LASIK, which stands for laser in-situ keratomileusis, 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.
What Are the Advantages of LASIK Eye Surgery?
ᴥ It works! It corrects vision. Around 96% of patients will have their desired vision after LASIK. An enhancement can further increase this number.
ᴥ LASIK is associated with very little pain due to the numbing drops that are used.
ᴥ Vision is corrected nearly immediately or by the day after LASIK.
ᴥ No bandages or stitches are required after LASIK.
ᴥ Adjustments can be made years after LASIK to further correct vision if vision changes while you age.
ᴥ After having LASIK, most patients have a dramatic reduction in eyeglass or contact lens dependence and many patients no longer need them at all.
What Are the Potential Side Effects of LASIK Eye Surgery?
Some patients experience discomfort in the first 24 to 48 hours after LASIK eye surgery. Other side effects, although rare, may include:
ᴥ Seeing halos around images
ᴥ Difficulty driving at night
ᴥ Fluctuating vision
ᴥ Dry eyes
How Should I Prepare for LASIK Eye Surgery?
Before LASIK eye surgery, you will meet with a coordinator or eye surgeon who will discuss what to expect during and after the procedure. During this session, your medical history will be evaluated and your eyes will be fully examined. Likely initial tests include measuring corneal thickness, refraction, corneal mapping, air pressure, and pupil dilation. Once you have gone through the initial evaluation, you will meet the surgeon, who will answer any questions you may have. Afterwards, you can schedule an appointment for the procedure.
What Happens During LASIK Eye Surgery?
During LASIK eye surgery, an instrument called a microkeratome or femtosecond laser is used to create a thin flap in the cornea. The cornea is then peeled back and the underlying corneal tissue is reshaped using another laser. After the cornea is reshaped so that it can properly focus light onto the retina, the cornea flap is put back in place and the surgery is complete.
LASIK is performed while the patient is under local anesthesia in the form of eye drops and usually takes about 10 minutes to complete. Patients may also request mild sedation. Plan to have someone drive you home after surgery.