LASIK today is the most commonly performed laser vision correction surgery, giving us quick and permanent solution. The most important thing about the operation is that it enables a person to escape the burden of glasses. To the people with refractive errors Lasik could be a blessing.
What is LASIK?LASIK, short for Laser Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis, is a surgical procedure to replace glasses that uses a cool (non-thermal) beam of light to gently reshape the cornea—the surface of the eye –to improve vision.
Who is eligible for Lasik?To have the LASIK procedure, you must:
- Be 18 years of age or older;
- Have healthy eyes free from retinal problems, corneal scars, and any eye disease.
- Have stable vision prescription for the last 6 months
- Not pregnant and is free of certain diseases of the cornea and retina and is generally in good health.
- Be able to lie flat without difficulty;
- Be able to look directly at a blinking light during the whole procedure
- Be willing to sign an Informed Consent Form provided by your doctor
- Be able to tolerate eye drops to numb your eye.
Lasik can correct the following powers:
Examination and Counseling before LasikAs with other Laser Vision Correction methods, you will first need to undergo a detailed eye examination to determine whether you are a suitable candidate.
Many factors play a role, including the nature and degree of the refractive error, the curvature and thickness of the cornea. Your profession and hobbies are also important. Your eye doctor will be happy to assist you in finding the best option for your vision needs.
Take your eye prescription records with you to the exams. Your doctor will
- Dilate your pupils to fine-tune your prescription
- Examine your eyes to make sure they’re healthy. This includes a glaucoma test and a retina exam
- Take the following measurements:
a) The curvature of your cornea and the size of your pupils
b) The topography of your eyes to make sure you do not have an irregular astigmatism or a cone-shaped cornea — a condition called Keratoconus
c) The pachymetry — or thickness of your cornea. You need to have enough tissue left after your corneas have been reshaped
Before coming for the tests a contact lens wearer must stop wearing lenses at least for one week earlier.
If it is determined that you are not a good candidate for LASIK surgery:
- You will be given an explanation as to the reasons why you are not a good candidate.
- You may want to consider an alternative method of refractive surgery, or stay with your glasses or contact lenses for the time being.
How do I prepare?
If you wear contact lenses, most surgeons recommend switching to glasses a few weeks before surgery. You are advised not to apply makeup, lotions or perfume the day you have surgery. Also, it is suggested that you arrange to have someone bring you home afterward.
Consent:You will be asked to sign an informed consent form after a thorough discussion of the risks, benefits, alternative options and possible complications.
How LASIK is done?
- On the actual day of surgery, you will be given some numbing drops in your eye(s).
- Upon entering the surgery room, you will be asked to lie down on the laser bed.
- Anesthetic eye drops are applied to the eye.
- An eyelid holder is used to prevent the eye from blinking during the procedure.
- The eye not having surgery may be covered with a temporary shield.
- A microkeratome cuts a hinged flap of thin corneal tissue off the outer layer of the eyeball (cornea) and the flap is lifted out of the way.
- You will be asked to see at a green blinking light and your doctor will ask you to keep looking at that blinking light.
- The laser reshapes the underlying corneal tissue, and the surgeon replaces the flap, which quickly adheres to the cornea.
- The operation does not involve any injection, stitch, bandage etc.
What happens after surgery?
- After the surgery, your doctor will put some medication drops into your eye.
- The nursing staff will take you to a recovery room where you will take rest for around 15 minutes.
- Your doctor will examine your eyes with a Slit-Lamp
- After a brief instruction about medications you will be discharged from the clinic.
- Your eye may experience some discomfort. If necessary, your doctor may prescribe oral pain medicine for use as necessary.
- You may be mildly sensitive to light and glare. Wear sunglasses to ease your discomfort. You may also have the feeling that something is in your eye. Do not rub your eye if you feel this sensation.
- Your vision probably will be blurry the day of surgery, but it will improve considerably by the next day when you return for a follow-up exam.
- Use all medication eye drops and lubricants your doctor prescribes as directed. These are necessary for the proper healing of your eye(s).
- We recommend our patients to remain at home for the first one or two days following the surgery to avoid dust while they can perform their daily routine like reading, watching TV, Computer work etc. from next day.
- Contact sports should also be avoided for several weeks.
- During the first 1-2 months your vision will fluctuate before finally stabilizing. Some dry eye may occur and your doctor can give you eye drops to counteract the dry eye. This is because your tear ducts may not be able to compensate for the new shape of your eye, so it does not produce enough moisture to keep the eye comfortable. You should contact your doctor at the first sign of irritation or blurred vision. The best advice is to follow everything your doctor says. If you can make it through the first six months with no problems, chances are your eyes will do fine from then on.
- If you experience aggravating or unusual side effects, report them to your doctor immediately. It is customary to have a post-op examination the next day. Further examinations are usually scheduled for the following weeks or months. It is important for you to keep these appointments to monitor your healing process.
- Go home with a driver or someone to escort you.
- Sleep for several hours, your eyes need rest
- Carefully follow all the instructions given by your doctor.
- Go into smoky or dusty surroundings for some days
- Indulge in hot showers or swimming activities till instructed
- Rub or itch your eyes unnecessarily
- Wear eye make up for 2-3 weeks