Do I Have To Be Awake During LASIK Eye Surgery?

LASIK eye surgery can be a great option to permanently correct your vision and to finally get rid of those annoying glasses and often time-consuming contact lenses. 

While technically considered a surgical procedure, LASIK is minimally invasive with patients able to recovery at home due to quick nature and the reduced recovery time needed. In fact, LASIK procedures are often completed in less than 10 minutes.

You may be under the impression that since this is a surgery you will need to be put to sleep in order for it to be performed. Or you feel rather anxious and would rather not be awake when a high powered laser is being pointed directly into your eye. But due to the speed and safety, in which LASIK is performed, remaining conscious and awake during the procedure is both practical and cost-effective.

Why can’t I be put under?

During more invasive or major surgeries, anesthesia is used to put you to sleep. Anesthesia keeps you from feeling pain from the procedure being performed and is generally considered very safe. However, general anesthesia requires the aid of an anesthesiologist; a doctor who practices anesthesia. 

Being put under anesthesia can be a lengthy and expensive process that may also introduce various unwanted complications. Due to LASIK’s short duration and relative safety, general anesthesia isn’t required, as it will only increase the cost and require more recovery time. 

Risks to using general anesthesia include:

  • The whole body would need to be affected by drugs
  • A specialist is needed in order to monitor vials 
  • General anesthesia can lead to vomiting, nausea, confusion, and agitation
  • Possible issues with higher levels of toxins in the blood (rare)
  • Possible breathing problems after taken off the ventilator
  • Potential allergic reactions

Eye surgeons are well aware of the feelings potential LASIK patients may have to the thought of being awake during the procedure. Often times a light sedative is given to help keep patients calm in addition to using a topical anesthetic in the form of eye drops to numb the eyes from any potential pain.  

What if I Move During LASIK Surgery?

Another concern by being conscious during LASIK procedures is the possibility of accidentally moving the eye causing the surgery to go wrong. While this is a genuine concern, the use of topical anesthetic in the eye will eliminate any pain or discomfort during the procedure, which are the likely triggers leading to accidentally shaking, looking away, or blinking. In addition to this, modern LASIK devices are equipped with an extremely quick safety shutoff, so that in the event you do accidentally move very quickly, unintended changes or nerve damage to the eye will be avoided. Modern LASIK devices safety mechanisms are so advanced in fact, they react well before the surgeon can. If you are ready to stop wearing glasses or contact lenses, LASIK may be just what you are looking for. To schedule a personalized consultation in the Vancouver, WA or Salem, OR areas, look no further than Will Vision & Laser Centers, Call (877) 542-3937 today!