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What is LASIK?

LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis) is a laser vision surgical correction procedure used to improve vision by reshaping the corneal surface (the clear front part of the eye) to correct refractive errors. 

​What makes LASIK unique is the creation of a flap in the outer layer of the cornea. Once the cornea has been reshaped, using a low-frequency, highly focused, cool laser, like the ​ Ziemer FEMTO LDV Laser in our Knoxville location, a precise and smooth corneal flap is created. Once the cornea is treated, the flap is placed back over the cornea. The flap heals on its own without requiring adhesive or stitches.

The smooth flap created by the Ziemer FEMTO LDV laser promotes a shorter recovery and supports stronger flap adhesion.  

Want more information about LASIK?

For additional educational insight, visit the American Academy of Opthalmology.

Are You a LASIK Candidate?

  • At least 18 years of age

  • Stable vision and contact or glasses prescription for at least 2 years

  • No history or indication of active or potential corneal disease

  • No history or indication of any health issue that prevents normal healing

  • Not pregnant or nursing

  • Depending upon age and prescription, the patient must be aware of the potential need to wear glasses under certain conditions (such as when driving at night)


Procedure Workflow

Initial Consultation

It’s important to understand your specific vision needs; therefore, we must know your current prescription. If you wear glasses, please bring them to the appointment. If you are a contact wearer, you will not need to be out of contact before the appointment, but you will be asked to remove them before the exam. If your vision has been stable for at least two years and is within the acceptable range to safely perform Laser Vision Correction, we will need to obtain two additional measurements to determine the best option for you.


Please note that your eyes will not be dilated during the initial consultation exam, and you can expect the hands-on time to be about one hour.

Surgery Planning Consultation

This appointment is more detailed and may require up to two hours to complete.

Contact Wearers Pre-visit Guidelines:

  • Soft contact wearers must not wear their contacts for one week before their visit.

  • Toric soft contact lenses will need two weeks out of their contact,

  • Hard contact wearers must not wear hard lenses for


Your eyes will be dilated for this visit; therefore, it is recommended to arrange driving arrangements.

Tests performed during this visit will seem similar to the first exam; however, they will provide your surgeon with the precise measurements that they and the equipment will need to assure the exact treatment and optimal outcome for you.

After reviewing the options with your surgeon, you will have the opportunity to discuss scheduling, payment options, and pre-operative procedures with one of our knowledgeable and caring surgery consultants.

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Relax, you’re in good hands.

LASIK Procedure 

The LASIK procedure takes less than ten minutes, and most patients are surprised that it is so quick and painless. 

You will be placed in a reclined position, and drops will be administered to numb and prepare the eye. The technique can be broken into three steps:

  1. A femtosecond laser is used to create a precise flap quickly and safely on the outer layer of the cornea. The surgeon expertly lifts the flap, briefly exposing the anterior surface of the cornea.

  2. The surgeon will apply and control the excimer laser, which has been pre-programmed to recognize and treat each specific cornea. The excimer laser is an advanced, state-of-the-art technology that emits beams of light to reshape the corneal surface.

  3. The surgeon then replaces the protective flap and administers anti-inflammatory and anti-biotic drops to the eye.


Moments later, you are up and ready to have your eyes examined before heading home to rest. 


Many patients report improved vision before they even leave the center.  The following day, most have remarkably improved vision and can return to work and normal activity within 24 hours.

Post-Op and Routine Care

Immediately after your procedure, your surgeon will examine your eyes and review the post-operative instructions with you and your driver.


You will be given protective goggles to wear until the next morning to prevent rubbing your eyes. They will also act as sunglasses as your eyes will be sensitive to sunlight for the next few hours.


Over the next two weeks, you will use prescription eye drops on a specified schedule to protect your eyes from infection and promote healing. Although the instructions will be thoroughly explained, you are always welcome to call our office or your LASIK coordinator if you have any questions.

Post-Op FAQ

Q: Can I drive after the surgery?

A: You may not drive home, but you may drive the next day

Q: Can I shower or take a bath?

A: We recommend that you wait until the following day to shower or bathe and avoid getting soap or water directly in your eyes for 7 days.

Q: When can I go back to work?

A: You can resume most normal activities the day after LASIK, but if your job requires using a computer, take frequent screen breaks and lubricate your eyes often.

Q: How long before I can exercise?

A: You may resume exercise as early as 2 days after your surgery but avoid public gyms for 5 days and avoid water sports for 14 days.

Follow Up

Protecting and caring for your eyes post-surgery is essential. During the first year following your procedure, you will see us, or your primary eye doctor, several times to properly heal. Specific instructions regarding these appointments will be given to you at the time of your surgery.

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