Laser-Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK) is a surgical procedure intended to reduce dependency on eyeglasses and contact lenses. Nationwide, it is performed on nearly 1 million patients each year to correct myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism by permanently altering the shape of the cornea. The cornea is the clear covering of the eye that arches over the pupil, like the crystal over the face of a watch. Corneal reshaping changes the eye's focusing power, so that vision is clear without glasses or contact lenses.
During LASIK eye surgery, you will be lying on the laser bed and your eyelids will be held open with a device called a lid speculum. You will be asked to focus on a special fixation light in a microscope. A thin surface layer of cornea is separated with an instrument, called a microkeratome.
A microkeratome is used to create a thin hinged flap of cornea tissue
This thin flap is then lifted and folded back to expose the tissue just below the cornea's surface called stroma. Next, looking though a microscope, your surgeon uses an excimer laser to reshape the cornea by removing a precise ultra-thin amount of the exposed cornea.
A thin hinged flap is lifted to one side and laser energy is applied to reshape the exposed surface of the cornea.
The amount of tissue to be removed is calculated based on the preoperative determination of the power of your eyeglasses or contact lenses. The cornea flap is then returned to its original position and within minutes natural forces hold the flap down on the cornea. Usually, no stitches are required to keep the corneal flap in place. LASIK can be used to correct nearsightedness or farsightedness, with or without astigmatism.
The tissue flap is placed back in its original position.
LASIK eye surgery is performed on an outpatient basis. You will be able to go home after your LASIK eye surgery, but you will need to arrange for someone to drive you home and bring you back for a follow-up visit. LASIK eye surgery generally requires 20 minutes of operating room time, but the actual duration may vary according to the type and amount of correction needed. A mild sedative, such as Valium may be taken to help you relax. You will be given eye drops to numb your eyes.
You must wear protective eye shields for the first several nights to prevent rubbing your eyes, and you will be required to use eye drops on a regular basis for a few weeks after LASIK eye surgery. You may need to use lubrication eye drops for several months after your LASIK eye surgery. In very rare circumstances, you may need to wear a special contact lens on a temporary basis after LASIK eye surgery. Generally, your vision will be stable in a matter of weeks.
Currently, LASIK is the most popular laser vision correction procedure due to its high success rate and rapid recovery of vision. LASIK is considered extremely safe for recommended patients and results can be almost immediate. Most patients enjoy significantly improved vision and may return to their normal daily activities within a few days of surgery.
Is LASIK Right For You?
LASIK may be the right choice for you if you answer yes to the questions below. We recommend that you receive a specialized comprehensive eye examination performed by a LASIK surgeon or by Dr. Kim prior to you making your decision.
Are you 18 years of age or older?
Is your prescription within -1.00 to -14.00 diopters of nearsightedness, or up to +6.00 diopters of farsightedness, or do you have astigmatism less than 5.00 diopters?
Has your prescription been stable for at least one year?
Are your eyes healthy and free of disease or serious ailments?
Are you informed about the risks and benefits of LASIK?
Do you know about the alternatives to LASIK?
Do you have realistic expectation about how LASIK can improve you vision?
It is very important that you have as much information about LASIK as possible before making an informed decision. Because of this, we encourage you to contact us to schedule a free consultation so you can learn more about LASIK vision correction.
Contact us today!
Schedule an appointment with us online or call us at (408) 358-3932.
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