LASIK, or “laser-assisted in situ keratomileuses,” is the most commonly performed laser eye surgery to treat myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism
What is LASIK
Refractive surgery is the term used to describe surgical procedures that correct common vision problems (nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia) to reduce your dependence on prescription eyeglasses and/or contact lenses. LASIK, a refractive surgery, is a popular surgery used to correct vision in people who are nearsighted, farsighted, or have astigmatism
All laser vision correction surgeries work by reshaping the cornea, the clear front part of the eye so that light traveling through it is properly focused onto the retina located in the back of the eye. LASIK is one of a number of different surgical techniques used to reshape the cornea. This procedure utilizes a highly specialized laser (excimer laser) designed to treat refractive errors, improve vision, and reduce or eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses. This laser procedure alters the shape of the cornea, which is the transparent front covering of the eye. During the LASIK procedure, a specially trained eye surgeon first creates a precise, thin hinged corneal flap using a microkeratome. The surgeon then pulls back the flap to expose the underlying corneal tissue, and then the excimer laser ablates (reshapes) the cornea in a unique pre-specified pattern for each patient. The flap is then gently repositioned onto the underlying cornea without sutures. LASIK has many benefits, including:
- It works! It corrects vision. Around 96% of patients will have their desired vision after LASIK. An enhancement can further increase this number.
- LASIK is associated with very little pain due to the numbing drops that are used.
- Vision is corrected nearly immediately or by the day after LASIK.
- No bandages or stitches are required after LASIK.
- Adjustments can be made years after LASIK to further correct vision if vision changes while you age.
After having LASIK, most patients have a dramatic reduction in eyeglass or contact lens dependence and many patients no longer need them at all.
Results of LASIK Surgery.
Laser eye surgery offers numerous benefits and can dramatically improve your quality of life. Most people achieve 20/20 vision or better after the surgery, but LASIK results do vary. Some people may achieve only 20/40 vision or less. You may still need to wear glasses or contact lenses following laser vision correction, though your prescription level typically will be much lower than before. 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 small percentage of people will need a LASIK enhancement, or “touch up” procedure, a few months after the primary LASIK surgery to achieve acceptable visual acuity. You also may still need reading glasses once 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 important that you discuss all facets of the procedure with your surgeon prior to consenting to the surgery
What are the risks?
Some patients experience discomfort in the first 24 to 48 hours after LASIK eye surgery. Other side effects, although rare, may include:
- Seeing halos around images
- Difficulty driving at night
- Fluctuating vision
- Dry eyes
Further, there are some disadvantages to LASIK eye surgery:
- Changes made to the cornea cannot be reversed after LASIK.
- LASIK is technically complex. Problems may occur when the doctor creates the flap, which can permanently affect vision.
- LASIK can rarely cause a loss of “best” vision. Your best vision is the highest degree of vision that you achieved while wearing your contacts or eyeglasses.
Creating A Lasik Flap
Lasik Laser Surgery