LASIK, an acronym for “laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis,” is one of the safest, most effective and popular elective procedures for vision correction. Laser vision correction involves using a precise computer-controlled laser to gently reshape the cornea, allowing light rays to focus more directly on the retina.
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What is LASIK?
In most cases, laser eye surgery is pain-free and completed within 15 minutes for both eyes. The results — improved vision without eyeglasses or contact lenses — can usually be seen in as little as 24 hours. The goal is to reduce dependence on corrective lenses, although reading or driving glasses may still be needed. LASIK can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.
If you’re not a good LASIK candidate, a number of other vision correction surgeries are available, such as PRK, DSEK and LASEK laser eye surgery and phakic IOL surgery. Your eye doctor will determine if one of these procedures is suitable for your condition and, if so, which technique is best.
Want to reduce or eliminate dependence on glasses or contacts.
Are at least 19 years old.
Have no health issues affecting eyes.
Have had a stable eye prescription for at least one year.
The objective of LASIK surgery
The goal of LASIK is to reduce a patient’s dependence on corrective lenses. It does not always create perfect vision. Some patients still need occasional reading or driving glasses after the procedure. There are many benefits to laser vision correction, but there are also risks. This is why we use the most advanced technology available to minimize risk and maximize accuracy.
Time to see a doctor
After a thorough eye examination, your Atlantic Eye doctor will let you know if LASIK is a viable option for your consideration. If you are deemed a good candidate, Atlantic Eye will provide you with all of the information needed to help you make an informed decision.
Before you decide to go ahead with LASIK surgery, you will need an initial or baseline evaluation by your eye doctor to determine if you are a good candidate.
Give yourself plenty of time to think about the risk/benefit discussion, to review any informational literature provided by your doctor, and to have any additional questions answered by your doctor before deciding to go through with surgery and before signing the informed consent form.
Atlantic Eye patients must arrive 30 minutes prior to the scheduled procedure. To prepare for surgery, anesthetic eyedrops are applied to numb the eyes. The eyes are cleansed just before the procedure in the operating room.
LASIK eye surgery is accomplished in a few short steps. A local anesthetic is first applied to the eye(s). A thin flap is then carefully created on the surface of the cornea, using a highly precise instrument called IntraLase® or a microkeratome.
The flap is pulled back, revealing the middle section of the cornea. A cool ultraviolet light beam, produced by our VISX S4™ laser, is then applied, removing tiny portions of the cornea in an effort to reshape it and improve visual acuity. Each pulse of the laser removes approximately .25 microns of corneal tissue.
By comparison, the diameter of a human hair is about 50 microns. Because the laser used in LASIK surgery removes corneal matter in such small increments, extreme precision is achieved in the process. Once the cornea is corrected, the flap is replaced and the procedure is complete.
After the procedure, the eyes are examined with a slit lamp microscope. Sometimes blurry vision occurs, but this is normal. Following surgery, patients usually experience a rapid recovery due to the fact that only a tiny portion of the eye is actually operated on. Significant improvements in vision are experienced within the first 24 hours.
Also before surgery, arrange for transportation to and from your surgery and your first follow-up visit. On the day of surgery, your doctor may give you some medicine to make you relax. Because this medicine impairs your ability to drive and because your vision may be blurry, even if you don’t drive make sure someone can bring you home after surgery.
After you are released from our facility, it is recommended that you rest for the remainder of the day. Those who work should take the following day off as well. It is not uncommon to experience some discomfort 12 to 24 hours after the procedure. There also may be sensitivity to light, and watering or swelling of the eyes for up to three days.
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