LASIK / Refractive Surgery
What is refractive surgery?
Refractive surgeries are used to treat nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia. These procedures use advanced laser technology to reshape the cornea and correct refractive errors in the eye.
Laser-assisted In Situ Keratomileusis, or LASIK, is one of the most popular refractive surgeries available. During this procedure, your surgeon will cut a small flap in the cornea and use a precision laser to gently reshape the tissue underneath.
LASIK surgery–what to expect
LASIK is relatively easy and only involves a few steps. In fact, most LASIK surgeries are completed within a matter of minutes.
During the surgery you will remain awake, but anesthetic eyedrops will prevent you from feeling any discomfort. A speculum will keep your eyelid open throughout the procedure and a small suction ring will be placed around the front of your eye to hold it steady.
Reshaping the cornea
Your surgeon will use a precision instrument called a microkeratome to create a flap in the surface layers of your cornea. You will be asked to look at a target light while a laser gently reshapes your corneal tissue. While the laser is in use, you will hear a clicking sound and you may feel some pressure on your eye. Your surgeon will then place the corneal flap back into its original position and allow it to dry.
After your procedure, you will need someone drive you home so that you can relax for the rest of the day. Most LASIK patients are able to return to work within a day or two.
Alternative refractive surgery options
LASIK surgery provides safe and effective vision correction for many people but isn’t appropriate for every patient. Factors such as age and overall eye health can affect your eligibility for laser surgery.
If you are not a good candidate for LASIK, there are a number of other refractive surgery options that may be right for you, including:
- PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy)
- Bladeless or “All Laser” LASIK
- Custom or Wavefront LASIK
- LASEK (Laser Epithelial Keratomileusis)
- LTK (Laser Thermal Keratoplasty)
- Intraocular Lens Implants (IOLs)