Only glasses are absolutely risk free. You must "cross the bridge" and accept some degree of risk with any other form of vision correction. LASIK in the hands of an experienced surgeon has a very remote risk of significant vision loss as infection might cause on the order of one in thousands (somewhat depends on your hygiene, no smoking, and ability to follow instructions as well), and of about 1-2 in 100 for quality of vision problem.
Usually the 1-2 in 100 quality of vision risk patients can be identified ahead of time.. With LASIK, providing you rest for several hours with both eyes closed afterward, the surface is already completely sealed in over 99% of patients, protecting it from infection. Infection risk is probably one in several thousand for individuals who are risk averse and cautious - clean hands, rest as directed right after their procedure, avoid hot tubs and swimming pools for several weeks, use only eye drops given as directed for 5 days.
How much difference does doctor experience and the laser used make?
LASIK is a procedure that even in the hands of newer LASIK surgeons is likely to go well. As an estimate experience may make the difference between a problem and routine procedure in 2-5% of patients. Since it is hard to know ahead of time who the 2-5% are, always seek an experienced LASIK surgeon - more than 500 cases. We believe beam quality varies widely with different laser systems. Lasers that are custom built, or which use masks (Summit?) for astigmatic correction may not have as smooth a beam profile, causing potentially more quality of vision problems or loss of best corrected vision.