Experience the Difference
Imagine how your daily routine would change if you did not need glasses or contacts! Wouldn’t it be nice to wake up and see the alarm clock without fumbling for glasses? You could enjoy the freedom to live a more active life of swimming, skiing or camping without the burden of contact lenses. You would be free from the worry of losing glasses or contacts in an emergency. Good vision without glasses may qualify you for a new job. Think of the possibilities! LASIK can help fulfill many dreams.
LASIK, or Laser Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis, involves reshaping the cornea of the eye. To correct nearsightedness the curvature is flattened; to correct farsightedness, the curvature is increased. Techniques that reduce astigmatism reshape the cornea producing a more evenly curved surface.
About Your Procedure
Your eyes are numbed using “eye drop” anesthesia, an eyelid holder will be placed between your eyelids to prevent you from blinking.
Next, an instrument known as a microkeratome makes a protective flap of the cornea, which is gently folded back. During this process you may feel a little pressure and the microscope light will momentarily fade away. Then, you will be asked to look at a focusing light. At this point the laser tracks your eye movement while the small spot laser beam precisely reshapes the cornea in a matter of seconds.
Next, the protective flap is folded back into place where it bonds securely without stitches. After Lasik eye surgery, some patients report a slight discomfort that usually goes away after 12 to 24 hours.
Several things could affect every LASIK procedure – perhaps your procedure:
- Your vision and the amount of correction you can realistically expect.
- The experience and expertise of the physician.
- The type of laser used by the surgeon.
The Original Laster Vision Correction
Photo-Refractive Keratectomy (PRK) was the first laser vision correction procedure. It became popular worldwide in the early 1990s and in the USA in 1995 when the excimer laser was first approved by the FDA for laser vision correction (LVC). The excimer laser brought tremendous advancements to the specialty known as “refractive surgery.”
With PRK, surgeons utilize state-of-the-art computer technology combined with the accuracy and precision of the excimer laser to treat a much wider range of nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism than what is possible with incisional reshaping of the cornea. PRK is extremely successful, the vast majority of patients have visual results of 20/20 to 20/40, which reduces and/or eliminates their dependence on glasses or contact lenses.
PRK is performed in an outpatient excimer laser suite. First, an anesthetic eye drops completely numb the eye. Next, the clear, protective surface layer (epithelium) of the cornea is loosened from the underlying layers of the cornea and is partially removed. Then, in a matter of seconds, the excimer laser is applied to the cornea, reshaping it to the correct focusing power. Unlike LASIK, the PRK patient experiences no heavy pressure sensation nor loss of vision during the procedure.
With PRK or any of its variations, it usually takes 3-5 days for the epithelium to fully heal. You should expect some moderate discomfort for the first 24-48 hours after PRK. You will be given instructions on how to manage the discomfort as well as eye drops to speed healing and prevent infection. Most PRK patients notice an improvement in their vision immediately after surgery. However, the vision usually is somewhat blurred during the epithelial healing process. Your functional vision should return in 3 to 7 days while the full visual results may not be recognized for three weeks to several months. Because the return to functional vision is longer than with LASIK, many PRK patients prefer to have one eye treated at a time. If you prefer to have both eyes treated at the same session, you should make plans to accommodate your slightly blurred vision for the first week after surgery.