LASIK or Lasik (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis), commonly referred to as laser eye surgery or laser vision correction, is a type of refractive surgery for the correction of myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. LASIK surgery is performed by an ophthalmologist who uses a laser or microkeratome to reshape the eye’s cornea in order to improve visual acuity. For most people, LASIK provides a long-lasting alternative to eyeglasses or contact lenses.
LASIK is most similar to another surgical corrective procedure, photorefractive keratectomy (PRK), and LASEK. All represent advances over radial keratotomy in the surgical treatment of refractive errors of vision. For patients with moderate to high myopia or thin corneas which cannot be treated with LASIK and PRK, the phakic intraocular lens is an alternative. As of 2018, roughly 8 million Americans have had LASIK and, as of 2016, dropping more than 50 percent, from about 1.5 million surgeries in 2007 to 604,000 in 2015, according to the eye-care data source Market Scope. A study in the journal Cornea determined the frequency with which LASIK was searched on Google from 2007 to 2011. Within this time frame, LASIK searches declined by 40% in the United States. Countries such as the U.K. and India also showed a decline, 22% and 24% respectively. Canada, however, showed an increase in LASIK searches by 8%. By 2015 in the US, LASIK declined by 50%. This decrease in interest can be attributed to a few things: the emergence of refractive cataract surgery, the economic recession in 2008, and unfavorable media coverage from the FDA’s 2008 press release on LASIK.