Lasik surgery (Laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis) is a type of refractive eye surgery. Refractive surgery changes the shape of the dome-shaped transparent tissue (cornea) at the front of your eye. The desired result of Lasik eye surgery is to bend (refract) light rays to focus more precisely on your retina rather than at some point beyond or in front of your retina. The goal of Lasik eye surgery is to produce clearer, sharper vision.
“Lasik surgery may reduce or eliminate the need for corrective lenses. It is a surgical procedure capable of correcting nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.”
During the procedure, an eye surgeon creates a flap in the cornea and then uses a laser to reshape the cornea and correct focusing problems in the eye. Lasik surgery is most appropriate for people who have a moderate degree of nearsightedness (myopia), in which you see nearby objects clearly, but distant objects are blurry; farsightedness (hyperopia), in which you can see distant objects clearly, but nearby objects are blurry or astigmatism, which causes overall blurry vision.
A good surgical outcome depends on careful evaluation of your eyes before the surgery.
While spectacles contain lenses that alter the incoming rays of light to enable them to focus on the retina, contact lenses enhance vision performance, especially for higher refractive errors, because they are placed on the cornea. But with Lasik, you wear no lenses at all and achieve ultimate comfort
Visit Apollo Spectra Hospitals to meet with experts if you need to get a Lasik surgery done.
- The patient feels less pain and recovers faster.
- Visual recovery is usually fast because the surface layer of the eye does not need to re-heal after being removed, as it does in other types of refractive surgery such as PRK (Photorefractive keratectomy)
- There is less corneal scarring in the long-term and less change due to healing and thus greater stability of the correction.
- The effects of Lasik are permanent.
Lasik is emerging as an in-demand procedure for vision correction. Almost anyone with refractive errors is eligible, except those under 18 years of age as their eyes are likely to still undergo internal changes. Of course, the eligibility also depends upon the curvature and thickness of the cornea and other factors that the ophthalmologist will evaluate during the pre-operative check.
A discussion with a physician is very important as one needs to be informed that the surgery is less of a cosmetic procedure and the basic idea is to reduce dependency on spectacles. It is important to not have unrealistic expectations of the final outcome as well as healing as they vary from person to person and also from eye to eye.
What to Expect
- Lasik surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure using topical anesthetic drops.
- The procedure lasts 10-15 minutes only and actual laser treatment lasts for only 5-30 seconds.
- The patient is awake during the procedure.
- The patient can return home right after the procedure but will need to arrange for someone to drive them home.
- The patient will not need spectacles or contact lenses after the correction.
- Patients with high refractive errors of over -10 may still need low-powered corrective lenses. The residual refractive error may be corrected in some, through a second refractive procedure.
What increases the risks?
Complications after Lasik surgery may occur if you:
- Have the following conditions that impair healing: Diseases that affect your immune system, including autoimmune diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and others) and immunodeficiency diseases (HIV), increase the risk of incomplete healing, infection and other complications. Taking an immunosuppressive medication also increases the risk of a poor outcome after Lasik surgery.
- Have persistent dry eyes. If you have dry eyes, Lasik surgery may make the condition worse.
- Anatomic issues: Lasik surgery may be inappropriate if your corneas are too thin, your corneal surface is irregular, or you have a condition in which the cornea thins and gradually bulges outward into a cone shape (keratoconus).
- Lasik surgery also may not be an appropriate option if you have an abnormal lid position, deep-set eyes or other anatomic concerns.
- Have unstable vision. You may not be eligible for Lasik surgery if the pressure inside your eye is too high or the quality of your vision is fluctuating or getting worse.
- Are pregnant or breastfeeding. Vision can fluctuate during pregnancy and breastfeeding, making the outcome of Lasik surgery less certain.
What are the risks of Lasik surgery?
As with any surgery, Lasik surgery carries risks, including:
- Undercorrection, overcorrection or astigmatism. If the laser removes too little or too much tissue from your eye, you won’t get the clearer vision you wanted. Similarly, uneven tissue removal can result in astigmatism.
- Vision disturbances. After surgery, you may have difficulty seeing at night. You might notice glare, halos around bright lights or double vision.
- Dry eyes. Lasik surgery causes a temporary decrease in tear production. As your eyes heal, they might feel unusually dry.
- Flap problems. Folding back or removing the flap from the front of your eye during surgery can cause complications, including infection, excess tears and swelling.
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