What is LASIK?
LASIK or (Laser in-Situ Keratomileusis) treats refractive errors by reshaping or flattening the curve of the corneal tissue beneath the surface of the cornea using the excimer laser. The excimer laser is able to create extremely accurate, intense pulses of light that produce very little heat and leave surrounding tissue untouched. LASIK uses a beam of cool light to reshape the top layer (less than 10 percent) of the cornea, so that images focus correctly on the retina. The computer, controlled by your LASIK eye surgeon, is used to precisely calculate the exact amount of cornea that needs to be removed for each person’s individual eyes. Numerous tests will be done on the eyes to achieve the measurements that will be treated with the laser.
The LASIK Procedure
The center of the cornea is flattened during the LASIK procedure to allow light rays to focus more directly on the retina, making images clearer. First, a thin layer of the cornea is lifted up and a”flap” is created as an automated microkeratome (an instrument that can make extremely thin and precise cuts) moves across the cornea. In less than 60 seconds, ultraviolet light and high-energy pulses from the excimer laser reshape the internal cornea with extreme accuracy. When the corneal flap is put back into place, the natural pressure in your eye holds it in place, so stitches are not necessary.
Before LASIK Surgery
Prior to LASIK surgery you will be invited to our LASIK office for a complete eye health examination known as your pre-operative LASIK eye exam. During this process we will perform a series of diagnostic test to make sure your eyes are suitable for LASIK surgery. Measurements of your corneal thickness will be reviewed and your overall eye health will be checked. Please feel free to ask our LASIK surgeon about some of our unique diagnostic equipment. If it is determined that you are a candidate our office will help you schedule your LASIK eye surgery and provide you with a thorough list of surgery day details.
After LASIK surgery
After LASIK surgery is complete, the corneal flap is put back in place. This flap will naturally adhere to the treated cornea, eliminating the need for sutures. Pressure from the eyelid and other factors will hold the flap in place as it heals, minimizing discomfort. The center of the cornea is now flattened, allowing light rays to be focused more precisely on the retina and images will be seen more sharply. Most LASIK patients notice a dramatic improvement in their vision immediately after the procedure. However, maximum improvement will occur over the next three to four weeks. Both antibiotic drops and steroid drops will be used for a period of two weeks following LASIK surgery to ensure proper healing. Artificial tears will also be used abundantly to help keep the cornea smooth and moist during the healing period.
What are the benefits of having LASIK eye surgery?
The actual surgery takes no longer than 15 minutes and the time it takes to heal from surgery is much shorter with LASIK than with PRK or RK. Most laser eye surgery patients notice improved vision within the first few days of the procedure. Other advantages include considerably less chance of developing corneal haze, minimal patient discomfort after the procedure, and stable vision within a few days following LASIK.
- There have been no reported cases of blindness after LASIK surgery
- Millions of LASIK surgeries have been performed
- LASIK experience and cost may vary
- The FDA approved LASIK surgery
- In 2005 the AAO performed a LASIK safety study and determined it was safe and effective
- Pre-operative LASIK consultations are mandatory for determining LASIK candidacy
A possible complication of LASIK, and of most types of eye surgery is infection, which is rare, but can be treated with antibiotics. The other concern with this procedure is that the corneal cap can be lost, distorted or scarred which can impact the quality of your vision after surgery. At Southwestern Eye Center, we take special precautions to help prevent infections and use one of the most advanced microkeratomes to create the corneal flap. Today LASIK provides more precise vision than ever before.
Contact Our LASIK Department Directly
Call us at: 602-404-6502
Our staff is comprised of highly talented LASIK surgery specialists that will give you a complete overview of all the information you need. Together, we will jointly determine if LASIK is the best option for you.
Thank you for taking the time to find out more about Southwestern Eye Center and our LASIK Services. Our LASIK surgeons are dedicated to creating the best possible LASIK eye surgery outcomes with as little hassle as possible. We figure that you have probably hassled enough with glasses or contact lenses over the years and we want to make your experience of entering the clear world of LASIK as best we can.
Find out if you could be a candidate for LASIK surgery.