If you’re tired of the hassles of contacts and glasses, laser vision correction may be the perfect solution for you. Laser vision correction has allowed millions of people to see their lives in focus from the moment they wake up.
Before choosing to have Laser Vision Correction (LASIK, LASEK, PRK), it’s important to ensure that you are a good candidate, understand the potential risks and benefits, and have realistic expectations about what your vision will be like after surgery.
How the LASIK procedure works
First, the eye is numbed with a few drops of topical anesthetic. An eyelid holder is placed between the eyelids to keep them open and prevent the patient from blinking. A suction ring placed on the eye lifts and flattens the cornea and helps keep the eye from moving. The patient may feel pressure from the eyelid holder and suction ring, similar to a finger pressed firmly on the eyelid.
From the time the suction ring is put on the eye until it is removed, vision appears dim or goes black. Once the cornea is flattened, a hinged flap of corneal tissue is created using an automated microsurgical device, either a laser or blade. This corneal flap is lifted and folded back. Then the excimer laser preprogrammed with the patient’s unique eye measurements is centered above the eye.
The surgeon checks that the laser is positioned correctly. The patient looks at a special pinpoint light, called a fixation or target light, while the excimer laser sculpts the corneal tissue. Then the surgeon places the flap back into position and smoothes the edges. The corneal flap sticks to the underlying corneal tissue within two to five minutes, and stitches are not needed.
It may take three to six months after LASIK surgery for the improvements in a person’s vision to fully stabilize and for any side effects to go away.
The patient should plan to have someone drive him or her home after the procedure and then take a nap or just relax. To help protect the cornea as it heals, the surgeon may place a transparent shield over the eye(s) to protect against accidental bumps and to remind the patient not to rub the eye(s). The patient may need to wear the shield only when sleeping. The surgeon will provide eyedrops to help the eye heal and relieve dryness.
If these materials raise any questions for you, be sure to discuss these questions with your Eye M.D. Call us today to schedule an appointment.