Centers. Call us to schedule yours.