Can You Be Sedated for Laser Eye Surgery?

Find out if you can be sedated for laser eye surgery and learn more about what to expect from LASIK at Eye Doctors of Washington.

Can You Be Sedated for Laser Eye Surgery?

If you're feeling anxious about laser eye surgery, you may be offered a sedative in tablet form to help you stay calm. Many patients worry that being awake means they will feel everything that is happening and this can make them apprehensive when considering eye surgery. Rest assured that you won't feel more than a slight pressure in your eye, if anything. In addition to anesthetic eye drops, you will be given mild oral sedation so that even if you are conscious, you will feel relaxed.

If you're concerned about the procedure, you'll have the option of receiving a mild sedative or taking medication to help ease any fears you may have. Our team at Eye Doctors of Washington wants you to feel comfortable and at ease during the LASIK process. Patients often report that surgery takes less time than expected and that it isn't as stressful as anticipated. The laser eye doctor will use eye drops with local anesthesia to numb the eyes before beginning laser surgery.

However, just like its name implies, the reality of being awake during laser eye surgery isn't as daunting as it sounds. This means that if you blink or move your eye during surgery, which is virtually impossible, the LASIK team would pause operations. If laser eye surgery didn't scare you enough due to its unfortunate name, then the fact that you have to be conscious throughout the process should do the trick. The truth is that most surgical procedures require anesthesia and, apart from a few anesthetic eye drops, laser eye surgery is performed while patients are fully alert.

Many people think that surgery involving a laser cutting into the eye would require general anesthesia. Part of your recovery requires that you follow the eye surgeon's instructions and use prescription medications or eye drops as directed. As expected, one of the most common fears of staying awake during laser eye surgery is that, in some way, the result may be compromised by sneezing, coughing, or moving at precisely the wrong time. After undergoing laser eye surgery, the first thing many people say, other than “wow”, is that they were pleasantly surprised by how easy and painless it all was.