LASIK is short for laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis and is the most common form of surgery used to improve sight. It’s extremely popular because it is practically painless and usually works almost immediately.
What Will Happen During LASIK Surgery?
When you go in for your surgery, your doctor will put drops in your eyes to numb them. Then you will lie down with your first eye exactly under the laser. He will then use a little tool that holds your eye open. It doesn’t hurt but it may feel awkward. Next, he will use an ink marker to draw a line on the cornea before cutting on the eye.
Your doctor will either use a microkeratome, which is a small knife-like instrument, or a laser to make a thin flap in your cornea. This will be secured to your eyeball with a little suction cup. He’ll fold the flap back and use a laser to remove a very small amount of tissue from your cornea in order to reshape it. The object of reshaping the cornea is to enable it to better focus the light that comes into your eye back onto the retina. The doctor will the put the flap back in place when the surgery is complete.
For farsighted people, the doctor will make the slope of the cornea steeper and with nearsighted people, the doctor will flatten the cornea a bit. Using LASIK surgery can also help people with astigmatism. It is caused by an irregularly shaped cornea, and the doctor can reshape it into the form that it is supposed to be.
In order to determine exactly what to do to your cornea, your doctor will use a computer to adjust the laser. The computer makes the determination based upon your prescription. You will have to look into the light for a short period of time while your doctor watches the laser through a microscope. The light sends small pulses of light to your cornea. This is actually how it is reshaped.
Typically, the surgery only takes a few minutes, but the worse your eyes are, the longer it takes. Expect to hear clicking coming from the laser and you may also smell something odd. This is normal. After the procedure, you will rest for a few minutes and will then be free to go home. He may give you a prescription for a mild painkiller to handle any discomfort, but usually it’s not really necessary. You may have mild discomfort for a few days but many people don’t have any pain at all.
Though the procedure sounds extremely simple, it isn’t and you choose your doctor very carefully. It should only be performed by a highly-trained professional that specializes in LASIK surgery because he is actually cutting on your eyeball. You want somebody that knows what they are doing, so do your homework.
To determine if LASIK surgery is right for you, your eye doctor will examine your eyes to determine what is causing your poor vision. He will also look for dry eye disease or infection. If any is found, you will need to clear it up prior to the surgery. It’s possible that even after the procedure you may still need glasses to read but many people come through the surgery with perfect vision. LASIK surgery is a quick, painless procedure that can give you back your vision and your quality of life!