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LASIK is the most commonly performed refractive surgery in the United States. LASIK is relatively painless and patients usually achieve better vision as soon as the next day. While most people will be able achieve 20/20 vision, it is not guaranteed for everyone.

The process begins with your doctor using eye drops to numb your eye. Next a suction tool is placed on your eye to give stability to your cornea. A slight squeezing sensation may be felt at this point. The doctor then creates a corneal flap using a microkeratome or laser. Using a special instrument the flap is folded back so that the excimer laser can reshape your cornea.

The excimer laser uses a cool, ultraviolet light beam to remove small bits of your cornea and reshape it. This process is done with small laser pulses controlled by a computer. The pulses are based on measurements taken by your doctor in a pre-operation exam. The whole laser process only lasts a few minutes, after which the flap is returned to its original place and smoothed with a medical sponge, removing wrinkles and gas bubbles.

There are both long and short-term risks associated with LASIK surgery. However, less than 1% of patients who have had LASIK surgery experienced serious, vision threatening problems. It is important to consult your eye care provider to see if you qualify as a good candidate for LASIK surgery.

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