LASIK Eye Surgery
LASIK or Lasik (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis), most commonly referred to simply as “laser eye surgery”. LASIK is a highly presice kind of refractive eye surgery for correcting patients who suffer from myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. The LASIK eye surgery procedure is a very precise operation that is preformed using today’s cutting edge laser technology. The precise light from the laser is used to remove a very small amount of corneal tissue guided via computers and allows the cornea to be reshaped allowing the incoming light to be sharply focused on the retina which improves the patients eye sight. Results from LASIK surgery are noticed by most patients almost immediately following the LASIK procedure.
Several necessary things are needed to prepare for the LASIK procedure. The LASIK operation basically involves cutting a very thin flap on the eyes surface, then folding it back then allowing the tissue beneath to be shaped using a laser. Once the reshaping is completed the flap is folded back to its original position and the eye is left to heal.
During the preoperative phase patients that had been wearing soft contact lenses are told to stop wearing them from one week to 3 weeks prior to the LASIK procedure. Patients that wear hard contact lenses are sometimes asked to refrain from wearing them for even longer. It is generally up to the doctor to determine the exact length of time. The purpose is for not wearing contact lenses is that the use of the lenses alters the natural shape of the eye itself and can affect the final outcome of the LASIK vision correction surgery.
Prior to surgery the patients eyes are examined by the doctor with a special device used to measure the thickness and contour of the eyes cornea. Using a low powered laser a digital map is made of the eyes cornea. This digital map process detects irregularities in the cornea and also detects astigmatism. Once this digital map is created the doctor can calculate the locations on the cornea and the amount of tissue to be removed during the LASIK procedure.
The LASIK Operation
The LASIK procedure is performed while the patient is awake. The doctor may give some patients a mild sedative and place anesthetic eye drops in the eye. The three main steps of the LASIK procedure are then performed. The first step is to cut or create a flap to expose the lower levels of the corneal tissue. The second step is to reshape the deeper corneal tissue using the laser. The last and final step is the repositioning of the flap to ensure proper healing of the eye.
During the postoperative phase of the LASIK surgery the doctor may prescribe medications for some patients. Some patients may be given an antibiotic and or anti-inflammatory eye drops. The medicine will be generally taken for several weeks following the surgery. The patient is given special dark sunglasses to wear to protect their eyes from bright lights. Patients are also given protective goggles to wear to prevent rubbing of the eye or eyes during periods of sleep. The doctor will also provide patients with moisturizing drops to be put in to prevent dry eyes. It is very important to keep the eye well moisturized and lubricated to ensure proper and quick healing. Generally the surgeon will see the patient the following day to check the eye or eyes and will also perform a simple vision exam.