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What is LASIK?
LASIK (laser in situ keratomileusis) is a laser vision correction technique that uses an excimer laser to reshape the surface of the cornea to change the focusing power of the eye.
What happens during LASIK?
The first step in LASIK involves placing a series of numbing eye drops in the eye. This makes LASIK a basically discomfort-free procedure. Once the eye is numbed, a lid holder is placed which prevents the eye from blinking. At this point, the microkeratome, a highly precise instrument that creates the corneal flap is placed onto the eye. This is done with a suction pressure that will feel like a slight squeeze on the eye. The suction also causes the vision in the eye to dim. You won’t see anything during this part of the procedure because the other eye is covered. The corneal flap is then created, the suction ring is removed and the vision returns. Dr. MacRae then moves the flap out of the way, exposing the inner tissue of the cornea. The laser, under computer control, will then be activated for short intervals, reshaping the cornea. Typically, actual laser treatment time is less than one minute. With the cornea now resculpted to a new power, Dr. MacRae repositions the flap and carefully smooths it into place. Within seconds the flap re-adheres without the need for stitches. Many patients are concerned with eye movements during treatment. This is less of a problem than most people think. Although it will be important for you to watch a large, blinking red light during treatment, it is important to minimize movement. Through the surgical microscope, Dr. MacRae can see even the most minute movements that the eye makes. he will stop the laser if the movement is significant and reposition the eye. Our Technolas 217z excimer laser also has an infra-red video tracking system integrated into it that will monitor your eye position. The tracker keeps the treatment centered for small, natural eye movements and will stop laser treatment if too much movement is detected.
On the day of surgery
What to expect after surgery
After surgery, plan to:
Common Symptoms after LASIK
It is common to experience varying degrees of discomfort beginning 30-90 minutes following the surgery as the numbing drops begin to wear off. Many patients describe this sensation as feeling like sand or an eyelash is in the eye. It is best to go home, close both eyes and rest for the remainder of the day following the LASIK procedure. You may experience watery eyes, a runny nose, light sensitivity and eye redness during the first day following your surgery. It is common for the small capillaries in the white of your eye to bleed slightly because of the suction ring utilized during the LASIK procedure. These Subconjunctival Hemorrhages result in small red areas in the white part of your eye. They are expected, harmless, have no effect on your vision and they will often resolve within one to two weeks.It is normal for your vision to go in and out of focus, particularly the first week following your surgery. Although visual recovery is slower for some patients, vision should stabilize substantially by the second week after the procedure. Expect your distance vision to clear before your reading vision. This is normal. However, if you are over 40, your age will determine when and if your reading vision will return. Patients over 45 years of age usually will need reading glasses, even if a monovision correction has been chosen. Nearly all patients have a temporary dry eye after LASIK. This may persist for several months following the surgery and is best treated with frequent artificial tear use. Although your eyes may not feel dry, regular artificial tear use is advised. Night glare, commonly described as halos or starbursting, is often reported during the first few weeks following surgery and is related to the normal post-operative swelling of your corneas. This gradually decreases so that it bothers very few by three months and even fewer by six months. Displacement of the flap is very rare but is a serious problem that can arise following the LASIK procedure. This generally occurs during the first 24 hours after surgery and causes pain, redness and blurred vision. It is important to be evaluated whenever you feel your eye is not healing appropriately or you have pain or a sudden change in your vision.
Post Procedure Activities and Restrictions
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