LASIK and Laser Eye Surgery

Advances in eye surgery has enabled patients to reduce or eliminate their dependency on glasses and contact lenses. These days, LASIK surgery has become a byword among patients with refractive vision problems.

What is LASIK?

LASIK is an abbreviation for "laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis," a type of refractive laser eye surgery performed by ophthalmologists for correcting nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism. It is an advancement of the keratomileusis procedure, wherein a thin and hinged flap is formed thereby changing the shape of the cornea, which was invented in the 1950’s in Colombia, a country in South America.

Before Surgery

Taking a LASIK surgery has several necessary preparations and procedures. The patient would have to avoid wearing contact lenses for at least six weeks depending on how long he has been wearing them. Before the surgery, the patient’s corneas are examined to determine their thickness as well as a 3-D map of the cornea. The surgeon would then use this information to calculate the amount and locations of corneal tissue needed to be removed. Antibiotics are also usually given to the patient before surgery to minimize the risk of infection after the operation.

During Surgery

The patient is fully awake and mobile during the surgery, but is typically given a mild sedative and anesthetic eye drops to lessen the pain. LASIK is performed in three steps: creating a flap on the cornea; remodeling the cornea underneath the flap with laser; and repositioning the flap.

After Surgery

The patient is usually given a dose of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory eye drops after the operation, which is continued in the following weeks. A pair of dark shades are also provided to the patient to protect his eyes from bright lights, as well as goggles to prevent dry eyes and accidental rubbing of the eyes during sleep. The eyes should also be moisturized with "preservative-free tears" and prescription drops.

LASIK Risks and Complications

Although LASIK has its share of success rates, some patients have had complications that remained unresolved six months after surgery. Some of the most notable risks include disturbing visual side effects like seeing halos around light, seeing double, having a foggy vision, and glare. Patients should be aware of the risks of LASIK before taking the operation.

LASIK Statistics

LASIK eye surgery has become the most popular vision surgery in the country. LASIK surgery statistics and information from the FDA indicate that complications occur in just 1 to 5 percent of patients. In most cases, LASIK treatment provides patients with exceptional results, with many patients experiencing 20/20 vision or better following LASIK eye surgery.