What is Lasik Laser Eye Surgery?
Lasik laser eye surgery is a type of procedure which may correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. If you are interested in Lasik surgery, talk with your eye doctor to determine if Lasik may be a vision correction option for you.
The Lasik Laser Eye Surgery Procedure
Patients are given an antibiotic prescription to start taking before their Lasik laser eye surgery begins to reduce their chances of post-operative infections. Just before the procedure, the doctor will administer numbing eye drops to reduce any discomfort; for patients who are feeling extremely anxious or nervous, the doctor may prescribe a light sedative to take just before the procedure.
- The first step of the procedure involves creating a corneal flap to lift the upper layer of the cornea. A light suction device is placed over the eye and a laser or specialized blade is used to cut the flap.
- Once the flap is lifted, the surgeon will use a laser to reshape the inner portion of the cornea.
- After the cornea has been shaped, the flap is folded back down and left to heal on its own.
The entire Lasik procedure lasts an average of 5 minutes per eye, but the amount of time the surgery takes may depend on the severity of the patient’s vision correction needs.
Lasik Laser Eye Surgery Recovery and Results
Once the Lasik surgery has been completed, the patient will rest for awhile in a darkened room. While there are stories of people walking out and driving home right after Lasik has been performed, these stories are exaggerated. Patients must have someone else drive them home from the surgery, and they need to rest their eyes for at least a few days. Patients should also be careful not to rub their eyes or participate in activities which could stress their eyes or risk injury to their eyes.
Many Lasik patients experience improved vision the same day of the surgery, but for some patients it can take a few days to a few weeks before they experience complete improvement in vision.
Some patients may still need contacts or glasses after Lasik surgery; in other cases, patients may experience a change in their eye prescription later in life and they may eventually need contacts, glasses or another Lasik surgery.
Lasik Laser Eye Surgery Risks
Risks for Lasik laser eye surgery include post-surgical eye infections, displaced corneal flap, long term eye pain or long term dry eye conditions. Some patients may also experience haze, glare, double vision, halos and poor night vision after the surgery is performed – and in some cases these effects are permanent. Potential patients with certain types of eye conditions – such as existing dry eye or thin corneas – have increased risks for Lasik complications. To reduce post-surgical risks, a complete evaluation should be performed to determine if a patient is good candidate for Lasik.