LASIK is the most popular refractive surgery procedure for nearsighted people, farsighted people, and people with astigmatism. Short for “laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis,” the LASIK procedure takes about five minutes. Post-operation, most patients walk out of the office having experienced little to no pain during the procedure and at most a mild discomfort over the next few days. Some have good vision as soon as the following day.
With the LASIK procedure, the eye surgeon corrects vision by delicately reshaping the cornea of each eye so it focuses light onto the retina better, making images clearer. To do this, the surgeon uses either a tool called a microkeratome or a laser to create a thin, circular flap in the cornea. While the patient is conscious, this procedure is painless as numbing eye drops are administered beforehand. The surgeon carefully moves the flap aside, then uses an excimer laser with cool ultraviolet light to clear away very small amounts of tissue in the cornea, thus reshaping it. When the cornea has reached optimal shape, the surgeon finally folds the flap back in place.
People considering LASIK should find a skilled eye doctor or eye surgeon who will administer an exam to see what kind of reshaping the cornea needs. The doctor will probably use a corneal topographer and/or wavefront analysis, which map the shape of the cornea and reveal in detail any aberrations affecting vision. The doctor will also decide whether the eyes — and the patient — are healthy enough for surgery. Dry eye disease, for example, must be cleared before the procedure and there are some health conditions that will either postpone or disqualify the patient from receiving LASIK.
After surgery, the patient is taken home by a friend or family member and should rest for a few hours. Along with other possible prescriptions or instructions, the doctor will recommend rest or avoiding strenuous activity for up to a week. Eye-rubbing is not advised as this may dislodge the corneal flap.
LASIK may not perfect vision entirely. Some people may reach 20/20 vision, but some may still need glasses or contact lenses, just at a lower prescription level than before surgery. While this procedure is popular for its quickness, near-painlessness, and speedy recovery, it is still a delicate surgery, so it is crucial that seekers of LASIK find a skilled, board-certified eye surgeon.
Strictly adhering to post-operative check up visits help speed up recovery and lessen worries. Some people fail to understand how important it is to return to their doctor after a delicate procedure, like after having Lasik surgery in Phoenix, or other local areas. Constant monitoring of the patient’s progress and condition a few days after having Lasik in Phoenix, for instance, will help the eyes heal properly and ensure the best possible surgical outcome.