Patients are conscious during surgery, but it is typically pain free. To ensure this, drops of anaesthesia are given to numb the eye. An eyelid holder is used so there is no need to worry about blinking during surgery.
Some patients report feeling slight pressure on the eye when the corneal flap is created or when the top cell layer is removed. When the laser starts, you might hear clicks as the laser pulses.
As the laser removes tissue to sculpt the cornea in LASIK and PRK/LASEK, it may smell like after using a hair dryer, depending on the laser device used.
The last step of laser eye surgery differs depending on the procedure. In LASIK, the flap will be placed back over the eye. For those undergoing PRK/LASEK, the doctor will place a supportive contact on the eye to help with healing.