PURPOSE: To research the incidence of visual loss after laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK). METHODS: We reviewed an extensive review of the literature published by The Ophthalmic Technology Assessment Committee of the American Academy of Ophthalmology regarding the safety and efficacy of LASIK. We also reviewed other recent literature. RESULTS: For low to moderate myopia and astigmatism, LASIK is efficient, safe, and predictable with few eyes losing two or more lines of best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA). For moderate to high myopia, the results are more variable and more eyes lost two or more lines BCVA. In both cases, this BCVA occurred in studies published on or before 1999. CONCLUSION: Serious adverse complications leading to significant visual loss are probably rare. Continued development of microkeratomes and laser technology are continuing to reduce the rare complications that do occur and improve functional outcomes and patient satisfaction.