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How Long Will My LASIK Procedure Take?

tight shot of a teal clock

Okay, okay, I want better vision, but please if you're going to do stuff to my eye, make it quick please, please, please...

We get it. You’re sick of the hassles of glasses or contacts, but that doesn’t mean you’re without reservations about getting LASIK. Any kind of medical procedure is a little scary, especially when it involves your eye. The quicker you can be in and out and onto recovery, the better.

So how long does LASIK take exactly? Well, let’s break it down for you:

Advanced LASIK involves two lasers

The first is called a “Femtosecond laser.” It preps your eye for the vision correction part, and takes about 10 seconds per eye. For the science geeks out there, the Femtosecond laser itself — as far as lasers go — is fast. Each pulse lasts 700 femtoseconds, and one femtosecond is one trillion times faster than the speed of a housefly flapping its wings one time.

Once that’s over with, you meet laser number two: the “Excimer laser.” This is the one that actually reshapes your cornea to correct your vision. It makes corrections as small as 0.25 microns at a time. That’s 4,000 times smaller than a grain of sand. It’s precise.

The Excimer laser takes one to two minutes per eye.

So while you can expect to be at the surgeon’s office for about an hour, the actual procedure time, if you’re getting both eyes done, is less than 5 minutes.

How am I going to keep my eyes open and still during the procedure?

With help.

First, a small device will be used to hold your eyelids open, which prevents you from blinking. But don’t stress. Eye drops will also be applied to numb your eyes and reduce your impulse to blink.

As for keeping your eye still while the laser is active, an “eye tracker” monitors the position of your eye and compensates for any small, involuntary eye movements, ensuring that each correction is delivered to the exact right spot.

Ok, this helped some, but I still have questions

Yeah, of course you do!

You can ask any question about LASIK here, but the best resource for information is actually a qualified LASIK doctor. In fact, many of them can even speak from personal experience, as many doctors who perform laser vision correction have had it done themselves. You can find one near you here, and many do free consultations.

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