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Traditional LASIK laser surgery (laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis) is the most frequently performed laser vision correction procedure. A skilled surgeon using a precise, computer-generated cold excimer laser beam creates a thin, hinged flap in the outermost surface layer of the eye’s cornea (the epithelium), and this flap is folded back. Then microscopic laser ablation is performed in the underlying layers of the cornea to correct vision. The goal of having LASIK laser surgery is to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism and reduce or eliminate the need for glasses or contacts for everyday activities such as sports, swimming and driving.

It’s important to note that Traditional LASIK does not correct for presbyopia and that Traditional LASIK patients will need over-the-counter reading glasses with the onset of this natural, age-related condition, which causes the eyes crystalline lenses to lose some of their ability to “autofocus” for near-vision work starting in middle age.


Traditional LASIK advantages

  • Age 40 or younger (eventually will use readers in mid-forties)​


  • Over age 40, but seeking the most “perfect” distance vision possible for sports or night driving​


  • Being “okay” with needing over-the-counter reading glasses for close work (usually after age 43)​


  • Tried Monovision with contact lens trial, but did not like it​


  • Difficulty adapting to changes to vision (new bifocals, new glasses prescription) or just “feeling” that Monovision will not work for you.

How does Traditional LASIK work?

Traditional LASIK laser eye surgery works by reshaping the curvature of the cornea. This changes the way light travels through the cornea to the retina—the back of the eye—so that light rays focus more precisely on it, allowing the vision in the treated eye to be in better focus. The result is sharper, clearer vision.

What happens during the Traditional LASIK eye surgery procedure?


  • A mild sedative may be prescribed to help the patient relax before surgery.

  • The patient is awake and lying down comfortably during the procedure.

  • The patient's eyelids are gently held in place, and their head is supported to remain still during the LASIK eye procedure, which lasts between 5 and 15 minutes.

  • Local anesthetic eye drops are administered to fully numb the patient’s eyes before the LASIK eye procedure begins.

  • During the surgery, a slight pressure sensation may be felt around the eye, but there is no pain.

  • The surgery begins with a highly skilled surgeon creating a thin, hinged flap in the outermost surface layer of the eye’s cornea (the epithelium), and this flap is folded back.

  • Microscopic laser ablation is performed in the underlying layers of the cornea using a state-of-the-art, computer-assisted laser system. The surgeon directs and operates the laser as the computer system monitors and tracks the eye.

  • Once the corrective treatment is complete for one eye, the corneal flap is put back in place without the need for sutures, and the same treatment is applied to the other eye..

What is recovery like after Traditional LASIK eye surgery?

  • After laser eye surgery, there may be some slight blurred vision and minor irritation of the eyes, which usually clears within 24 to 48 hours.

  • Eyedrops will be prescribed for comfort and healing in the days following your surgery. The patient is responsible for following the supplied eye care instructions once home for the best outcome.

  • A nap immediately following eye surgery and rest for 24 hours after that are recommended.

  • The patient will have a follow-up exam on the same day as LASIK surgery in the afternoon.

  • Healing occurs quickly, and there is a dramatic improvement in eyesight soon after the surgery, with most people returning to work after 24 hours of rest.

  • Avoiding certain activities, such as swimming or contact sports, is recommended for several weeks.

Traditional LASIK eye surgery can be advantageous for eligible patients who:

—are between 18 and 40 years of age and want to experience living life to the fullest with clear vision without the hassle of eyeglasses or contacts.

—are over 40 years of age and are seeking their personal best distance vision for high-performance and water sports, or night driving.

—understand that even with Traditional LASIK, they will eventually need over-the-counter reading glasses for close work (usually starting after 43 years of age).

—who have tried Monovision blended focus vision with a contact lens trial but did not like it.

—who have had difficulty adapting to vision changes with new bifocals or eyeglass prescriptions or have rejected the idea that Monovision LASIK will work for them

Who is not a candidate for Traditional LASIK?

The complimentary, initial Limberg LASIK consultation includes a thorough evaluation of eye and general medical health and mental wellness history to ensure that a patient is a fit for a LASIK vision correction procedure. The following are considerations that factor into ineligibility for any of the LASIK vision correction procedures:  


  • Pregnant or nursing women are not candidates for LASIK eye surgery. Hormones associated with both can cause vision instability. Women are advised to wait for a minimum of three menstrual cycles after nursing has been discontinued before having refractive surgery.


  • Patients with chronic dry eye may be ineligible, as LASIK surgery has the potential to dramatically worsen the condition. Dry eye after LASIK is a common side effect, affecting more than 50 percent of patients.


  • Patients with an underlying eye condition, like keratoconus, cataracts, or glaucoma, are most likely ineligible for LASIK eye surgery vision correction.


  • Serious health conditions like autoimmune disorders and diabetes will likely rule a patient out as a candidate. Similarly, any condition that could inhibit proper healing might affect eligibility.


At Limberg LASIK, our goal is to help patients be satisfied with their vision. One of the ways we achieve this is by providing our patients with accurate and helpful information so they can make good decisions about LASIK procedures.


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LASIK is a widely-performed, effective medical procedure but there are risks involved. 

LASIK FAQs provides answers to many questions that include LASIK consultations, risks, and side effects.

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