Lasik Eye Surgery

1 What is a LASIK Eye Surgery?

laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis or LASIK is a procedure that corrects certain vision problems, eliminating or reducing the need for corrective lenses or eyeglasses.

This is the most common type of refractive surgery and this changes the shape of the dome-shaped transparent tissue or cornea at the front of your eye.

To refractor to bend light rays to focus more precisely on your retina rather than at some point beyond or short of your retina and to produce sharper and clearer vision is the main goals of LASIK eye surgery.

2 Reasons for Procedure

Here are the most common reasons to undergo a LASIK eye surgery.

This surgery might be an option for you if you have one of the following vision problems such as:

Farsightedness (hyperopia) – this makes distant and near vision blurry, the light focuses behind the retina instead of on it since you have a shorter than average eyeball or your cornea is too flat.

Nearsightedness (myopia) – this is when light rays focus in front of the retina and blur distant vision because your eyeball is slightly longer than normal or your cornea curves too sharply resulting to seeing objects that are close more clearly but not the things that are far away.

Astigmatism – this disrupts the focus of distant and near vision because the cornea flattens or curves unevenly.

Before you turn to LASIK eye surgery or another similar refractive procedure, your eye doctor will likely recommend that you try other ways of correcting your vision, such as by using glasses or contact lenses.

3 Potential Risks

Some of the possible risks of LASIK eye surgery include:

Overcorrection – this is more difficult to fix than under correction and this happens when the laser will remove too much tissue from your eye.

Under correction – you will not get a clearer vision if the laser removes too little tissue from your eye and you might undergo another refractive surgery or enhancement surgery within a year.

Visual changes or loss – due to surgical complications you may lose your vision or you might not see clearly or sharply but this is very rare.

Vision returning to pre-surgery vision – your vision may return to the level of it before you had surgery because of abnormal wound healing, pregnancy or hormonal imbalances.

Glare, halos and double vision – you may experience difficulty seeing at night as well as halos, glare, double and bright lights.

Astigmatism – this may require additional surgery, contact lenses or glasses and this is the cause of uneven tissue removal.

Dry eyes – your eyes might feel unusually dry while they heal for the first six months after surgery leading to reduce the quality of vision. To prevent tears from draining away from the surface of your eyes you could ask your doctor if you can have another procedure wherein you will get special plugs put in your tear ducts.

Flap problems – the epithelium may grow abnormally underneath the flap so this can lead to complications such as excess tears, inflammation, and infection.

There are certain conditions where LASIK is not an option and these are:

  • persistent dry eyes
  • autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis
  • unstable vision due to medications, pregnancy, hormonal changes, age or breastfeeding
  • immunodeficiency conditions caused by immunosuppressive medications or HIV
  • eye conditions such cataracts, glaucoma, keratitis, keratoconus, eye injury, herpes simplex affecting the eye area, or lid disorders

LASIK may not be advisable if you:

  • have very large pupils or thin corneas
  • have a fairly good vision
  • have age-related eye changes that cause you to have a less clear vision (presbyopia)
  • have a job that may be affected if you have the procedure
  • participate in contact sports that may be related with blows to the face

You and your doctor should discuss first the risk and benefits of LASIK surgery before having one.

4 Preparing for your Procedure

To prepare for the LASIK eye surgery:

Stop using contact lenses - a few weeks before the surgery you should not use contact lenses because it can deform the shape of your cornea that could lead to inaccuracy of measurements.

Do not use eye makeup, lotions, perfumes and creams the day before and after your surgery.

Clean your eyelashes weeks before the surgery to remove dirt.

Ask someone to drive you home because your vision may be blurry in a few hours after the surgery.

Ask your doctor how much the surgery might cost you.

5 What to Expect

Read on to learn more about what to expect before, during, and after your LASIK eye surgery.

To remove a defined amount of tissue from your cornea, LASIK eye surgery is performed. A small amount of tissue from your cornea tissue is removed in with each pulse of the laser beam.

You and your doctor should discuss fist the benefits and risks of LASIK surgery and what to expect before and after the surgery.

Your doctor will conduct a pre-surgical eye exam such as comprehensive eye examination and ask you about any surgical and medical history.

He will check your vision as well as eye infections, dry eyes, inflammation or other eye conditions. He will then measure your cornea, contour and check if there are any irregularities.

He will recommend tests to measure the contour and shape of your cornea so that he may know if you need reshaping of your cornea.

He will use a test in which a scanner creates a highly detailed chart that uses wavefront-guided technology. The surgery will be completed in less than 30 minutes.

Your doctor will ask you to lie on your back in a chair and will place numbing drops in your eyes. He will then use an instrument to hold your eyelids open.

Your vision may dim a little because of the suction ring that will be placed on your eye before cutting the corneal flap.

Your doctor will use a cutting laser to get a small hinged flap away from the front of your eye, and then he will fold back the flap so that he can reshape your cornea.

The flap will be folded back into place after the reshaping. To help your eye be fixed while the laser reshapes your cornea, your doctor will ask you to stare and focus directly on a point of light.

You may feel side effects after the surgery such as itching, burning, watery eyes and blurry visions. You may recover from these side effects after a few hours.

You can ask your doctor for pain medication or eye drops and you need to wear a shield over your eye such as glasses until it heals.

Your vision will be stabilized and your eye will heal after two or three months. There will be a series of follow-ups to monitor your eye and check for complications.

You can use makeup in your eye and you can do sports such as swimming after a few months.

6 Procedure Results

The majority of people who undergone the LASIK eye surgery have successful results. After refractive surgery, you can have a good chance of achieving normal vision. 

The results will depend on the refractive error and other factors. There are no available long-term results, however, many people are satisfied after the LASIK surgery.