What happens during laser eye surgery?

This is a brief summary of what happens during the LASIK eye surgery operation. The entire operation lasts about 30 minutes.

Before the laser eye surgery starts you will lie back in a reclining chair like the ones at the dentist.


Once you are relaxed drops of an anaesthetic solution are placed in the eye.

The eye is cleaned and then a lid speculum is fitted over the eye. The speculum keeps the eyelid open during the operation.

A rubber ring is then attached to the eyeball and suction is applied to the area around the cornea.

At this point your vision will begin to blur and go dim.

Once this happens the surgeon will attach a microkeratome to the ring, which is used to cut a flap in the outer layer of the cornea. You will not feel a thing becasue of the anaesthetic solution.

Once the flap in the cornea has been made both the microkeratome and the ring are removed. At this point you will have blurred vision. The flap is then folded back.

The surgeon should bow ask you to focus on a light. The light is not the laser it is just used so your eye remains stationary.

Once you focus on the light you will start to hear a ticking sound. This is the sound of the pulsing of the laser. You may also notice a smell like burnt hair. The laser is reshaping the cornea middle part (the stroma) by precisely removing tiny bits of the corneal tissue. Once the cornea is the correct shape it will be able to focus light directly onto the retina so you will have better vision.

After the laser has finished reshaping the cornea the flap will be placed back in it’s correct position and a shield will be put over the eye to stop irritation.

I hope this is a useful guide.

For more information take a look at the video and Laser eye surgery Australia.

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