LASIK Surgery (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) is the most common laser eye procedure used to treat and correct vision problems including nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia) and astigmatism. The procedure is highly effective in reducing or eliminating the need for eyeglasses and/or corrective lenses.
In most cases, LASIK surgery is pain-free and is completed within 15 minutes for both eyes, and results are usually seen in as little as 24 hours.
*As of 2011, over 11 million LASIK procedures had been performed in the US.
*As of 2009, over 28 million LASIK procedures had been performed worldwide. [*wikipedia]
LASIK Surgery: What to Expect
Just as you have probably heard from friends or family who have had the procedure, typical LASIK results are quite remarkable. In one nationwide survey of more than 1,800 LASIK patients, 99% reported being satisfied or very satisfied with the results.
In another clinical study done for the FDA, 98% of patients who underwent Wavefront LASIK could see “20/20 or better” without glasses or corrective lenses following the procedure. In the same study, 100% of patients were able to see “20/40 or better”, which is enough to pass a drivers license vision test in most states.
Millions of people all over the world are less dependent on glasses or corrective lenses thanks to LASIK. And, complications resulting from LASIK surgery are rare. It is an extremely common, safe, effective, and permanent procedure.
LASIK Surgery: The Procedure
BEFORE LASIK SURGERY DAY:
Your eyes will be evaluated for cornea shape and thickness; pupil size; refractive lens issues (myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism); as well as any other eye conditions. Your eyes will also be evaluated for moistness, as sometimes precautionary treatments are recommended to reduce the risk of developing dry eyes after your LASIK procedure.
You will also be advised to stop wearing contact lenses for a period of time leading up to both your exam and surgery (typically around two weeks), as contacts can alter the shape of your corneas.
LASIK SURGERY DAY PREP:
Plan to arrive at the LASIK Surgery Center approximately 1 hour before your LASIK procedure. After being checked in, you may be offered a sedative to help you relax.
Once seated, the area around your eyes will be cleaned, a drape will be placed around them, and numbing eye drops will be applied to prevent any discomfort during the procedure. No Injections. No Needles. After your eyes are completely numb, a special device (lid speculum) will be applied to prevent blinking during the procedure. Finally, a small suction ring is placed on the eye to keep it in place during the procedure.
THE LASIK PROCEDURE:
The LASIK procedure is a refractive surgery to reshape the cornea (a dome-shaped transparent tissue at the front of the eye), which enables light to enter the eye in a way that it is properly focused onto the retina to produce clearer and sharper vision.
For nearsighted conditions, the too-steep cornea shape is flattened.
For farsighted conditions, a steeper cornea shape is created.
For astigmatism, an irregular cornea is smoothed to create a more consistent shape.
To reshape the cornea, a thin flap is first created using either a femtosecond laser or a microkeratome blade. This thin flap is then held back so some of the underlying corneal tissue can be removed using an excimer laser. The flap is then laid back into place, covering the area where the corneal tissue was removed.
AFTER LASIK SURGERY:
Special eye drops are applied and the suction, eyelid holders, and drapes are removed. After a short rest, patients will undergo a brief post-operative exam. You will also need to visit our office the day after surgery for a follow-up exam.
LASIK SURGERY RECOVERY:
Vision is normally blurry for the first few hours after surgery, so be prepared to have someone drive you home. You should not drive yourself until you confirm your vision meets minimum legal requirements.
Please note the following is not uncommon after LASIK Surgery:
- Vision may fluctuate early on in the recovery process
- Eyes can feel dry for the first few weeks following surgery
- Patients normally use antibiotic eye drops for 1 week following surgery
- Patients normally use steroid eye drops for 2 weeks following surgery
- A protective shield is required during sleep for 2 weeks following surgery
- Protective glasses are recommended during the daytime for 2 weeks following surgery
- Avoid rubbing your eyes for the first 2 months following surgery
- Avoid strenuous exercise for at least 1 week following surgery
For more information about treatment details and the technology behind our LASIK Surgery procedure, please visit our WaveLight® FS200™ page.
To learn more, or to find out if you are a candidate for LASIK Surgery, please Call (512) 528-1144 or Contact Us.