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What is LASIK?

LASIK is the second generation of Laser Vision Correction technology, and one of the most commonly performed elective procedures in the world. The LASIK procedure involves a laser reshaping the cornea to correct your prescription.

LASIK stands for Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis. It is used to correct refractive error by reshaping the cornea through a corneal flap. The IntraLase® method is a 100% blade-free approach to creating a corneal flap. IntraLase® allows the surgeon to create a thinner, smoother, and more uniform corneal flap. After gently lifting the flap, the surgeon uses the computer-guided excimer laser to reshape the cornea.

LASIK Candidacy & Treatment Alternatives

A wide range of myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism can be corrected by the LASIK procedure. It is a delicate surgical procedure allowing for a predictable healing response. After the procedure, vision stabilizes rapidly and there is little to no discomfort.

During your complimentary consultation, you will undergo diagnostic testing to determine your candidacy for laser vision correction. To understand what procedure is right for you, you will meet with one of our experienced Refractive Consultants to discuss your vision goals, ask any questions you might have, share the results of your diagnostics and eye examination, book your procedure date, and discuss any pre-operative instructions.

If you are not a candidate for LASIK, we are pleased to offer other laser vision correction procedures, including ZEISS ReLEx SMILE and PRK, or, one of our intraocular procedures: Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) and Intraocular Collamer Lens (ICL).

What’s the difference between PRK, LASIK and ReLEx® SMILE®?

What’s your treatment of choice for patients 20-40 years of age?

What to Expect

To prepare for your procedure, there may be a few pre-operative considerations. All of these will be shared with you by your Refractive Consultant and the doctor during your comprehensive consultation. Some of these instructions might include:

  • Switching to glasses and refraining from contact lens wear for 1-8 weeks (depending on the type of contact lenses you wear)
  • Arranging transportation to and from Herzig Eye Institute for your procedure day

The LASIK procedure is done one eye at a time, while the other eye is covered. To stop you from blinking, your surgeon will use a lid speculum and apply topical anesthetic numbing drops to prevent any pain.

You will experience some pressure during the flap creation and your vision will dim for about one minute. Your surgeon will gently lift the flap and use the excimer laser to reshape your cornea. The laser will track and adjust to any eye movement. The flap is then repositioned and the process repeated on your other eye.

After the procedure has finished and the anesthetic drops have worn off, you may experience some mild discomfort. Because the recovery time with LASIK is quick, this discomfort should not last more than a few hours. The sensation is similar to having something in your eye, like an eyelash. For the rest of the day following LASIK, the eyes are sensitive to light, so it’s recommended to go home and rest.

A medicated drop regimen also needs to be followed after the procedure. As early as the next day, patients are seeing better than they did before with their glasses and contacts. While there are a couple restrictions for certain activities like swimming, LASIK patients are able to return to their normal activities just a couple days after treatment.

It is critical you are seen for all post-operative appointments at Herzig Eye Institute or with your referring optometrist. You will be seen 1 day, 1 week, and 1 month after your procedure. Additional appointments may be recommended.


No, you shouldn’t feel any pain during LASIK. You’ll receive numbing eye drops before the procedure begins to ensure you’re comfortable. You may feel some slight pressure at most, but this should only last for a few seconds.

The only way to know if you’re a good LASIK candidate is to schedule a complimentary vision correction consultation at Herzig Eye Institute. You may be a good candidate for LASIK or another vision correction procedure if:

  • You’re at least 18 years of age or older
  • Your prescription is within the acceptable treatment limits
  • You’re not currently pregnant or nursing
  • Your eyes are healthy and stable, and if you have a condition like dry eye syndrome, your symptoms are currently under control and being managed
  • You’re in good health and don’t have any autoimmune conditions like lupus or Sjogren’s syndrome that may make it more challenging to recover after LASIK

While LASIK is an excellent procedure having been performed on millions of patients worldwide, it’s not suitable for everyone. At Herzig Eye Institute, our surgeons match the right procedure with the right patient in order to provide you with the best possible visual outcome. If you’re not a LASIK candidate, you may be a candidate for another procedure offered at Herzig Eye Institute, such as PRK, SMILE, or the Intraocular Collamer Lens (ICL).

PRK is the first-generation of laser vision correction. It provides patients with virtually identical results compared to LASIK. It has a longer recovery time, but you’ll be able to see clearly and achieve visual freedom.

SMILE is the third-generation laser vision correction procedure. SMILE is minimally invasive to the surface of the cornea, so patients typically experience less post-operative dryness following the SMILE procedure.

The Intraocular Collamer Lens (ICL) is an intraocular procedure as opposed to a laser-based procedure. Therefore, it does not remove any tissue from the cornea. ICL is also an acronym for Implantable Collamer Lens. The procedure involves resting a thin collamer lens in front of the eye’s natural lens and behind the iris. It is a reversible form of vision correction, often used to treat patients with thin corneas, which are not suitable for laser vision correction, and/or higher levels of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.

LASIK changes the shape of the cornea to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and/or astigmatism. The vision correction is usually stable and permanent but about 2% of patients need a small enhancement procedure months to years after the initial LASIK procedure.

After LASIK, you can look forward to a quick recovery. At first, you may notice that your eyes feel scratchy or irritated, but this is normal as the numbing eye drops wear off. Everyone experiences instant visual improvement, but vision is initially slightly blurry. As the eyes heal, vision improves quickly.

During your recovery, you’ll need to avoid certain activities like getting water directly in your eyes, rubbing your eyes, or participating in strenuous activities or contact sports. Avoid any bodies of water like hot tubs, pools, rivers, streams, or lakes for at least a month to keep bacteria out of your eyes while they heal.

Make sure to attend all follow-up appointments, which you’ll need to schedule in the days and months following your LASIK procedure. Most patients end up with 20/20 vision or better, making their goal of achieving visual freedom a reality.

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