Published on February 19, 2022

5 Reasons The Final Destination LASIK Scene Is Nonsense

How Pop Culture Gets Lasik Wrong 

When it comes to fear of the unknown, many people panic. The same is true with LASIK! For most patients, the biggest hurdle to get through before the procedure is fear. You’re trusting a doctor who you’ve just met to reshape the cornea of your eye. Somehow this will fix your vision, right? It is logical to have anxiety about any procedure performed on your eyes.

The Final Destination LASIK Scene

This is why LASIK surgeons spend a good amount of time listening to patients fears. Your LASIK surgeon at SightMD will also explain how the procedure works and calm your nerves. One of the most common fears people have about LASIK is dying from it. We couldn’t understand why, until patients told us about LASIK in Final Destination. So we watched the clip, and it all fell into place.

First of all, the character actually died from falling out of a window and not from LASIK itself.

Second, pretend that this took place in a real LASIK suite with an excimer laser. An excimer laser is not operated by “death” who is out to get you. Keep reading to learn 5 reasons the LASIK scene in Final Destination is absurd!

1. The LASIK laser is not a visible continuous red beam

The whole scene falls apart the second the laser somehow turns itself on. The laser that performs LASIK is not a red beam you can see.

In reality, SightMD uses an ultraviolet laser that is not visible to the human eye (or a movie camera). Of course, an invisible laser wouldn’t look as cool in a movie.

Final Destination Movie Scene

2. The LASIK laser only removes a quarter of a micrometer of tissue per pulse

In the movie, it appears the laser burns through the character’s eye and skin. The Visx Star S4 excimer laser that we use in our LASIK suite fires at a rate of 20 Hz, or 20 laser shots per second.

Each time the laser fires it removes 0.25 micrometers of the cornea, which is 0.00025 mm. You would have to be lying very still with the laser hitting the exact same 1mm spot for over a minute and a half.

At that point, it might make a dent in the skin, but it would take a lot to create the BBQ-like sear. Unlike the movie, the power of the laser isn’t adjustable either.

Final Destination Movie Scene

3. You would never under any circumstance lie alone under the laser

We have two assistants in our LASIK suite at all times and the surgeon would never leave the room once you are there. An urgent phone call has to wait because LASIK cannot occur without the surgeon.

We don’t strap your head to the bed, so you cannot be “trapped” during the procedure. We also never leave the lid holder in place if the procedure isn’t actively being performed. We’re with you every step of the way.

4. The laser cannot be activated without the physician

To activate the laser, it requires several safety checks. Your information is first confirmed with the surgeon and assistant on the computer.

Then the laser identifies your specific iris pattern. The treatment cannot proceed without these steps. Your surgeon is also in charge of pushing the foot pedal to operate the laser.

5. The laser tracks your pupil and turns off after the slightest movement

During the procedure, the laser tracks your eye movement every fraction of a second. This ensures that the treatment stays centered on your cornea. If your eye moves more than a few millimeters, the laser shuts off until the eye is centered.

LASIK is one of the safest elective procedures performed in any field of medicine. With the bladeless technology used at SightMD, there’s very little risk of complications. Yes, everyone dies eventually, but it won’t be because you get LASIK!

Ready to conquer your fears? 

Contact SightMD today to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors to discuss if you are a candidate for a LASIK procedure at one of our convenient locations!