All About LASIK: A Checklist

LASIK is a refractive surgery & a painless procedure

LASIK is refractive surgery which is performed using a laser keratome.

LASIK is used for correcting vision problems such as nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hypermetropia), and blurred vision (astigmatism). LASIK eye surgery is a painless procedure with a success rate varying between 93 to 98%. According to the articles published by American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery in March 2008, 2,200 patients underwent laser eye surgery in the past ten years, out of which 95.4 % were satisfied with the results.

If you are preparing for LASIK surgery, use this checklist as a guide.

1) Inform your physician about your eye condition, including past and present status, and the medications to which you are allergic.

2) Before surgery, you should stop using lotions, perfumes, and makeup.

3) Patients who wear contact lenses are advised to stop using them for 5 to 21 days before the cornea is examined to determine the thickness of cornea and irregularities on the surface of the cornea. The contours of the cornea are measured and the surgeon calculates the corneal tissues which have to be removed during the operation. A complete topographic image of the cornea is created to provide information on its structure and antibiotics are given to the patient to prevent infection during the surgery.

4) There are mainly two different types of LASIK surgeries, namely, traditional method and wave front-guided LASIK. In the traditional method, the cornea is repositioned and normal correction to focusing power is made. With wave front-guided LASIK surgery, the physician can provide super vision to the patient. The patient’s vision is corrected using a computer controlled laser which takes input from waveform sensors.

5) LASIK eye surgery is also based on the type of laser machines used for the surgery. There are two main types of laser beams used for conducting the surgery: slit scanning laser, which produces small beams from slits in varying sizes and spot scanning laser, which uses small beams to remove the corneal tissues. The laser beams are different due to the speed with which the corneal tissues are removed. Laser beam size also depends on the pupil of the patient.

6) The surgery usually doesn’t take more than 30 minutes to complete. The patient is asked to gaze at the light for 60 seconds during the surgery.

7) Anesthesia is not required for the surgery. In some cases, a mild sedative and eye drops are given to prevent pain.

8) The surgery is performed in three steps which involve creating a flap of cornel tissues to access the three layers of eyes, namely, epithelium, endothelium, and stroma. In the second stage, the cornea is reshaped by removing corneal tissues which helps in improving focusing power. In the last stage, the flap is again relocated.

9) After the surgery, you may feel itchiness and mild pain in the eyes. You need to see the surgeon in the first few days after the surgery and regular intervals thereafter to ensure that everything is fine.

10) The full impact of the LASIK surgery can take three to six months to show full results.

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