How do your eyes feel after Laser Eye Surgery?

Lasik laser eye surgery also called IntraLASIK is a revolutionary technique which in the good hands with modern technology in the right environment provides phenomenal outcomes. Although the procedure was first performed in 1989, it’s growth as a procedure only took place in the mid to late nineties. We performed the UK’s first Lasik in 1995 and have witnessed the impact of the improvements in technology such as the Intralase femtosecond laser on the procedure (introduced to the UK by us at Centre for Sight in 2004). The procedure is safer and more accurate than it has ever been.

Understandably many are concerned about taking the step of having the procedure. One concern is what symptoms might one feel at the time of the procedure or soon afterwards. When questioned most are concerned about pain and discomfort.

During the Lasik/IntraLASIK Procedure

At good centres, the Lasik procedure involves two lasers. The femtosecond laser (IntraLASE) is used to create a precise flap. This involves attaching a suction ring to the eye which raises the pressure in the eye and fixates the eye so that it can be connected to the laser without moving. This means the patient might experience a little pressure (no pain) for about 30 to 45 seconds.

Once the flaps are created the second laser, an Excimer laser is used to reshape the cornea. There is absolutely no discomfort during this portion of the procedure. No sensation whatsoever except perhaps at the end where fluid is used to irrigate the eye and help position the flap on the eye. A sensation of cold fluid on the eye might be experienced.

After the Procedure

Following the procedure, we instil long acting anaesthetic drops so that patients do not feel anything for quite a while. Patients are tested 10 minutes later and often have good enough vision to pass the driving standard. Vision is a little misty and this is from fluid in the cornea – a bit like having Vaseline in the eye!

Some patients will complain like something is in their eye or a dry contact lens. Others report a sensation like having soap in their eyes following the Lasik procedure. This disappears in about 3 to 4 hours. It is for this reason we give patients a tablet to allay anxiety during the procedure and this also makes them sleepy so that during that 4 hour recovery they are asleep and by the time they awake, they have no symptoms.

Lasik laser eye surgery has been available commercially by Centre for Sight doctors for 20 years. The procedure in good hands, in the correct environment provides phenomenal results and really a 21st Century procedure, providing phenomenal vision within a few hours with very few symptoms.

Find out if LASIK laser eye surgery is right for you by either filling out our “Are you Suitable?” questionnaire or contacting us at Centre for Sight.

Author Information

Authored by Sheraz Daya MD FACP FACS FRCS(Ed) FRCOphth, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon & Medical Director, June 2019.