How LASIK Works

How LASIK works in two steps:

First, the surgeon uses a femtosecond laser which is the latest technology or a microkeratome to make a micron-thin, circular flap in the cornea – the surface of the eye. This takes just a few seconds. The surgeon gently moves the flap to expose the layer of tissue where the vision correction treatment will happen.

In the second step, a computer-guided excimer laser permanently reshapes the corneal tissue to improve the focusing ability. The flap is then laid back in place to function as a natural bandage, protecting the reshaped portion of the cornea while it heals.

Does LASIK hurt?

LASIK eye surgery uses numbing drops to anesthetize the eye before and during the procedure. Patients feel some pressure from the eyelid holder used to prevent blinking. Otherwise, numbing and lubricating drops help to keep the patient comfortable during the procedure.

Are you awake during LASIK?

Yes. The surgeon needs you to be able to focus your eye during the procedure. However, the numbing drops, and the valium or other sedative will keep you comfortable and calm.

How effective is it?

The LASIK success rate is well-understood based upon data from thousands of clinical studies looking at outcomes and patient satisfaction. The latest research reports:

  • 99 percent of patients achieve better than 20/40 vision.
  • More than 90 percent achieve 20/20 or better.
  • LASIK eye surgery also has one of the highest patient satisfaction rates of any elective procedure: more than 96 percent. Many patients have better vision than they did with their best glasses prior to surgery.

How do I find out if I am a good candidate?

  • Having a thorough eye exam and consultation with a highly qualified surgeon is how you find out if you are a good candidate for LASIK or other laser vision correction procedures. It is important because, on average, 15-20 percent of patients are not considered candidates for LASIK (but might be for another vision correction procedure).
  • LASIK is FDA-approved for people aged 18 and older.
  • A stable prescription, meaning your prescription has not changed in two years.
  • You and your eyes should be healthy and free of diseases, injuries, and infections.

How do I prepare for LASIK?

After the eye exam and LASIK consult, and you are ready to move forward and schedule a date, there may be a few things you need to do in the days leading up to your surgery. Your surgeon will go over the specifics for you, and be sure you share your full medical history:

  • If you wear contact lenses, you must stop wearing them for 2 weeks (for soft contacts); 4 weeks (for gas perm or hard contacts) prior to this exam.
  • The day before surgery you should stop using lotions, creams, and makeup. You want the area around your eyes to be clean.
  • You will need a ride home from the procedure and you may want someone around to take care of you for a few hours when you get home. Ask a friend or family member.

Leading ophthalmologist, Dr. Neil B. Griffin, uses the latest and most advanced lasers. We are the only center who has an on-site LASIK Suite in the local region. Griffin Eye Center is the first in South Carolina to offer the latest advancements of both the Wavelight® EX500 and the VisuMax® laser. The laser speed and accuracy allow Dr. Griffin the ability to expand treatment capabilities, enhancements of current treatments, broaden range of correction and provide the ultimate outcomes for our patients seeking LASIK surgery in the North and South Carolina areas.

You will need to have consultation to determine if you are a LASIK candidate. You can submit a LASIK questionnaire form to see if you qualify for a free LASIK screening. Consultations are available in our Myrtle Beach office. Visit to learn more or call 843-449-6414 Ext. 121