Laser Eye Surgery for Vision Correction

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LASIK may be an option if you want to see well without glasses or contacts. Duke LASIK surgeons use the latest technologies to correct vision problems including nearsightedness, farsightedness, and blurry vision due to astigmatism. Our board-certified eye surgeons are specially trained in LASIK and are experienced in treating the full range of eye problems. This means that you receive your care from some of the best eye specialists in the country.

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What Is LASIK?

LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) is an outpatient procedure that corrects refractive errors -- problems with light bending properly as it passes through your eyes -- that cause blurry vision. Your LASIK surgeon will use a laser to change the shape of your cornea -- the clear outer layer at the front of your eye. This allows your eye to focus properly so you see clearly. You should feel little or no pain during and after the procedure.

Our Locations

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

Is LASIK Right for Me?

A Complete, Free Eye Evaluation

To determine if you are a good candidate for LASIK, you will undergo a complete evaluation of your eyes. You should not wear contact lenses for two to four weeks before your evaluation, depending on your type of lenses. A technician will perform a basic eye exam, imaging, and diagnostic testing. Then your eyes will be dilated, and an ophthalmologist will examine them to determine if LASIK is a good option for you. Other vision correction procedures are available at Duke if LASIK is not appropriate. You must be 18 or older to be considered for LASIK.

Understanding Your Choices

Certain conditions may prevent you from having LASIK, for example, having a thin cornea, keratoconus, or cataracts. In these cases, our surgeons may recommend other refractive procedures. Your surgeon will help you understand your options to achieve the best possible vision. 

LASIK and Insurance

Because LASIK is an elective procedure, it is not covered by most insurance plans. Our evaluation exams are free, and the cost includes the surgery, all follow-up appointments, and a follow-up procedure if your vision requires fine-tuning later. We follow you closely, especially the year after LASIK, to ensure the results meet your expectations. 

Request a Consultation

Request a consultation appointment for LASIK, PRK, clear lens exchange, intraocular lens exchange, or refractive lens exchange. 

The LASIK Process

Before Surgery

If you and your doctor decide that LASIK is the best choice for you, you can schedule surgery right away, or our office can contact you later to schedule surgery. We will answer your questions and explain how to prepare for surgery, what surgery entails, and the recovery process. If you wear contact lenses, you will be asked to wear glasses instead for several weeks before surgery. You will need to identify an adult to drive you to and from your appointment. 

The Day of Surgery

Your eyes will be examined before surgery to confirm your eye health and your exact vision-correction requirements. You will be given drops to numb your eyes before the surgery, and you may also be given a mild sedative to help you relax. Although you can expect to spend two to three hours at the Eye Center, the surgery itself takes just a few minutes. 

After Surgery

After LASIK, you will remain in an exam room for a few minutes so we can check your eyes. You will go home with sunglasses or protective eye shields but will need someone to drive you. Your eyes may feel scratchy, and your vision may not be completely clear right away. This will improve as your eyes heal, and you can return to your normal activities within a day or two. You will have a follow-up appointment the next day and again one week later. 

You can expect the results of LASIK to last until there is a medical change in your vision. For example, presbyopia -- the loss of reading vision -- can occur as the part of the natural aging process, even if you have had LASIK.

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Why Choose Duke

Experience Matters

Our vast experience and regular use of the most advanced technology ensure you achieve better vision with reduced risk of halo and glare, which have been associated with some refractive procedures. Duke LASIK surgeons are cornea specialists who have additional training in LASIK and other laser vision-correction procedures. If you have been turned down for LASIK elsewhere, our expert surgeons can offer safe and effective alternatives including photorefractive keratectomy (PRK), implantable contact lenses (ICL), or a clear lens exchange. We also perform LASIK enhancements if you had LASIK at another center and are not satisfied with the results.

Modern Laser Technologies and Facilities

We offer sophisticated imaging devices to take precise measurements, achieve optimal vision correction, and determine which refractive procedure is right for you. Our surgeons use the latest laser system technology to personalize your procedure. Our lasers are housed in our temperature- and humidity-controlled operating rooms. These environmental factors increase the laser’s precision, so you experience the best possible outcome. 

Continuity of Care

Our doctors work with you from your first evaluation through all your follow-up visits. Or if you prefer, we can coordinate follow-up care with your local eye doctor. 

Board-Certified, Fellowship-Trained Ophthalmologists

Our LASIK 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 refractive procedures since Duke began offering them nearly 25 years ago. 

Best Eye Hospital in North Carolina

Where you receive your care matters. Duke University Hospital is proud of our team and the exceptional care they provide. They are why our ophthalmology program is ranked seventh in the nation and is the highest-ranked program in North Carolina, according to U.S. News & World Report for 2023–2024.

This page was medically reviewed on 05/17/2022