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During LASIK surgery, the surgeon uses what is called an “excimer” laser in order to reshape the cornea. So, a thin layer of the cornea is lifted to create a tiny flap on the surface of the cornea, using blade-free Intralase Technology. The laser is then applied to the underlying surface to reshape the cornea, correcting the patient’s prescription. The flap is then simply replaced into exactly the same position as before, and the procedure is complete.
Whilst with any elective surgical procedure there is always some element of risk, the fact is that LASIK eye surgery is one of the most common and certainly one of the safest of all elective surgical procedures.
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Refractive surgery is the medical term used to describe surgical procedures that correct common vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia. These surgical procedures lessen your reliance on the use of prescription glasses or contact lenses.
Lasik (LAY-sik) - is the most popular and most common refractive surgery. LASIK stands for “laser in situ keratomileuses.” It is actually one of the several surgical procedures used to reshape the cornea. Furthermore, all laser vision correction surgeries are performed by reshaping the cornea (the clear front part of the eye) in order for the light traveling through it to properly focus on the retina (located at the back of the eye).
A Lasik procedure can correct all common refractive errors like astigmatism, nearsightedness, and farsightedness. If you have a more serious refractive error, other refractive surgery options can be done to correct your vision.
Ideally, patients between the ages of 21 - 40, or even older individuals who need bifocals because of presbyopia are good candidates to undergo the procedure. Furthermore, patients who have healthy eyes and have a mild to moderate case of refractive errors are also good candidates for Lasik surgery.
It is best to understand that Lasik correction surgery is not for everyone. There are cases whereby, patients will be advised not to undergo the procedure due to the following reasons:
In preparing for your eye surgery, the first thing that you have to do is to consult your surgeon. The result of your Lasik procedure often depends on the abilities of your refractive surgeon than the kind of technology your surgeon has used.
Your surgeon should discuss with you what you can expect during and after the surgery. During the consultation, your surgeon will also evaluate your medical history and fully examine your eyes.
After passing a series of tests, the next step is to schedule your actual eye procedure. Before your scheduled operation, your surgeon will most likely advise you to:
During your surgery, a thin flap in your cornea will be created using either a microkeratome or a femtosecond laser. The flap will then be peeled back and the underlying corneal tissue in your eye will be reshaped using another laser. After reshaping your cornea, the flap will then be put back in place to complete the surgery.
Local anesthesia in the form of eye drops is used during the procedure. If you fear that you will be nervous, you may request a mild sedative to help you relax.
Lasik surgery usually lasts not more than 30 minutes for both eyes. After surgery, your doctor will send you home under strict instructions to rest for the first few hours following the surgery. No bandages or stitches are required after Lasik. You will also need a follow-up check-up for evaluation 1 or 2 days after your procedure.
Most people will immediately see significant positive results after the first two days of the Lasik procedure; a full recovery, on the other hand, may take up to least 6 months.
Follow-up checkups are very important for your eyes to fully recover. Your six-month recovery period may come with several restrictions. Vigorous activities should be avoided during your recovery process to ensure that your eyes will heal properly.
The success rate for Lasik surgery is very high, according to studies, 95% of nearsighted patients achieve 20/40 vision after recovery. One or two out of ten patients will require a secondary surgery, for enhancement. However, the need for a secondary procedure is lower for people with smaller amounts of preoperative refractive error.
Just like any other surgery, this type of procedure also poses some risks and potential side effects:
Alternatives can be discussed with the specialist based on an intial eye-test. Alternative solutions could include:
1. More than 99% of patients achieve 20/20 vision or better following treatment and said it was one of the best decisions that they have made in their life.
2. After surgery, it may take several days for your vision to settle down and could take 4 to 6 months for a full recovery. Recovery times are dependent on the skill of the surgeon and the type of procedure that was performed.
3. Your eyes might feel dry or you might have visual disturbances which are all pretty common. However, if you do experience any complications, for example, pain or a loss of vision, blurriness, let your Surgeon/Doctor know immediately.
4. For an in-depth analysis of the pros and cons of LASIK eye surgery, watch this short video.
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