Taylor Swift Just Revealed She Had LASIK Surgery—Here's What Really Goes Into the Procedure
"They definitely give you some pretty hardcore pills after you have a laser in your eye."
Sure, Taylor Swift might seem like an angel from above, gracing us with the perfect break-up songs; but she has her flaws just like everyone else—one of them being imperfect eye sight.
Taylor, 29, appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Thursday night, and revealed that she recently underwent LASIK eye surgery. But the conversation didn't stop there: Taylor's mom actually provided Jimmy with a hilarious clip of her, post-surgery and on pain medication, devastated over a...banana.
Jimmy initially asked Taylor if she could see him clearly after her LASIK surgery, and if she was given any pain medications or laughing gas after the procedure. "They definitely give you some pretty hardcore pills after you have a laser in your eye," Taylor said. And that's when Jimmy revealed Taylor's mom shared a video of Taylor, post-surgery, with him.
In the video, Taylor's seen wearing a pair of protective goggles taped to her head for recovery after the surgery. She goes to grab a banana, but it turns out, it wasn't the one she wanted. She's clearly distraught. When her mother grabs her the banana she did want, Taylor's concerned over the other banana. "It doesn't have a head," she said. Taylor's also shown eating the banana, again, while on some pretty strong pain medications. "I'm not asleep, my mind is alive," she told her mom, when reminded that she shouldn't fall asleep while eating the banana.
Clearly, everyone needs to thank Taylor's mom for providing that video footage. But, while the video is funny, LASIK surgery really is a big deal.
So wait, what is LASIK surgery?
Basically, LASIK surgery is done to help people with poor eyesight be less dependent on contact lenses and glasses, per the FDA. The name of the procedure stands for “Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis.”
The surgery shouldn’t last longer than half an hour, and during it, patients recline in a chair while a doctor uses a laser system to change the shape of their cornea.
According to the FDA, when you go in for LASIK surgery a numbing drop is placed in the eye or eyes being operated on, and the area around the eye is cleaned. The surgeon will use a special instrument to keep your eyelids open during the procedure. A type of blade might then be used “to cut a flap in the cornea,” the FDA reports. (Are you cringing yet?)
Next, the surgeon might flatten your cornea using a plastic, clear plate. “Your vision will dim and you may feel the pressure and experience some discomfort during this part of the procedure,” according to the FDA. During this part of the surgery, energy from a laser is focused in the tissue of your cornea, “creating thousands of bubbles of gas and water that expand and connect to separate the tissue underneath the cornea surface, creating a flap.”
So…what does all that feel like? The FDA reports that you can’t see during this part of the surgery but that your vision, while blurry, will fluctuate from then on out. Then the surgeon lifts the flap, folds it back, and dries the exposed tissue.
Next, the surgeon basically uses a laser to remove corneal tissue, the amount of which varies from person to person. Some people have reported smelling a scent akin to burning hair during this part of the surgery, per the FDA. The amount of laser energy directed at your eye is controlled by a computer. After that part of the surgery is complete, the surgeon repositions the flap that was previously folded back, and voila! That’s pretty much it for the actual procedure.
Afterwards, however, you have to wear a protective shield over your eye until that flap has healed—and that recovery isn't necessarily a walk in the park. Your vision may fluctuate for a few months after having the procedure, per the FDA, which also reports that it could take as long as six months for your vision to stabilize. You might have difficulty driving at night, and you might experience glare and haloes before your vision has completely stabilized.
While the surgery can be helpful for people who have poor eyesight, the FDA says that “no laser company has presented enough evidence for the FDA to make conclusions about the safety or effectiveness of enhancement surgery.”
Fortunately, Swift told Fallon that she recovered well from her surgery—and laughed off the video of herself on pain medications, that were clearly necessary. TBD on whether she's forgiven her mom yet, though.
To get our top stories delivered to your inbox, sign up for the Healthy Living newsletter