LASIK Eye Surgery

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Laser-Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis, or LASIK, has become the leading procedure in the laser vision correction field allowing patients less dependency on corrective lenses. LASIK combines the precision of the excimer laser with the benefits of Lamellar Keratoplasty (LK) to treat wide ranges of refractive needs. In the United States, the excimer laser was first approved for treatment on the “surface” of the cornea which is called Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK). LASIK consists of making a small hinged flap of tissue and treating the deeper corneal tissue. Laser vision correction has shown faster visual recovery, minimal discomfort, less risk of haze and ease of enhancement (or touch up) without an increased risk of adverse results. PRK is now called ASA, or Advanced Surface Ablation, and yields equal vision outcomes as LASIK, with a slightly improved margin of safety for patients with thin or irregularly shaped eyes.

LASIK Procedure

How Successful is LASIK?

The majority of patients who undergo LASIK are able to see 20/40 or better right away and are able to pass the driver’s license test without glasses or contact lenses. Because some people treated have high degrees of correction and/or astigmatism, it is occasionally necessary to fine-tune or enhances the primary treatment to obtain the best final result. Statistically, each patient has about a 95% chance of only requiring a single treatment to achieve their desired visual outcome. Approximately, less than 5% return to the laser for enhancement of any residual astigmatism, or a slight over or under-correction. “Since having the surgery, I don’t have to worry about having my glasses slip down my nose while working out at the gym.”

How is LASIK Performed?

LASIK Eye Surgery Procedure

LASIK is a painless procedure performed in an outpatient setting with topical anesthesia. The eye drops are used to completely numb the eye but not the eyelids. The eyelids are held open with a small instrument to prevent blinking. The patient feels the sensation of the instruments around the lid area but does not feel any pain. A suction ring is placed on the eye and the patient feels a little pressure while the vision goes dim for a brief period of seconds. A microkeratome slides across the cornea in less than 15 seconds to create a thin lamellar corneal flap. After proper alignment, the high-energy pulses from the excimer laser are delivered to reshape the surface. By adjusting the pattern of the laser beam it is possible to treat myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. After the laser treatment has obtained the proper contour the corneal flap is replaced in its original position. A protective eye shield is placed over the eye and worn for the first 12 to 24 hours as well as when sleeping for the next 3 to 4 days. The cornea has rapid healing qualities and no sutures are needed. However, fluctuation in vision and intermittent dry eyes is not uncommon for the first several weeks and months. Postoperative recovery is quick and easy. Most patients feel minimal to no eye irritation during the first two hours and many patients see a dramatic improvement in vision by the first day. However, fluctuation in vision and intermittent dry eyes are not uncommon for the first several weeks. View Video

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