LASIK, or “laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis,” is the most commonly performed laser eye surgery. First, the eye surgeon uses a mechanical surgical tool called a microkeratome or femtosecond laser to create a thin circular flap in the cornea.
Then, the hinged flap is folded back and an excimer laser is used to remove some tissue from the underlying cornea called the stroma.
The excimer laser uses a cool ultraviolet light beam to ultimately reshape the cornea so it more accurately focuses light on the retina for clearer vision without the need for eyeglasses or contact lenses.
After this has been completed, the flap is then laid back in place and the cornea is allowed to heal naturally. In most cases, LASIK is pain-free, requires no bandages or stitches, and is completed within 15 minutes for both eyes. Improvement in vision can usually be seen within 24 hours.
Here's what to expect at your LASIK consultation at Panoptic Eye Care:
Prior to surgery, our doctor will perform a comprehensive eye examination with dilation to ensure your eyes are healthy and to determine whether you would be a suitable candidate for LASIK.
She will evaluate you for the shape and thickness of your cornea, pupil size, dry eye, and stability in eyeglass and/or contact lens prescriptions.
Thin corneas and frequent changes in prescription will result in poor visual outcome and increased likelihood of complications after LASIK.
Large pupils will cause halos and starbursts, particularly at night when pupils are dilated.
If you have dry eyes, our doctor will recommend dry eye treatment before recommending you for surgery. Healthy eyes (no presence of corneal scars, dryness, allergies, and infections) will significantly improve your chances of having a successful visual outcome.
If our doctor recommends you for LASIK, then we will set up an appointment for you to meet your surgeon. At that visit, they may perform a corneal topography test to measure the curvature of the front surface of your eye and create a “map” of your cornea.
You will also likely undergo a wavefront analysis to provide an even more precise map of aberrations affecting your vision. Aberrations cause decreased sharpness in vision because the light that enters the eye cannot converge at one focus.
If you’re a contact lens wearer, our doctor will advise you to stop contact lens wear for about 2 weeks prior to your LASIK consultation with your surgeon. This is important because contact lenses can alter the natural shape of your cornea and result in an inaccurate mapping of your cornea.
On the day of your surgery, be sure to bring a driver who will take you home. In some cases, your eyes may feel irritated after surgery but you must avoid rubbing your eyes because this could dislodge the corneal flap. It is usually recommended that you also refrain from any strenuous activity for at least a week.
It is important to give your eyes time to heal. The surgeon will prescribe a few eye drops to prevent complications and to facilitate proper healing. It is essential that you follow the surgeon’s instructions. The day after your surgery, you will be seen here at Panoptic Eye Care for post-operative care. Frequent follow-up appointments will be scheduled to ensure your eyes are healing normally.
Even though LASIK eye surgery can dramatically improve your quality of life, LASIK results do vary. Most people achieve 20/20 vision or better after the surgery, but some people may still need eyeglass correction for certain tasks like night driving or computer.
LASIK enhancements can be performed to achieve better visual acuity but our doctor recommends being conservative with these “touch-up” procedures. LASIK does not prevent the need for reading glasses when presbyopia occurs. Presbyopia is a normal age-related loss of near vision.
Please contact our office to schedule your LASIK consultation with our doctor today!