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They numb your eye so all you feel is a little pressure when the flap is made.....no pain at all.
Yes, they can give you something to relax you a bit. Many doc's use a little bit of valium or something like it.
In some laser centers the "slicer" as you so aptly called it :) has been replaced by either a laser or a high power water stream.....if you don't like the keratome you might think about going to one of the centers that doesn't use it. If you don't like the idea of a corneal flap at all you can have your laser vision correction done with PRK -- it came before lasik but is still a very good procedure, it just has more post op discomfort associated with it.
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