LASIK is performed with a surgical instrument called excimer laser in an ambulatory surgery room while the patient is in a recumbent position. First, the eye is numbed with anesthetic drops. A holder is placed between the eyelids to keep them open and prevent the patient from blinking. A suction ring placed on the eye lifts and flattens the cornea and helps keep the eye from moving. The patient may feel the pressure of the holder and the suction ring, similar to the firm pressure of a finger on the eyelid. From the moment the ring is placed until it is removed, vision dims or turns completely black for a few seconds. Once the cornea is flattened, an automatic microsurgery (laser or microkeratome), creates a layer of corneal tissue. The layer is raised and folded back. Subsequently, the excimer laser programmed with measures of the patient’s eye focuses on the eye.
The surgeon makes sure that the laser is in the correct position. The patient faces towards a fixed light or target, while the excimer laser reshapes the cornea tissue. The surgeon then places the layer of corneal tissue to its original position and softens the edges. The corneal tissue layer sticks to the underlying corneal tissue in two to five minutes, and no stitches are required.