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What happens during a LASIK procedure?

After patients are prepped for the procedure, they are given the opportunity to take a relaxing medicine (such as Valium) prior to proceeding. After about 20 minutes, they are then brought into the laser room for about 15 minutes. During this time, the laser treatments are done for no longer than 20 seconds at a time. The first part of the procedure involves making a corneal flap in the front part of the eye. If you think of the cornea is being about a half a millimeter in thickness, the first laser will create a thin plane in the front part of that front window or part of the eye at about a 15% depth. Once that flap is created, the patient is moved under the excimer laser. Then the flap is elevated so that the permanent layers of the cornea are exposed. The excimer laser then essentially etches a lens into the patient’s cornea. Once the excimer laser has done its treatment, the corneal flap is repositioned and the procedure is then complete. The procedure is done one eye at a time.

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