LASIK, or laser eye surgery, is a surgery which reshapes the cornea to correct sight problems (e.g. short sighted, long sighted, astigmatism).

Why can laser (which is simply light) reshape the cornea? I'm particularly interested in why the procedures work, not the general steps of the operation.

  • If you're interested in why it works, then ask why it works, not how it works. Please specify so that others can answer your question in a more specific manner.
    – Dave Liu
    Apr 1, 2015 at 23:46
  • -1; does not show any research effort.
    – Jason C
    Apr 2, 2015 at 2:57
  • If the question is, why laser light works, shouldn't you post another question then first - or do some research on that topic - what a laser is and how it works? Because, I don't see how this question is health-related, the term "cornea" is absolutely interchangeable here.
    – cirko
    May 18, 2015 at 21:20

1 Answer 1


LASIK is an acronym for Laser-Assisted in situ Keratomileusis, with Keratomileusis meaning surgical improvement of the cornea's refractive capabilities, i.e. usually to overcome the defects of myopia (short-sightedness), hyperopia (long-sightedness) and astigmatism (distorted vision).

The process involves first cutting a corneal flap to allow access to the defective corneal tissue. This process involves keeping the eye open, and making an incision across the protective cornea tissue to form a flap. This is achieved via a suction ring. The flap is then lifted back (note that it is still connected to the rest of the eye). Lasers are then used to reshape the cornea tissue to remove the defects. The flap is pulled back over the cornea tissue and left to heal.

The laser used operates using rapid pulses of low-energy-level ultraviolet light. The are other forms of eye surgery other than LASIK, but they depend more on the patients individual eye issues.

These links from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration shows the processes involved.


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