LASIK, which stands for laser in-situ keratomileusis, is a popular surgery used to correct vision in people who are nearsighted, farsighted, or have astigmatism.
All laser vision correction surgeries work by reshaping the cornea, the clear front part of the eye, so that light traveling through it is properly focused onto the retina located in the back of the eye. LASIK is one of a number of different surgical techniques used to reshape the cornea.
LASIK has many benefits, including:
It has been around for over 25 years and it works! It corrects vision. Around 96% of patients will have their desired vision after LASIK. An enhancement can further increase this number.
LASIK is associated with very little pain due to the numbing drops that are used.
Vision is corrected nearly by the day after LASIK.
No bandages or stitches are required after LASIK.
Adjustments can be made years after LASIK to further correct vision if vision changes while you age.
After having LASIK, most patients have a dramatic reduction in eyeglass or contact lens dependence and many patients no longer need them at all.
To do the procedure, a flap of corneal tissue is created. This flap is then peeled back so that the excimer laser can reshape the corneal tissue underneath. A hinge on the flap prevents it from being completely separated from the cornea.
When LASIK was first done, a special automated knife (a microkeratome) was used to cut the flap. Now, a more common and safer method is to use a different type of laser (femtosecond) to create the corneal flap.
The amount of corneal tissue the laser will remove is calculated ahead of time. The surgeon will calculate this based on several factors including:
Your glasses or contact lens prescription
A wavefront test, which measures how light travels through your eye
The shape of your cornea surface
Once the reshaping is done, the surgeon replaces and secures the flap. No stitches are needed. The cornea will naturally hold the flap in place.
The LASIK procedure (For Michigan see Yaldo Eye Center) offers extremely fast recovery: within hours of the surgery, the flap has usually begun to heal. Most patients are able to resume day-to-day activities just 24 hours after the surgery. You will receive a prescription for eye drops to use for five days after surgery. You must also wear sunglasses at night to prevent rubbing your eyes for the first two nights after surgery.