Laser Eye Surgery

Laser Eye Surgery

LASIK, PRK and Other Refractive Procedures

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Duke eye surgeons correct your vision to 20/20 or better using LASIK and other refractive procedures to correct:

  • nearsightedness (myopia)
  • farsightedness (hyperopia)
  • astigmatism — blurry vision due to a misshaped cornea.

Our experience treating complex eye diseases allows us to maximize the safety of your refractive procedure. 

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Should You Consider Laser Eye Surgery

You may consider laser eye surgery if you no longer want to wear glasses or contact lenses. During the procedure, our eye surgeons use highly precise lasers to reshape and sculpt the surface of your cornea. This changes its focusing power, and corrects nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.

Reduced Risk of Halo and Glare
Our vast experience and regular use of the most advanced technology ensures you achieve better vision with reduced risk of halo and glare, which has been associated with some refractive procedures.

Free Comprehensive Evaluation
Our evaluations include a thorough examination of your eyes and their structures. We use sophisticated imaging devices to take precise measurements to achieve optimal vision correction and to determine which refractive procedure is right for you. For example, if you are not a candidate for LASIK, we offer a variety of refractive procedures. We discuss your options, payment considerations, and any concerns you may have to help you make a treatment decision.

When Other Eye Conditions are Present
If you have keratoconus or cataracts, our surgeons help you understand your options, and achieve the best possible vision. 

Our Locations
Duke Health offers locations throughout the Triangle. Find one near you.


Refractive procedures are performed in an outpatient setting with minimal to no pain. Within minutes of finishing the procedure you may go home with sunglasses or protective eye shields. You should be able to return to your normal activities within days. Your vision will improve as your eyes heal.


A thin, hinged flap is created in the cornea using a femtosecond laser. This is often referred to as “bladeless LASIK”. The flap is hinged back, and laser energy reshapes the cornea to obtain the appropriate vision correction. The flap is then placed back into position. 


Instead of making the flap created in LASIK, the laser energy is used to reshape the corneal surface to achieve optimal vision correction. The corneal surface regenerates within a few days. Photoreactive keratectomy (PRK) may be appropriate if your cornea is too thin for LASIK.

Phakic IOLs

Clear, implantable lenses are surgically placed behind your iris to correct severe nearsightedness.

Refractive Lens Exchange

Your natural lens is surgically removed with ultrasound energy, and then replaced with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). Multifocal intraocular lenses can be used to eliminate your need for glasses.

Intracorneal Ring Segments

Small, circular, corneal rings called Intacs are surgically implanted in the eye to correct irregular-shaped corneas and improve vision impaired by keratoconus.

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Your comprehensive evaluation may include the following tests.

Slit Lamp Microscopy

Magnified, 3-D examination of the ocular structures.

Corneal Topography and Tomography

A computer-guided device creates a 3-D image map of the cornea to measure corneal power, curvature, and thickness.

Corneal Pachymetry

Ultrasound waves measure the thickness of the cornea.


Measures the curvature of the cornea’s front surface to assess astigmatism. 


On the day of surgery, a computer-generated 3-D map of your eyes identifies the microscopic characteristics of your eye responsible for your nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism. The information is fed directly into the laser to customize your procedure and ensure we achieve optimal vision correction.

Best Eye Hospital in NC
When it comes to your care, you want the very best. Duke University Hospital’s ophthalmology program is ranked seventh in the nation and best in North Carolina by U.S. News & World Report for 2019–2020.

Why Choose Duke

Modern Laser Facilities
We use the latest laser system technology, including the bladeless femtosecond laser and custom Lasik, which uses a computer-generated 3-D mapping system to personalized your procedure. Our lasers are housed in our temperature and humidity controlled operating rooms, which increase the laser’s precise movements so you experience the best possible outcome.

Continuity of Care
Our doctors work with you from the time of your first evaluation, through all your follow up visits. Or if you prefer, we can also coordinate follow up care with your local eye doctor.

Board-Certified, Fellowship-Trained Ophthalmologists
Our eye surgeons are board certified ophthalmologists who are fellowship trained, which means they have completed several years of advanced training in cornea and refractive surgery. Collectively, our surgeons have performed more than 20,000 procedures since Duke began offering refractive procedures nearly 20 years ago. Our depth of knowledge ensures we recommend the laser eye surgery that is best and safest for you. 

Nationally Recognized Leaders
Our eye surgeons travel the country to lecture and teach courses on refractive procedures. We offer training courses for trainees and community doctors, and provide laser certification courses. Our vast experience and knowledge means you receive your care from some of the best refractive eye specialists in the country.