Laser & LASIK eye surgery is a surgical procedure which uses laser in eye surgery to rectify the common vision problems like near-sightedness, far-sightedness, presbyopia and astigmatism. This surgery helps the patient in reducing his or her dependence on the eye-glasses/or contact lenses which they earlier used.
LASIK eye surgery is the most popular refractive surgery done in the United States. There are different kinds of laser eye surgery procedures such as Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK),Transepithelial photorefractive keratectomy (TransPRK),Customized Transepithelial No-touch (C-TEN) etc. All these methods use some kind of laser procedures and intraocular lens procedures to rectify the vision problem. Your ophthalmologist would recommend you the type of refractive surgery based on your needs.
With this article you will get all the Lasik eye surgery information which may help you better understand the whole process. For more details, you may ask your ophthalmologist.
How is Lasik Surgery done?
Before Lasik treatment for eyes:
- The ophthalmologist will perform an eye exam to check whether your eyes are healthy enough to withstand the Lasik eye surgery.
- The doctor will check:
- The shape and thickness of the cornea
- Size of the pupil
- Refractive errors (myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism)
- Moistness of your eyes
- Any other eye condition.
- A precautionary eye treatment may be recommended to reduce the risk of dry eyes after the LASIK eye surgery.
- An automated device called ‘corneal topographer’ will be used to measure the curvature of the eye’s front surface and a sketch or map of your cornea would be created.
- A wavefront technology will be used to send light waves through your eyes to create a more precise map of aberrations which affect your vision.
- Your doctor will check your general heath history and other medications to determine whether you are ready for the surgery or not.
- You will be advised to stop using your contact lens before two weeks of the surgery as the lenses alter the shape of the cornea.
LASIK eye surgery procedure:
- Typical anaesthetic drops would be used for the laser eye surgery.
- First, your eye surgeon will create a thin, circular “flap” in your cornea using either a microkeratome or a femtosecond laser.
- The surgeon will fold the ‘flap’ to get access to the underlying cornea which is called stroma, to remove some corneal tissue by using an excimer laser.
- Excimer laser is a highly specialized laser which uses cool UV light beam to remove the microscopic tissues from the cornea and reshape it accordingly so that it focuses more light on your retina and helps in better vision. It also corrects astigmatism by smoothing the irregular cornea shape.
- In case of the near-sighted patients, the cornea is flatted whereas the far-sighted patients get a stepper cornea.
- After the laser shapes the cornea, the ‘flap’ is placed back in its place and the cornea heals naturally.
- No bandages and stitches are required after the eye surgery.
During your Lasik eye surgery:
- Numbing eye drops will be used to prevent any sort of discomfort during your surgery and you may be also asked to take some medication to help you relax for the surgery.
- Your eye will be positioned accurately under the laser and ‘lid speculum’ will be used to keep the eyelids open throughout the surgery.
- Your surgeon will use a special ink marker and mark the cornea before making the flap.
- A suction ring will be applied to the front of your eyes to prevent any kind of eye movement or loss of contact which could affect the flap quality.
- After creation of the corneal flap, your surgeon will use computer to adjust the excimer laser for getting the perfect position.
- During the surgery, you will be asked to focus on a target light for a short time while your surgeon will inspect your eyes using a microscope as the laser sends pulses of light to your cornea.
- The laser light pulse would painlessly reshape your cornea, but you may feel some sort of pressure on your eyes.
- You will hear noises of clicking as the laser operates but that’s nothing to worry about.
- Each procedure would take only 5 minutes and would be done on both your eyes separately.
What Lasik eye surgery does?
- With completion of the LASIK eye surgery, you may feel burning or itching sensation, but don’t worry, it will be for a short time.
- Your surgeon will re-check your eyes and then you may leave for your home. However, you must avoid driving on your own until your doctor tells you.
- After the surgery, you may get blurry vision but the vision will improve within the next morning.
- Your eye vision will improve in few days. Although, in rare cases it takes weeks or longer. Most people get clear vision within few days of the surgery.
- The surgery will offer you a number of benefits. Most people achieve 20/20 vision after the surgery.
- A small percentage of people may need a LASIK “touch up” procedure after few months of the surgery.
What is the cost of the LASIK eye surgery?
- The cost of the LASIK eye surgery varies from centre to centre depending on the type of technology and surgeon expertise.
- In India the cost is around 1000$ whereas in USA it will cost you 9000$.
What are the risks involved in LASIK eye surgery?
- Under-corrections: It occurs when the laser removes less than the required tissue from your eyes. It is common in near-sighted patients. You might need another surgery to rectify the problem to get improved vision.
- Over-correction: When the laser removes more than the required eye tissue, it is termed as over correction. These are more difficult to fix.
- Pre-surgery vision after the surgery: Some patients also face the problem of slowly getting back the same level of vision as they had before the surgery. This happens due to abnormal wound healing, hormonal imbalances or pregnancy.
- Visual loss or Visual changes: You may loss vision due to surgical complication but that happens very rarely. Some people may not be able to see clearly like before.
- Astigmatism: It happens due to uneven tissue removal. When it develops, you may have to go through an additional surgery or have to depend on glasses or contact lenses.
- Double vision, Glare or halos formation: Post surgery, you may feel difficulty seeing in the night time. You may see glare and halos around bright lights or even get double vision.
Conclusion: laser & LASIK eye surgery or any refractive surgery is absolutely safe. It takes very less time and you will get clear vision within few days of the surgery. Most of the celebrities get these surgeries to get rid of their contact lenses and eye-glasses. Once you get this surgery, you won’t have to remain depended on your eye-glasses or irritating contact lenses ever!