LASIK is by far the most common elective surgery: More than 20 million Americans have had their eyes zapped since 1999, when the procedure was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Currently, about 600,000 to 700,000 LASIK surgeries are done each year in the U.S.

Laser-eye surgery is quite safe. Serious complications, such as significant or total loss of vision, are very rare. But, as with any surgery, there are still risks, and there’s growing concern that many physicians and surgical device manufacturers overpromise and don’t adequately disclose possible complications and their frequency. Although most LASIK customers are happy with their results, there are plenty who are not satisfied or wish they had never done it. And, contrary to some advertised claims, it’s not a permanent fix: Most LASIK patients will someday still need glasses.

In July 2022, the FDA issued a draft of new recommendations of info LASIK surgery centers should provide their patients before they undergo surgery. The FDA noted that its “recommendations are being made based on concerns that some patients are not receiving and/or understanding information regarding the benefits and risks of LASIK devices.”

Before committing to any laser-eye surgery, separate the hype from the facts, carefully choose your surgeon, judge the chances of a successful correction given your vision and other factors, evaluate the risks of post-surgery vision and eye problems, and compare costs. Our articles in this section will help you do that.