LASIK eye surgery

LASIK or lasik, sometimes simply called laser eye surgery is a surgical procedure for correcting vision impairments such as myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism. The procedure is carried out by opthalmologists using a laser beam to reshape the eye's cornea to correct eye-sight.

The procedure

LASIK eye surgery is carried out with the patient awake, sometimes under a mild sedative and anasthetic eye drops. The operation consists of three steps:

Step 1: Flap Creation

A suction ring is gently applied to the eye to hold it in position for the surgery, then a femtosecond laser makes a small incision in the eye. This flap is then folded back to expose the stroma, the middle of the cornea.

Step 2: Laser remodelling

In thsi stage of the procedure a second laser is used to remodel corneal stroma. The tissue is very precisely vapourised using the laser with the layer of tissue that is being removed only tens of micrometres thick. Most clinics use computer controlled eye-tracking systems that update up to 4,000 times a second in order make sure the laser pulses strike to exact treatment area.

Step 3: Returning the flap

After the stroma has been reshaped the LASIK flap is returned to its original position and checked for air pockets, bubbles or debris. The flap will remain in position naturally until fully healed. increasingly a "bandage contact lens" is placed in the eye to promote healing and comfort.

After the procedure

Postoperative care

The patient is prescribed a course of antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eye drops to be used in the weeks following the procedure. Patients are advised to sleep more than usual and are usually given a pari of goggles to wear to bed in order to reduce the risk of eye-rubbing during the night, sometimes darkened shields to protect eyes from bright lights are advised.

Side effects

The suction ring used to secure the eye in place during the operation can cause small blood vessels in the eye surface to burst, resulting in mild bleeding in the whites of the eye, this is a harmless side effect that usually heals within a few weeks.

One of the most prevalent side effects reported by LASIK patients is "dry eyes". In order to minimise the effects of dry eyes proper pre and post operative treatments should be followed, these include artificial tears, prescriptions tears and punctual occlusion. Dry eyes if untreated can possibly have a negative effect on the results of the procedure.

As with any surgucal procedure the potential complications vary from patient to patient, as medically trained doctors opthalmologists are held to the same ethics as other doctors and should be consulted about the risks of the surgery as they applyto you personally before you agree to undertake the procedure.

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