LASIK or “laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis” is the most frequently performed laser eye surgery to treat myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism.
Like other types of refractive surgery, the LASIK procedure reshapes the cornea to enable light getting in the eye to be effectively focused onto the retina for clearer vision.
In most cases, laser eye surgery is pain-free and completed within 15 minutes for both eyes. The outcomes– better vision without glasses or contact lenses– can typically be seen in just 24 hours.
If you’re not an excellent LASIK prospect, a variety of other vision correction surgeries are offered, such as PRK and LASEK laser eye surgery and phakic IOL surgery. Your optometrist will determine if among these procedures is suitable for your condition and, if so, which technique is best.
How Is LASIK Surgery Performed?
First, your eye cosmetic surgeon uses either a mechanical surgical tool called a microkeratome or a femtosecond laser to produce a thin, circular “flap” in the cornea.
The surgeon then folds back the hinged flap to access the underlying cornea (called the stroma) and gets rid of some corneal tissue utilizing an excimer laser.
This extremely specialized laser uses a cool ultraviolet beam to get rid of (” ablate”) microscopic quantities of tissue from the cornea to improve it so it more accurately focuses light on the retina for enhanced vision.
For nearsighted individuals, the goal is to flatten the cornea; with farsighted people, a steeper cornea is desired.
Excimer lasers likewise can fix astigmatism by smoothing an irregular cornea into a more normal shape. It is a mistaken belief that LASIK can not treat astigmatism.
After the laser reshapes the cornea, the flap is then laid back in place, covering the area where the corneal tissue was removed. Then the cornea is permitted to heal naturally.
Laser eye surgery requires only topical anesthetic drops, and no bandages or stitches are needed.
Prior to LASIK Surgery
Your optometrist will carry out a comprehensive eye test to guarantee your eyes are healthy enough for the procedure. He or she will examine: the shape and density of your cornea; pupil size; refractive mistakes (myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism); along with any other eye conditions.
The moistness of your eyes will also be evaluated, and a precautionary treatment may be advised to lower your risk of developing dry eyes after LASIK.
Normally, an automated instrument called a corneal topographer is used to determine the curvature of the front surface area of your eye and produce a “map” of your cornea.
With wavefront technology related to custom-made LASIK, you likewise are likely to go through a wavefront analysis that sends light waves through the eye to provide a much more exact map of aberrations impacting your vision.
Your eye doctor will also note your basic health history and any medications you are requiring to identify if you are a suitable prospect for LASIK.
You must stop wearing contact lenses for an amount of time encouraged by your doctor (usually around two weeks) prior to your eye test and prior to the LASIK procedure, as contacts can change the natural shape of your cornea.
LASIK uses an excimer laser (an ultraviolet laser) to get rid of a thin layer of corneal tissue. This provides the cornea a brand-new shape so that light rays are focused clearly on the retina. LASIK causes the cornea to be thinner.
What To Anticipate During LASIK
Before your surgery starts, numbing eye drops are applied to your eye to avoid any pain during the procedure. Your doctor may likewise offer you some medication to assist you unwind.
Your eye will be placed under the laser, and an instrument called a lid speculum is used to keep your eyelids open.
The cosmetic surgeon uses an ink marker to mark the cornea prior to creating the flap. A suction ring is applied to the front of your eye to prevent eye movements or loss of contact that might affect flap quality.
After the corneal flap is created, the surgeon then uses a computer system to adjust the excimer laser for your particular prescription.
You will be asked to look at a target light for a brief time while he or she sees your eye through a microscopic lense as the laser sends out pulses of light to your cornea.
The laser light pulses painlessly reshape the cornea, although you may feel some pressure on your eye. You’ll also hear a stable clicking noise while the laser is operating.
How Long Does LASIK Procedure Last?
LASIK is carried out on each eye individually, with each procedure taking just about 5 minutes.
Instantly After LASIK Surgery
Upon conclusion of your LASIK surgery, your cosmetic surgeon will have you rest for a bit. You may feel a temporary burning or itching sensation right away following the procedure. After a short post-operative exam, somebody can own you home. (You can not drive after LASIK until your eye doctor sees you the following day and verifies your uncorrected vision satisfies the legal requirement for owning.)
You ought to anticipate some blurred vision and haziness right away after surgery; nevertheless, clearness should enhance by the very next early morning.
Your vision needs to stabilize and continue to enhance within a couple of days, although in uncommon cases it might take several weeks or longer. For most people, vision enhances immediately.
You may have the ability to go to work the next day, however many doctors encourage a number of days off rather.
Also, it is generally recommended that you avoid any laborious workout for a minimum of a week, since this can distress the eye and impact recovery.
Typically, you will go back to see your eye doctor or your LASIK surgeon the day after surgery.
At this initial check-up, he or she will test your vision to make sure you are legal to own without glasses or contact lenses. In a lot of states, this requires uncorrected visual acuity of 20/40 or much better.
Similar to any other surgery, constantly follow your doctor’s instructions and take any medication prescribed. Likewise, prevent rubbing your eyes, as there’s a small chance this could remove the flap until it heals and adheres more firmly to the underlying cornea.
Long-Term Outcomes after the Laser Surgery
Laser eye surgery uses various advantages and can significantly improve your lifestyle. Many people achieve 20/20 vision or better after the surgery, however LASIK outcomes do vary. Some people may accomplish just 20/40 vision or less.
You may still need to use glasses or contact lenses following laser vision correction, though your prescription level usually will be much lower than previously.
While the procedure has an excellent safety profile, LASIK complications can occur and may include infection or night glare (starbursts or halos that are most noticeable when you’re viewing lights at night, such as while you’re driving).
A little portion of people will need a LASIK improvement, or “retouch” procedure, a couple of months after the primary LASIK surgery to achieve acceptable visual acuity.
You likewise might still require reading glasses as soon as you reach your 40s, due to a normal age-related loss of near vision called presbyopia.
While LASIK surgery has a high success rate, it is very important that you discuss all aspects of the procedure with your surgeon prior to granting the surgery.