Waite Vision

What type of anesthesia is used during LASIK surgery?

When considering LASIK surgery, many patients wonder what type of anesthesia is used during the procedure. This article will answer that question and several other questions you may have as you prepare to undergo this life-changing vision correction procedure. LASIK is a form of refractive surgery that has revolutionized the field of ophthalmology by offering an effective long-term solution for improving visual perception without the need for corrective lenses. At Waite Vision, your vision is our passion, and we are here to guide you with every step of your journey to clearer vision.

What type of anesthesia is used during LASIK surgery?

LASIK is performed under local anesthesia using proparacaine eye drops. These numbing drops make the procedure virtually painless. A mild oral sedative or analgesic may also be given to help patients relax if needed. The use of a local anesthetic ensures you are comfortable throughout the LASIK procedure, without the need for more invasive forms of anesthesia. Our priority is our patient’s comfort before, during, and after their LASIK procedure.

When you think about a surgical procedure, most patients associate it with general anesthesia. LASIK is different since the use of general anesthesia is not necessary and is not recommended. You actually need to be awake during the procedure. While taking a nap might sound more appealing, the procedure is quick and painless, and staying awake is important so your surgeon can communicate with you throughout. Dr. Waite prefers to guide the patient with verbal instructions so there are no surprises and the patient’s know exactly what they need to do. Most patients are surprised at how quick the procedure is and are so pleased with their new life afterward that no longer includes glasses or contact lenses.

LASIK, or laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, is a type of laser vision correction technique that involves reshaping the cornea with an excimer laser, improving visual acuity, and correcting refractive errors such as near-sightedness (myopia), far-sightedness, and astigmatism.

Will an oral sedative make me fall asleep during my LASIK procedure?

No, an oral sedative medication will not make you fall asleep during LASIK but will help you feel relaxed and calm while you are awake during your LASIK eye surgery. The majority of patients do not need any oral sedatives. The Waite Vision team will communicate with you during the LASIK procedure and prioritize your comfort before, during, and after your surgery.

During the procedure, your eyelids will be gently held open to prevent blinking, ensuring precise application of the laser. The entire process for both eyes takes surprisingly little time. Many patients are amazed at how quick, efficient, and pain-free the LASIK surgery turns out to be. Even those who had doubts or concerns beforehand end up surprised with how easy the process is and are happy they went through with it.

Can I request to be put to sleep during LASIK?

No, patients need to remain awake during their LASIK procedure for a successful outcome. Patients will need to focus on an easy-to-see target during the procedure. During the process we will talk to you to guide you along and see how you’re doing. The risks associated with general anesthesia are greater than the risk of LASIK surgery so it is not in the patient’s best interest to be put to sleep during LASIK.

Let us know if you are feeling nervous before your LASIK surgery. We can give you an oral sedative if needed to help you relax and feel calm, but we are also here to answer any questions to help alleviate anxiety you may be experiencing. Anesthetic eye drops will be administered before the surgery begins so you do not feel any pain during the procedure.

Your Vision. Our Passion.

At Waite Vision, we’re dedicated to making your LASIK surgery as comfortable and stress-free as possible. We understand the idea of eye surgery can be daunting, but we’re here to support you every step of the way—from answering any questions you have before the procedure to ensuring you’re relaxed and pain-free during the surgery with the help of numbing drops and optional mild sedatives. Remember, your vision is our passion, and we’re committed to providing you with the best care and outcome. If you’re considering LASIK and have concerns about the procedure or anesthesia, please reach out to us. Let’s take the next step towards clear vision together.

Are you ready to take the next step in your vision journey?

More FAQ’s About What Type Of Anesthesia Is Used During LASIK Surgery

Are any injections or needles used to numb the eye during a LASIK surgery?

There are no injections or needles used during LASIK. Topical anesthetic eye drops are the only thing needed to numb the eye for LASIK surgery.

Can I request sedation to help with anxiety during my LASIK procedure at Waite Vision?

Yes, if you’re feeling anxious about your LASIK surgery at Waite Vision, we can provide a mild sedative to help you relax. This is not the same as general anesthesia; you’ll be awake and able to communicate with the surgeon.

How do the numbing drops work for LASIK surgery?

The numbing drops used at Waite Vision for LASIK surgery work by temporarily blocking the nerve signals in your eyes. This ensures you won’t feel any pain during the procedure. The effect of the drops lasts long enough to cover the surgery duration, making the process pain-free.

What happens if the numbing drops wear off during my LASIK surgery?

It’s extremely rare for the numbing drops to wear off during LASIK surgery because the procedure is quick. However, if you start to feel any discomfort, additional drops can be applied to ensure you remain comfortable throughout.

Are there any side effects of the anesthesia used during LASIK at Waite Vision?

The topical anesthetic used in LASIK surgery at Waite Vision has minimal to no side effects, mostly limited to temporary stinging or burning sensation upon application. These sensations quickly subside, and there’s no lasting discomfort or visual impairment from the anesthetic itself.

How long does the effect of the anesthetic last after LASIK surgery?

The numbing effect of the anesthetic eye drops used during LASIK at Waite Vision typically lasts for about 40 minutes after the procedure. This duration is sufficient for the procedure’s completion and allows you to recover sensation gradually, minimizing discomfort post-surgery.

Will I be able to drive myself home after LASIK surgery?

We advise against driving immediately after your LASIK surgery. It’s best to arrange for someone to drive you home following the procedure to ensure your safety. Your eyes may feel a little uncomfortable after the numbing drops wear off, and the vision may temporarily be a little blurry.

What should I do if I feel pain during my LASIK procedure?

LASIK surgery at Waite Vision is designed to be painless due to the effective use of numbing drops. However, if you experience any discomfort during the procedure, you can simply let your surgeon know so they can address your needs and ensure your comfort.

How does Waite Vision ensure I’m comfortable during the LASIK procedure?

At Waite Vision, we prioritize your comfort and safety throughout the LASIK procedure. We use topical anesthetic eye drops to prevent pain, and mild sedatives can be provided to help you relax. Our experienced team closely monitors your well-being during the surgery, ready to adjust our approach to suit your comfort levels.


Dr. Aaron Waite is a fellowship trained, board-certified ophthalmologist and the founder of Waite Vision. He discovered his passion for ophthalmology while working as an ophthalmic technician and scribe. During this time, he witnessed the life-changing impact modern eye surgery can have on an individual’s life.