Laser eye surgery reshapes the transparent dome-shaped structure in the front of your eye (cornea) to correct vision problems (refractive errors). Laser eye surgery is a permanent change that reduces or eliminates your need to wear glasses or contact lenses.

  • Experience and expertise. Mayo Clinic's experienced eye surgeons (ophthalmologists) have training in laser eye surgery in addition to general eye care. Mayo eye surgeons perform about 120 laser eye surgeries each year.
  • Thorough screening and newest treatments. Mayo Clinic emphasizes a thorough evaluation to ensure that you will benefit from the appropriate surgery. This careful screening, coupled with the use of the most current laser surgery technology and techniques, helps ensure quality results for laser vision correction.
  • Coordinated care. People treated at Mayo Clinic experience continuity of care by seeing the same ophthalmologist from evaluation through post-surgery clinic visits, rather than transferring care to another eye care provider.
  • Research. Researchers study new techniques for laser eye surgery and conduct clinical trials.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., is ranked high performing for ophthalmology by U.S. News & World Report.

At Mayo Clinic, we assemble a team of specialists who take the time to listen and thoroughly understand your health issues and concerns. We tailor the care you receive to your personal health care needs. You can trust our specialists to collaborate and offer you the best possible outcomes, safety and service.

Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit medical institution that reinvests all earnings into improving medical practice, research and education. We're constantly involved in innovation and medical research, finding solutions to improve your care and quality of life. Your doctor or someone on your medical team is likely involved in research related to your condition.

Our patients tell us that the quality of their interactions, our attention to detail and the efficiency of their visits mean health care — and trusted answers — like they've never experienced.

Why Choose Mayo Clinic

What Sets Mayo Clinic Apart

Mayo Clinic offers several types of laser eye surgery, including:

  • Laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK) eye surgery. LASIK eye surgery is the most common type of refractive laser eye surgery. LASIK eye surgery reshapes the transparent dome-shaped structure in the front of your eye (cornea).

    In a LASIK procedure, a thin hinged flap of the superficial layer of the cornea is created and folded back. The exposed raw surface of the cornea is reshaped with a special laser to help correctly focus light rays to the back of your eye. The hinged flap is then unfolded and repositioned to its original location.

    The entering light rays are then correctly focused on your retina, the layer of tissue located at the back of your eye that is responsible for vision.

  • Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK). PRK removes only the thin surface layer of the cornea (epithelium). Your surgeon then uses a laser to flatten the cornea or make its curve steeper.
  • Laser epithelial keratomileusis (LASEK). LASEK is similar to LASIK surgery. However, in a LASEK procedure, your surgeon prepares a very thin flap of corneal tissue, which is thinner than the flap created with the standard LASIK procedure, before using the laser to reshape your cornea.

    Because the procedure allows your surgeon to leave most of the deeper structures of the cornea undisturbed, it may be a good option for people who have thin corneas. People who play sports or have jobs that could cause trauma also may prefer LASEK, as an injury involving the thin flap of the cornea, compared with an injury involving the thicker flap with LASIK, is less likely to cause serious damage to the eye.

  • Epithelial laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis (epi-LASIK). In an epi-LASIK procedure, doctors use a small mechanized blunt knife to separate the epithelium from the eye.

    Your surgeon then uses a laser to reshape the cornea. This procedure is similar to LASEK.

Mayo Clinic works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people. In most cases, Mayo Clinic doesn't require a physician referral. Some insurers require referrals or may have additional requirements for certain medical care. All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.

Laser eye surgery is performed by ophthalmologists who are cornea specialists at Mayo Clinic in Arizona.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 800-446-2279 (toll-free) 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mountain Standard Time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

Laser eye surgery is performed by ophthalmologists who are cornea specialists at Mayo Clinic in Florida.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 904-953-0853 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

Laser eye surgery is performed by ophthalmologists who are cornea specialists at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 507-538-3270 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

See information on patient services at the three Mayo Clinic locations, including transportation options and lodging.

Mayo Clinic vision researchers study new techniques and outcomes for laser eye surgery.

Mayo Clinic vision researchers are conducting long-term research on people who had LASIK or PRK surgery about 15 years ago to determine its long-term effects on the eye and vision.

Laser vision surgery has been performed successfully over the last few decades, but knowledge on its long-term consequences is still incomplete.

Read more about vision research at Mayo Clinic.

Publications

See a list of publications by Mayo Clinic doctors on laser eye surgery on PubMed, a service of the National Library of Medicine.

Apr. 08, 2014