Eyes wide open: “Do I really have to be awake during Laser Eye Surgery?”

targeting corneal tissue in laser eye surgery

If Laser Eye Surgery didn’t scare you enough thanks to its unfortunate name, then the fact that you have to be awake during the entire thing should do it.

In fact, surveys have shown that this is one of the most common reasons people decide against treatment, even before having an initial consultation.

The fact is most surgical procedures require anaesthetic, and other than a few numbing eye drops, Laser Eye Surgery is performed whilst patients are fully conscious. 

Just like its name, however, the reality of being awake during Laser Eye Surgery is nowhere near as scary as it sounds.

Whilst we can certainly appreciate that being awake during a surgical procedure doesn’t sound like much fun in any case, Laser Eye Surgery is far from your typical surgical procedure. Starting with the fact it takes just several minutes to perform.

But the real gamechanger is that Laser Eye Surgery in expert hands is painless and, moreover, being conscious during the procedure does not in any way put you at any risk or mean you can somehow mess the whole thing up — even if you try your best to.

Opening Your Eyes to The Reality of Safe & Pain-free Laser Eye Surgery

After having Laser Eye Surgery, the first thing many people say, apart from “wow”, is that they were pleasantly surprised by how easy and painless the whole thing was.

As well as being designed as a minimally-invasive procedure, to avoid any discomfort, anaesthetic eye drops are applied to your eyes prior to surgery. This means you’ll feel very little during the actual procedure. And in the effort to make you feel as comfortable as possible, your laser eye surgeon will also communicate with you throughout, explaining the process step-by-step (Our patients often report that our chocolate biscuits and complimentary massage also helped them to relax!)

Expectedly, one of the most common fears about being awake during Laser Eye Surgery is that you might somehow compromise the result by sneezing, coughing, or moving at precisely the wrong moment.

However, leading clinics only use the most up-to-date technology, including a system that tracks the movement of your eye at more than 4,000 times per second. This ensures meticulous accuracy and means that there is virtually nothing you could do to put yourself at risk during the procedure — even if you spontaneously started playing tennis.

Laser Eye Surgery may appear like any other date with the GP or at the hospital. But the treatment is so popular and revolutionary because it pushes the boundaries of modern science, not just in technology but experience too — it’s even been described as being more pleasant than going to the dentist!

That being said, undergoing any kind of surgery is a scary prospect, and Laser Eye Surgery is still a big decision.

Have a Laser Eye Surgery question you’d like to ask the experts? Contact our team by sending us an email or calling us on 020 7224 1005. 

For 2017, we have updated this article to ‘Quick guide: Laser Eye Surgery and anxiety’