Surgical Procedures

Lasik in Oklahoma City

Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) and laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) are both laser surgery techniques used to help improve eyesight, typically Myopic or near sighted individuals. PRK and LASIK are similar procedures and utilize the same type of laser light to reshape the cornea, the front clear window of the eye. PRK and LASIK are both used to modify (reshape)  the cornea of your eye. The cornea is made up of five thin, transparent layers of tissue over the front of your eye that bend (or refract) and focus light to help you see.

LASIK and PRK in Oklahoma City at Mercy Hospital.


What Is LASIK?

LASIK stands for “laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis.” This eye surgery is a popular refractive procedure designed for patients who struggle with moderate levels of common eyesight problems, such nearsightedness (myopia), and astigmatism. LASIK Is less commonly performed  in  Hyperopic or far sighted patients, and we generally do not recommened LASIK for those patients. 

Refractive procedures correct vision problems and LASIK is the most popular and well-known of these procedures.

The LASIK Procedure

LASIK is an amazing surgery that takes around 15 minutes. The entire process usually takes about an hour. We are fortunate to work with some of the best, most experienced Lasik surgeons in OKC. In a LASIK procedure, the surgeon uses a highly focused laser to create a tiny flap in the cornea. Then, the eye surgeon crafts the shape of the cornea using the laser, with the goal of reshaping the cornea and enabling light to properly focus on the retina.

The LASIK procedure involves:

  1. Preparation — Eye drops are applied to numb your eyes. Some patients also are given an oral sedative medication to help relax them and make it easier to sleep when they get home. You do not need to worry about keeping your eyes open during the procedure. When you are relaxed and ready, a lid speculum is placed to keep the eyelids open for LASIK.
  2. Accessing the cornea — The eye is stabilized, creating a feeling of mild pressure. Your surgeon then creates a thin flap in the cornea, providing access to the cornea.  The flap is then folded back.
  3. Reshaping the cornea — Using the computer-controlled excimer laser, your surgeon directs pulses of light at the eye, precisely reshaping the cornea
  4. Replacing the flap — Once your cornea has been reshaped, the final step is to replace the corneal flap. It heals on its own without any stitches.

Benefits of Laser Eye Surgery

  • Your vision will begin to improve immediately after the procedure.
  • No bandages or stitches are required although it is common to wear a bandage contact lens for comfort immediately after your surgery.
  • Most patients experience no pain during their LASIK procedures.
  • Patients usually have a dramatic decrease in the need for glasses after LASIK surgery, with most not needing glasses or contacts at all to see at distance.  While LASIK results are permanent, your eye prescription can change over time. A follow-up procedure can address that if you desire an enhancement.

Who Is a Good Candidate for LASIK Eye Surgery?

Like any procedure, LASIK is not for everyone because every patient is different. Generally, the right candidate for LASIK:

  • Is 18 years old or older
  • Has healthy corneas
  • Has not experienced any significant prescription change within the last year

Other factors could determine your eligibility as well, but overall, comprehensive dilated eye exams are the best ways to determine your candidacy for LASIK.   An extremely high percentage of LASIK patients achieve improved vision and are happy they had LASIK!

Is LASIK Safe? Are There Side Effects?

LASIK is considered a highly safe, effective procedure. Approximately 600,000 individuals undergo this procedure every year, according to the United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA).

Still, as with any surgery, there are some risks. 

  • Sensitivity to glare
  • Seeing halos around bright lights
  • Double vision
  • Dry eyes
  • Problems with the flap, such as infection, excessive tearing, and swelling
  • Flap complications
  • Infection

Is LASIK Painful?

Patients often are surprised that the LASIK procedure was quick, easy, and didn’t hurt. They tell us they wish they hadn’t worried about it before deciding to proceed with the decision to get LASIK. Most patients report there was little or no discomfort with LASIK surgery. The numbing drops and sedative we provide help you feel more comfortable during the surgery and when you get home.

After your surgery, your eyes may itch, burn, or be watery. Your vision will be blurry at first. There is little, if any, pain afterwards, and your vision recovers very quickly. Your individual risks will be discussed at the time of your consultation.

It’s important to have someone drive you home after your LASIK procedure and we will want to rest your eyes and sleep once you get home. While recovery time is usually not long, it’s common for patients to have some slight itching or burning in their eyes. Your eyes may also tear more than usual for a few hours. These are normal during the healing process. You’ll be asked to use preservative-free artificial tears and medicated eye drops to prevent infection and to aid in healing.

We will need you to return the morning after surgery so we can check your eyes. Most patients can drive themselves to their appointment, but it’s a good idea to have a back-up plan just in case. Also, most patients can return to work and many of their usual activities as soon as the next day. However, you should avoid swimming or submerging your head and face in the water for a couple of weeks. UV sun-protection sunglasses are strongly encouraged for LASIK patients during the first six months after surgery.

Many people return to work the very next day, once they’ve been examined at their one-day post op visit but healing varies by individual.