Medically Reviewed by: Dr. Oday Alsheikh, M.D.

Any time you are considering a surgical procedure, it is completely reasonable to have some questions about safety. After all, virtually all surgical procedures involve at least some measure of risk. But what about LASIK surgery? Is it safe? 

The short answer is that LASIK is considered to be very safe. The procedure has been around for more than two decades, is fully backed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and has voluminous clinical research attesting to its safety.

To verify that LASIK is safe for your eyes in particular, it is imperative to have a consultation with a trained eye surgeon, who can assess your health and let you know of any potential risk factors.

How Safe is LASIK?

To understand just how safe LASIK is, it may be helpful to look at some data. According to a study from the American Refractive Surgery Council, there are more than 20 million LASIK procedures performed every single year. Among LASIK patients, about 96 percent report a very high level of satisfaction. Meanwhile, fewer than one percent of all LASIK cases present any kind of complication.

As a frame of reference, the FDA’s threshold for approving a surgical procedure is a five percent complication rate. LASIK far surpasses even this baseline level of safety.

What Makes LASIK So Safe?

There are a few factors that contribute to the high rate of safety within the LASIK space. One is the technology itself. Drawing on innovations that NASA originally developed, LASIK technology has become incredibly precise and carefully controlled, providing minimal room for any kind of error.

Additionally, qualified surgeons will use a robust set of criteria to ensure your eligibility for LASIK, vetting you for surgery and letting you know if you are not the best candidate.

What Makes a Person Qualified for LASIK?

When you meet with your surgeon, you will be evaluated according to this rubric:

  • Does your eye prescription fall within the treatable range for LASIK?
  • Do you have a stable prescription?
  • Have you reached full ocular maturity? (Generally speaking, this just means you are 18 or older.)
  • Are you in good health overall, without significant complications that could heighten your surgical risk?
  • Do you have the right corneal shape and thickness?
  • Do you have the right expectations about LASIK?

Learn More About LASIK Safety

LASIK is a well-established, rigorously researched procedure with a track record of safety and efficacy. If you have any additional questions about LASIK or want to confirm your qualifications, we invite you to learn more about the LASIK procedure and its benefits.