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What To Expect During Laser Eye Surgery

by Camila Davidson

More and more, eye surgeries are being performed via laser. This allows changes to the eye to be made more precisely. (Lasers make a lot less errors than the human hand.) However, the idea of having someone operate on your eye with a laser can be a bit intimidating, particularly if you have never had eye surgery before. Here is what you can expect to happen.

1. You might be given a sedative.

Eye surgeries are almost always performed with you awake. So you will not be put under general anesthesia for the procedure. This means no IVs will be hooked up, and you won't be asked to count backwards from 10 as you drift off to sleep. You may, however, be given an oral sedative, such as diazepam, to take an hour or two before the procedure. You'll typically be told to take this at home, and then to have someone else drive you to the procedure. The sedative will make you more relaxed, but you will still be aware of what's happening.

2. Your eyes will be numbed.

Do not worry at all about how the surgery will feel! The surgeon will put copious amounts of numbing eye drops in your eyes, so you will not feel a thing during the procedure. These eye drops are very effective, and they will work for far longer than it takes to perform the surgery, so you do not have to worry about feeling pain if they wear off.

3. Your eyes will be held open.

Your eyes will be held open with a special apparatus. Getting the apparatus on can take a couple of minutes. It basically fits under your eyelids and keeps them from closing. This is the most uncomfortable part of the procedure for most people, but note that while it is awkward, it does not hurt. Take a deep breath, relax, and trust your eye surgeon.

4. You'll see bright lights.

While the laser is working to reshape your eye, you will see lots of bright lights. Your eye doctor may ask you to focus on a certain spot or area. This just helps the lasers focus and make the adjustments where they are needed. Focus the best you can, but remember that there is no reason to panic if you do look away for a split second.

When the surgery is complete, your doctor will remove the apparatus that is holding your eyes open and then send you home with aftercare instructions. You'll be amazed how simple the whole operation really is. For more information, contact a laser eye surgery like ReVision LASIK and Cataract Surgery.