Do I Have To Be Awake During LASIK?
LASIK surgery usually takes less than 10 minutes and does not require general anesthesia. The laser that reshapes the cornea typically is on less than one minute per eye.
General anesthesia (being "put asleep") during any type of surgery has its own risks and would significantly increase the cost of LASIK without adding significant benefits.
If you fear you will be anxious during the procedure, your LASIK surgeon will give you a mild sedative or other medication prior to surgery to help you relax. The use of a mild sedative is common with LASIK.
Most patients are surprised by how quickly their LASIK procedure goes and feel afterward it was much easier and less stressful than they expected it would be.
About the Author: Vance Thompson, MD, FACS, is the director of refractive surgery at Vance Thompson Vision in Sioux Falls, S.D. He also is professor of ophthalmology at the Sanford USD School of Medicine, a leading researcher in technologies for laser and implant vision correction and a member of All About Vision's editorial advisory board.
Page updated March 2018