Stanford Eye Laser Center In the Department of Ophthalmology

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What is LASIK?

LASIK, or Laser in-situ Keratomileusis, involves the making of a thin circular flap with an instrument called a microkeratome. This is a precise instrument that creates a thin, corneal flap with a hinge on one side of the cornea. Once the flap is made and folded back, laser ablation is then performed in the deeper layers of the cornea. The flap is then carefully placed back in its original position without the need for sutures.

The procedure is usually painless. Patients typically have minimal to no postoperative discomfort and have a low risk of developing corneal scarring/haze. The treatment allows for fast rehabilitation with rapid return of clear vision. Studies have shown that 97% of patients see 20/40 or better on the first post-operative day. The main risk is related to the creation of the corneal flap, but in expert hands, the risk is only 1-2%.

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