Myth vs Reality: It’s not what you think about Refractive Surgery

When it comes to medical procedures and treatments, it’s crucial to separate fact from fiction. This is especially true when it involves medical treatment of our eyes and vision. Instead of being apprehensive by myths and misconceptions, it’s important to approach the subject with caution and seek accurate information. Don’t let fear cloud your judgement. Stay informed, consult trusted sources, and make decisions based on reliable facts. Your eye health deserves nothing less than well-informed choices. We recommend you not succumb to fear provoked by myths and notions. 

Consequently, we have meticulously crafted this blog to debunk the myths on Refractive surgery which is one such eye surgery surrounded by myths and misconceptions, and furnish you with a factual blog empowering you to make judicious decisions. 

Let’s dive deeper!

What is Refractive Surgery?

Refractive surgery is a specialised branch of ophthalmic surgery that aims to correct common vision problems. Refractive errors occur when the eye cannot project a clear image from the outside world. In this condition, the eye cannot refract the light to focus on the retina, which is the innermost layer of the eye. Refractive surgery is a surgical treatment to rectify the eye’s refractive defect (spectacle power). 

It involves surgical techniques that reshape the cornea or implant corrective lenses within the eye to improve the eye’s focusing ability. By altering the way light enters the eye, refractive surgery helps to enhance vision and reduce dependence on glasses or contact lenses. This procedure has provided millions of people worldwide with the opportunity to achieve clearer and sharper vision, improving their overall quality of life.

This treatment will diminish the necessity to use glasses and contact lenses.  Some of the best refractive surgeries correcting the eye’s refractive defect are PRK eye surgery or corneal Surface Ablation, Lasik surgery, and SMILE.

Busting Top 5 Myths About Refractive Surgery!

Here are the top five popular myths surrounding refractive surgery that are debunked with factual information – 

 Refractive Surgery Myth #1 – Refractive Surgery Gives Spectacle-Free Vision For Life 

While refractive surgery is an effective treatment for many vision problems, it is essential to dispel the myth that it guarantees spectacle-free vision.

Myth #1 Fact Check

  • Refractive limitations: Refractive surgery aims to reduce a person’s dependence on glasses or contact lenses, but it does not guarantee complete freedom from them. The outcome of the surgery depends on several factors, including the patient’s pre-existing refractive error, corneal thickness, and overall eye health. Some individuals may still require corrective eyewear for certain activities or specific visual tasks. There is still a possibility that some may need glasses for specific activities such as reading or driving at night. 

  • Individual variations: Each person’s response to refractive surgery can vary. Factors such as healing patterns, corneal stability, and individual healing abilities can impact the final outcome.

Refractive Surgery Myth #2 – High-Risk Complications Concerning Refractive Surgery

Certain operations and surgeries tend to have some high-risk complications. Considering the eye is a sensitive organ, people are more sceptical and paranoid, which has led to this popular myth that the Lasik treatment and PRK eye surgery have slightly more high-risk complications.

Myth #2 Fact Check

  • Contrary to popular belief, refractive surgeries such as Lasik and PRK have a very low risk of serious complications. Technological advancements, refined surgical techniques, and rigorous pre-operative screening have significantly minimised the risks. 

  • Moreover, the experience of the qualified surgeons further enhances the safety and effectiveness of the procedure. Thus, it’s crucial for individuals considering these procedures to consult with qualified professionals who can provide accurate information and address any concerns they may have.

Refractive Surgery Myth #3 - Lasik, PRK, & Other Surgeries are Painful

Contrary to the common myth, LASIK (Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis), PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy), and other refractive surgeries are not inherently painful procedures. Here are substantial facts to debunk this myth:

Myth #3 Fact Check

  • Before the surgery, numbing drops are administered to numb the eye, ensuring that the procedure itself is painless. 
  • Modern refractive surgery techniques utilise advanced technology and lasers, which significantly reduce discomfort and enhance precision during the procedure.
  • You may feel slight eye soreness. This soreness typically subsides after a few hours after the procedure. 
  • Numerous studies have shown that the majority of patients who undergo refractive surgery report minimal pain or discomfort during the procedure and are highly satisfied with the outcomes in terms of improved vision.

Refractive Surgery Myth #4 - Everyone is a Candidate for Refractive Surgery

Another common misconception regarding refractive surgery is that everyone can opt for it. There are several factors and considerations that determine the suitability of an individual for this procedure.

Myth #4 Fact Check

  • Refractive surgery requires healthy eyes as a prerequisite. Individuals with pre-existing eye conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts, corneal diseases, or severe dry eyes may not be suitable candidates for the surgery. 

  • The age of the individual plays a crucial role. Refractive surgery is typically not recommended for individuals under the age of 18, as their eyes are still developing. 

  • It’s essential for individuals to have realistic expectations regarding the outcome of refractive surgery. While it can significantly reduce dependence on corrective lenses, it does not guarantee perfect vision. Some individuals may still require glasses or contact lenses. 

  • Determining candidacy for refractive surgery requires a comprehensive evaluation by an experienced eye care professional.

Myth #5: Refractive Surgery Is Only for Correcting Nearsightedness

Refractive surgery is misunderstood as being only meant to correct ‘Nearsightedness.’

Myth #5 Fact Check

  • Refractive surgery is a versatile procedure that can address a range of refractive errors, including nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. It is important to debunk the myth that refractive surgery is limited to correcting nearsightedness because it undermines the potential benefits and possibilities of this advanced surgical technique. Although widely used to correct nearsightedness, Refractive surgery is not solely intended for nearsightedness correction. Refractive surgery techniques such as LASIK, can effectively treat nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, offering improved vision and reduced dependence on glasses or contact lenses.

Things to Remember While Opting for Refractive Surgery

Here are some tips to consider while opting for refractive surgery – 

1. Learn More about the Refractive Error:

It is best to consult and ask a medical professional about the refractive error you are experiencing. You’ll be able to comprehend the process better with additional information.

2. Choose the Right Surgeon

Choose a licensed physician from an accredited hospital for the best refractive surgery. It’s essential to inquire about the surgeon’s experience and the number of successful surgeries they have performed. 

3. Ask and clear your doubts in advance of Surgery

To avoid unexpected shocks and stress, you should enquire about every aspect of refractive correction surgery.

4. Alternative of Refractive Surgery

If you are not a suitable candidate for a particular refractive surgery, speak with your doctor about other options, including different types of Lasik treatment, PRK eye surgery, and other treatments.

5. Learn About the Healing Process

Understand the time and the recovery process, for example, how long to wait before conducting a physical activity like sports or applying makeup.

6. Follow Pre and Post-Surgery Instructions

Your doctor may ask and suggest you follow some pre and post-surgery care. Just follow them very cautiously to get the maximum benefits.

7. You Should Know You Are A Good Candidate for This Surgery

This treatment is dependent on certain factors. A complete ocular and body health evaluation will determine your candidature for corrective refractive surgery.

What are the Different Types of Refractive Corrective Surgery?

Here are the different types of refractive surgeries:

LASIK Surgery

LASIK surgery is a popular vision correction procedure that uses a laser to reshape the cornea, improving nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. It alters the curvature of your cornea to improve how light strikes your retina, enhancing your vision. LASIK surgery is pain-free, and the person’s vision is significantly improved and enhanced without eyeglasses or contact lenses.

PRK Eye Surgery

PRK stands for “Photorefractive Keratectomy.” Surface Ablation and Touchless LASIK are two other common names for it. They are refractive error treatment options for laser eye surgery. Adjusting the curvature of your cornea using a laser improves the way light rays are focused on your retina. 

 This technique can be completed by just using a laser without a blade. 


SMILE (Small Incision Lenticule Extraction) is a minimally invasive laser eye surgery procedure used to correct vision problems such as nearsightedness (myopia). During SMILE, a precise incision in the cornea is made and a thin layer of tissue is removed which is called a lenticule. The lenticule’s removal reshapes the cornea, correcting the refractive error. The procedure requires no flap creation, leading to quicker recovery time and reduced risk of complications compared to traditional LASIK surgery.


ICL, Implantable Collamer Lens, is a thin clear lens that functions very similar to a contact lens; however, this lens has to be implanted into the eye of the patient through surgery.  The ICL is placed between the iris (the coloured area of your eye) and the natural lens rather than replacing it.

You will not feel the presence of the ICL while it has been inserted into your eyes; plus, it requires zero maintenance and can be removed whenever needed.

Visit Dr. Ritika Dalal’s Eye Clinic for the Best Refractive Surgery Options

At Dr. Ritika Dalal’s clinic, we understand the importance of accurate information in empowering you to make informed decisions. That’s why we’re here to address popular myths surrounding LASIK surgery that often lead to unwarranted doubts. Our team is dedicated to providing the best refractive surgery solutions, and we invite you to visit or book an appointment with us for a consultation. Let us guide you toward the clarity and vision you deserve.

Dr. Ritika Dalal is one distinguished ophthalmologist providing highly acclaimed services for eye surgery in Mumbai. Having an extensive experience for many years has made her a reliable refractive surgeon in Mumbai. Dr. Ritika Dalal offers specialised consultation on how to customise your refractive surgery.