A smiling woman stares out the window at home.

LASIK eye surgery

Laser vision correction experts in the Twin Cities

Imagine if you could change the way you see the world. As pioneers in refractive surgery, including LASIK eye surgery, PRK surgery and other forms of surgical vision correction, we’ve helped thousands of people improve their vision.

LASIK eye surgery is safe and proven to correct certain vision problems, including nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. At HealthPartners and Park Nicollet, we combine top eye expertise with compassionate care. Our patient-centered approach means we strive to achieve the best results for your vision while helping you feel comfortable along the way.

See how laser vision correction can change your life when you experience clearer sight and freedom from glasses and contacts.

Conditions we treat through laser vision correction

What is refractive surgery?

Refractive surgery is a procedure that can be done to improve vision by correcting what is called refractive error. That’s when the shape of your cornea (the clear, dome-like lens of your eye) affects the way light is reflected on your retina and makes it difficult to see clearly.

Located at the back of the eye near the optic nerve, your retina’s job is to convert light into neural signals that tell your brain what you’re seeing. By adjusting the shape of the corneal tissue, light can reflect properly and improve your vision.

Refractive surgery corrects refractive errors like farsightedness, nearsightedness and astigmatism. LASIK eye surgery and photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) surgery are the most common refractive surgeries we perform today.

What is LASIK eye surgery?

LASIK stands for laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis. LASIK eye surgery is a type of refractive surgery that corrects eyesight using a specialized laser for precision.

During the procedure, the laser is used to create a flap in the cornea and reshape the tissue underneath. After the reshaping is finished, the surgeon will close the flap to let it heal. The surgery usually takes about 15 minutes per eye.

You’ll lie on your back in a reclining chair and the doctor will place a drop of numbing liquid in your eye. You will feel a little pressure and mild discomfort. Your doctor may offer to give you medicine to help you relax.

Recent studies show that LASIK has a 99% success rate in achieving 20/40 vision or better, and a 90% success rate in achieving vision of 20/20 or better.

What is PRK surgery?

PRK stands for photorefractive keratectomy and is laser surgery that treats moderate refractive errors, including nearsightedness and astigmatism. PRK is recommended for those with thin corneas or those who are active and participate in contact sports.

During the procedure, a surgeon fully removes the top layer of the cornea in order to reshape the layers below and adjust any irregular curvature in your eye. A special bandage contact lens, is then placed on the cornea to reduce discomfort and assist with healthy healing.


After surgery, your eye may itch, burn or have the sensation that there’s something in it. This is a normal reaction as the eye heals, and your doctor may recommend a mild pain reliever. Your vision may also be blurry in the short term, but it’s important not to rub your eyes, as that could disrupt the healing process.

The recovery timeline is different for everyone – and depends on the procedure – but in the days after surgery you should notice your eyesight improving. You’ll have follow-up visits with your doctor to ensure you’re healing well and seeing more clearly. If you experience severe pain or if your vision becomes worse over time rather than better, call your doctor immediately.

Support during recovery

Surgery is just the beginning. We’re also by your side for the healing process. We want to make sure you have everything you may need for a smooth recovery.

After surgery you’ll receive our post-operative package, which includes:

  • A recovery kit and medicine
  • Post-operative appointments for 12 months
  • Regular appointments
  • A five-year enhancement to address any issues that may happen during healing.

While rare, some people regress as eyes heal. At no charge, we’ll make adjustments to help achieve your best corrected vision.

Who qualifies for LASIK eye surgery

We’ll assess your vision and eye health to recommend whether you’re a candidate for refractive surgery.

There are many factors involved, but the main qualifications include:

  • Being 18 years or older
  • Not currently pregnant or nursing
  • Healthy eyes (no problems such as macular degeneration or keratoconus)
  • Stable vision for at least one year
  • Stable glasses or contact lens prescription for the past 2-3 years

Important information for contact lens wearers

Contact lenses change the natural shape of your eye. To ensure accurate measurement of your vision and cornea, please do not wear your contact lenses before your consultation or your vision correction surgery.

Before your consultation – Do not wear gas permeable lenses for three weeks or soft contact lenses for two weeks.

Before your vision correction procedure – You will be instructed on contact lens wear prior to your procedure.

Your surgeon will confirm with you when to stop wearing your lenses.

What you can expect

At HealthPartners and Park Nicollet, we provide comprehensive laser vision correction care. From your initial consultation to the attentive follow-up care you’ll receive, you can rest assured that you’re in good hands. You can expect:

  • Free consultation with a surgeon to see if laser correction is right for you
  • Full understanding of all options available
  • To be tested and treated with the latest technology
  • Short surgery with minimal discomfort
  • State-of-the art facilities
  • Comprehensive recovery package, including follow-up care

We recommend starting with an optometry visit at one of our everyday eye care clinics.

Our optometrists provide a wide array of eye care and vision services. An optometrist can discuss your current vision and health history with you and may refer you to an ophthalmologist for further consultation about laser vision correction.

If you’ve already been referred to an ophthalmologist for LASIK or refractive surgery, select one of the options below to make an ophthalmology appointment.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)