Planning My LASIK Procedure: How Long Will It Take?

LASIK can help restore the natural shape of the eye and correct refractive errors. Deciding to undergo LASIK eye surgery can be exciting. You look forward to improved vision without wearing reading glasses or contacts. Many patients wonder how much time they must set aside for the procedure. How long does LASIK take?

Here’s a fact: The actual LASIK procedure takes less than 5-10 minutes per eye.

We will guide you through the LASIK process, from pre-surgery preparation to post-surgery recovery, and answer your most pressing questions about the procedure duration and what to expect, including how long does LASIK take.

When considering LASIK eye surgery, you may also consider options like refractive lens exchange to address your visual acuity.

Now let’s answer the question, “How Long Will My LASIK Procedure Take?” 

Top Eye Doctors Near Me Quick Takeaways

  • LASIK eye surgery is very fast. According to Healthine, although it varies from person to person, it usually only takes 10 to 20 minutes to perform LASIK on one eye.
  • Before laser-assisted eye procedures, you must prepare by stopping contact lens wear for up to four weeks and avoiding makeup on the day of the operation. Recovery begins immediately after, but follow the doctor’s postoperative care tips.
  • You can have both eyes treated with LASIK on the same day, making it a convenient option for quick vision improvement. Recovery is quick, too; many return to normal activities the next day.

Stages of LASIK Eye Surgery

Laser eye surgery involves three main stages: pre-surgery preparation, surgery procedure, and recovery. Each stage is important for achieving successful results and ensuring a smooth healing process.

Pre-surgery Preparation

Getting ready for the LASIK eye procedure involves a few important steps. This helps ensure the operation goes smoothly.

  1. Don’t wear contact lenses—Most patients need to stop wearing their contact lenses for a period before the refractive surgery. This varies, but it is often at least two weeks for soft lenses and up to four weeks for hard contacts.
  2. Attend a preoperative assessment. During this visit, your eye doctor will examine your eyes thoroughly. They will check overall eye health, including any pre-existing eye disease, and measure corneal thickness and curvature with surgical techniques like corneal topography.
  3. Discuss medical history – Discuss your health history with the eye surgeon. This includes any medications you are taking or allergies you have.
  4. Arrange transportation—You may have blurred vision right after the operation, so plan for someone to drive you home from the LASIK center.
  5. Use prescribed eye drops – Before the procedure, your doctor might give you antibiotic eye drops to prevent infection and anti-inflammatory drops to reduce swelling.
  6. Avoid creams, lotions, and makeup—To lower your infection risk on the day of your operation, keep your face clean and free of makeup, creams, or lotions.
  7. Dress comfortably and avoid accessories—On surgery day, wear comfortable clothes. Avoid bulky accessories that could interfere with your comfort during the procedure.

The Surgery Procedure

The surgery procedure for LASIK is quick and precise. Here’s what happens:

  1. You sit in a reclining chair.
  2. The AAO indicates the procedure is done in an outpatient surgery center or ophthalmologist’s office
  3. Numbing drops go in your eyes to stop the pain.
  4. A device keeps your eyelids open.
  5. The surgeon uses a femtosecond laser to create a thin flap in the cornea tissue.
  6. This flap is then lifted up.
  7. Based on pre-surgery ocular analysis, an excimer laser reshapes the cornea for vision correction.
  8. Reshaping the eye with the laser takes 20 – 120 seconds.
  9. After reshaping, the surgeon returns the corneal flap to its natural place.

The Post-Surgery Recovery

After the surgery, recovery starts right away. Vision often gets better quickly.

  • Patients usually go home soon after LASIK. Someone else must drive them.
  • Rest is key for the first few hours. Keep your eyes closed as much as possible.
  • Eye doctors give medicated drops. These help with healing and prevent infections.
  • For a day or so, you might feel itching or burning. Try not to rub your eyes.
  • Avoid face makeup, lotions, and soap near the eyes during early recovery.
  • It’s best to stay away from swimming pools and hot tubs for a few weeks.
  • Some see clearly within hours, while others may take a few days.
  • Bright lights or light sensitivity might bother you at first. Wearing sunglasses can help.
  • Patients have a follow-up visit a few weeks after surgery. The eye doctor checks how well their eyes are healing and whether their vision has improved.
  • Keep water out of your eyes when showering or bathing for the initial period.

How Long Will My Eye Surgery Take?

The LASIK procedure takes less than 10 minutes for each eye. During this time, the laser only works on the eye for 20 to 120 seconds. This part reshapes the eye to correct vision problems like nearsightedness or farsightedness.

Many people worry about sitting still for long periods, but the reality is that it’s over before you even know it.

Common Questions Regarding LASIK Surgery

How long does LASIK take to heal after the surgery? Read on to find out the answer and more.

What about healing time?

After LASIK surgery, patients generally notice improved vision within a day. The initial healing period is rapid; most patients can return to work or normal activities the next day.

Following post-operative care instructions carefully is important to ensure proper eye healing. Patients should avoid rubbing their eyes, wearing makeup or lotion on their faces, and getting soap in their eyes during the recovery period.

LASIK recovery time varies from person to person but is relatively quick for most individuals. Generally, patients can resume driving and other daily activities within a few days after the procedure.


Can laser vision correction be done on both eyes on the same day?

Following the completion of your surgery on both eyes, it is possible to have the procedure done on the same day. The entire process for both eyes generally takes less than 5 minutes, with an average time at the surgeon’s office totaling about an hour.

The surgery is often a safe and efficient choice for simultaneously improving vision in both eyes. This enables patients to experience immediate benefits from their corrective eye surgeries without extending their overall recovery period.

Final Thoughts

Your LASIK procedure will be completed with precision and care in less than five minutes. The quick and efficient nature of the surgery ensures minimal disruption to your daily life.

With advanced technology and expert care, LASIK offers a practical and effective solution for vision correction. Embracing this procedure can significantly improve your quality of life and overall well-being.

Schedule an eye exam with an optometrist today to further look into this life-changing option.

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