LASIK, or laser assisted in-situ keratomileusis, is a surgical procedure done to the front part of the eye (the cornea) to allow people to see clearly without glasses. LASIK has been around since the early nineties, and is now able to be performed completely with lasers, whereas older procedures used a blade. LASIK can treat a wide range of prescriptions, though there are certain limitations. Recovery is quick, and there are few risks. Patients go through a thorough screening process to evaluate whether they are good candidates for laser eye surgery. Good candidates are at least 18, have a stable prescription, do not have any eye diseases, and have realistic expectations. It should be known that LASIK will not correct the need for reading glasses as you age.
During surgery, a thin flap is created on the cornea, and a laser reshapes the exposed cornea underneath. Then the flap is put back in place and the body will seal it around the edges. In most people, their vision is much better in just a day, but can take a few weeks to fully stabilize. Antibiotic drops as well as anti-inflammatory drops are used after the surgery to prevent infection and help the eye heal.
Other surgical options are available for those who are unable to do LASIK, including PRK and implantable lenses. However, there are some people who will not quality for any type of laser surgery.