laser eye surgery

Are You Awake During Laser Eye Surgery?

In Laser Eye Surgery by drcameronmclintock

If you’re considering laser eye surgery but are worried about the surgical procedure, this is entirely normal. Please be reassured that, at the end of the procedure, the vast majority of our patients comment on how simple the procedure is. 

Among the questions you might have prior to the procedure is: are you awake during laser eye surgery?

We hear this question often so we’ll clarify some of the main concerns and misconceptions below. 

What does Laser Eye Surgery do?

This type of eye surgery corrects refractive disorders of the eye such as myopia (nearsightedness) and hyperopia (farsightedness). The laser precisely alters the corneal tissue to improve its shape and create better vision. 

Your eye surgeon (Ophthalmologist) will use a system that tracks eye movements as fast as 4,000 times per second which maximises the safety of the procedure. 

So Are You Awake During Laser Eye Surgery?

Prior to your surgery, you will be offered some medication to relax you and your eye will be numbed with anaesthetic drops.  You are awake during the procedure, but your surgery only lasts a few minutes.  At the end of your procedure, patients almost always comment on how easy the procedure was.   

You may think that it would be better to have a full anaesthetic where you are totally asleep during your procedure.  The truth is that, because the procedure is so simple for our patients, a full anaesthetic (which has a small risk of life-threatening complications) cannot be justified. 

What if I move, cough, sneeze or blink during the procedure?  

When you arrive, your Ophthalmologist will carefully explain each step so you know what to expect. Many patients worry about blinking, coughing, sneezing, or moving and accidentally messing up the surgery. 

Your Ophthalmologist uses a blinking retainer that will hold your eye open so you won’t need to worry about blinking. It is best to try and avoid moving, coughing or sneezing.  However, if you do, the tracking system will ensure that the surgery remains precise. The surgical team will talk you through each step of the procedure so you’ll know exactly what’s going on. 

The Days Following Your Procedure 

Immediately after the procedure, your vision will appear a bit blurry or hazy. If you have had LASIK, the vision is usually clear within 24 to 48 hours. If you have had PRK laser, it can take a couple of weeks until your vision is as perfectly clear.  You will receive prescription eye drops and follow-up appointments to ensure that you’re on the proper road to recovery. 

Ready To Schedule Your Appointment? 

Are you ready to begin your new life with clearer vision? Schedule a consultation with Dr Cameron McLintock today to discuss your eligibility for laser eye surgery.