What is LASIK?

What is LASIK?Learn All About LASIK And Other Related Laser Eye Surgery Procedures

Eye Center of La Jolla is one of the very few laser eye centers in San Diego or La Jolla to offer a comprehensive range of vision correction procedures. What that means to you is that your doctor here is a American Board of Ophthalmology Certified surgeon, who specializes in surgeries of the eye. In order to be a smart shopper, you need to understand exactly what you are getting.


This is the standard laser vision correction procedure that everyone is familiar with. It is an incredibly safe, effective and affordable way to restore your vision.

LASIK is accomplished in two quick, easy steps. After you get anesthetic eye drops and a happy relaxing pill to ensure that you are comfortable, your surgeon uses a precise, automated all-laser instrument to lift a flap from outer surface of the eye. There are no metal blades (also known as microkeratome) used at Eye Center of La Jolla. The laser treatment is then applied underneath the flap to precisely sculpt the cornea, and make your vision clear without the need for glasses or contact lenses. Recovery after LASIK is very fast, and most patients can see 20/20 or better the next morning.

Overall, <5% of our LASIK patients are treated with traditional non-custom LASIK.

Custom Wavefront LASIK (also known as iLASIK)

Currently, this is the most advanced laser eye treatment available. It produces greater clarity and better night vision than standard LASIK. These advantages have made Custom Wavefront LASIK our most popular and preferred procedure, even though it is slightly more expensive. Custom Wavefront LASIK is the procedure we strongly recommend for most of our patients receiving LAISK and we would be happy to explain why to you during your initial consult.

Custom Wavefront LASIK is accomplished in the same two quick, easy steps that define standard LASIK. The difference is that the laser treatment itself is of much higher definition and more personalized to the individual variations in your vision.

Overall, 75% of our laser refractive patients are treated with Custom Wavefront LASIK.

STANDARD PRK (Photorefractive keratectomy)

Whereas LASIK surgery involves creating a flap and placing the laser treatmentunderneath it, no flap is made with PRK, making this procedure a completely “flap-free” procedure. Instead, a thin clear layer on the surface of the eye (called the epithelium) is gently wiped away and the laser treatment is applied directly to the surface of the eye.

Because the epithelium typically takes 3-4 days to heal back over, recovery from PRK is slower with some degree of discomfort. Whereas with LASIK procedures, pain medicines post-operatively are usually not needed, most patients need some pain medicines after PRK to achieve comfort. Despite its longer recovery period, PRK produces every bit as good of vision as LASIK, and it is also equally affordable.

The advantage of PRK is that this procedure is probably the safest and most effective treatment for patients with corneas that are too thin for LASIK flap creation and for patients whose occupations or hobbies place them at high risk of getting hit in the eye and causing flap trauma. In general active people such as those who play contact sports, boxers, martial artists, prison guards, police officers and military personnel should consider PRK over LASIK. In addition, some patients simply have a personal preference for a flapless procedure.

Overall, 3% of our patients are treated with PRK.

Custom Wavefront PRK

Custom Wavefront PRK is the same basic procedure as PRK but the laser treatment itself is of much higher definition and more personalized to the individual variations in each eye. Custom Wavefront PRK produces greater clarity and better night vision than standard PRK, so despite its premium price, it is our most popular flapless procedure.

Overall, 25% of our laser refractive patients are treated with Custom Wavefront PRK.

Less Common Procedures

Some patients with extreme degrees of nearsightedness or farsightedness won’t qualify for either PRK or LASIK, and others may technically still qualify, but an alternative procedure might produce better vision and/or a more stable long-term result. For some patients with challenging corrections, we may offer the following alternative:

Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE)

An excellent treatment for extreme farsightedness. A refractive lens exchange is essentially cataract surgery without a cataract, so you can read more about this type of procedure here.

Overall, less than 1% of our patients must consider an alternative procedure.

In this section


What is LASIK?

iLASIK - The Real Story

Am I a LASIK Candidate?

Success Rates


What does LASIK Cost?

Top 10 LASIK Myths

Our LASIK Reviews

Common LASIK Questions

Book a FREE LASIK Consultation
Schedule Your FREE LASIK Consultation NOW! Affililiations