Before undergoing LASIK, you will meet with your ophthalmologist for a thorough eye examination. During this initial consultation session, the ophthalmologist will assess the thickness and shape of your cornea (corneal mapping), measure the size of the pupil (pupil dilation), and have both eyes checked for refractive errors (refraction) such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism as well as for any underlying eye conditions that may be present. Your eyes’ moisture levels may also be checked to determine if there is the possibility of developing dry eyes after the procedure and if necessary, then a preventive treatment may be recommended.
Upon your ophthalmologists’ certification and consent, the procedure can be scheduled for the following day.
Patients who wear:
- Soft contact lenses; should stop wearing them 2 weeks prior to their initial examination.
- Rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses; should stop wearing them for at least 3 weeks prior buto their initial examination.
- Hard lenses should; stop wearing them for at least 4 weeks prior to their initial examination.
You should tell your ophthalmologist:
- About your medical and eye conditions; both past and current
- About medications you are taking, including medications you may be allergic to and over-the-counter medications
Your ophthalmologist should carry out a thorough eye examination and discuss:
- Whether you are eligible for LASIK
- What the side-effects, benefits, and alternatives of the procedure are
- What to expect before, during, and after the LASIK procedure
- What instructions you need to follow before, during, and after surgery
If you have any additional questions, you should ask your doctor during the initial appointment before you proceed with the procedure.
The day before LASIK surgery, it is advised to stop using:
Before your LASIK surgery, it is recommended to schedule your first follow-up appointment and to arrange your transportation to and from your procedure. On the day of your eye vision correction procedure your ophthalmologist may give you mild sedatives to make you feel relaxed. As sedation impairs your ability to drive and your vision most likely will be blurry for a few hours,so it would be advisable to have someone drive you home after the procedure.
After you enter the operation room;
1. You will be asked to lie down and remain still.
2. Topical eye drops will be used to numb your eye
3. The area around your eye will be washed and cleansed,
4. You may also be given a sedative to help you relax
Your doctor will use an instrument called a ‘lid speculum’ to hold your eyelid open and then place a ring on your eye that creates suction on the cornea. At this point of the surgery it is normal to feel some pressure and to experience dimming of the vision. Once the ring has been firmly placed, your eye surgeon will attach a special instrument called a “microkeratome” to the suction ring. Using the blade of the microkeratome, your eye doctor will create a thin corneal flap by cutting approximately 20% of the outermost layer of the cornea and then lift the flap carefully to one side. After removing the suction ring and microkeratome your doctor will use pulses from a computer controlled excimer laser to reshape your cornea by vaporizing tiny portions of its interior. Reshaping the cornea has the same effect as putting a lens over the eye—it changes the refraction of the eye and therefore the focus of the light that converges onto the retina.
The excimer laser is programmed to deliver the exact amount of energy and treatment pattern to your eye for your specific vision correction needs. The doctor will position the laser directly over your eye and initiate the computer-controlled treatment, which usually takes less than a minute. You will be asked to look at a target inside the laser, and your doctor will be observing your eye through a microscope during the laser reshaping process. Once the reshaping process is completed, your doctor will then replace the corneal flap into its original position and observe the eye for several minutes to ensure bonding. As the corneal tissue bonds quickly, healing will be rapid and the eyes will not require any stitches. The same process will then be repeated on the other eye. It takes less than 10 minutes to perform LASIK surgery per eye.
What to Expect After the Procedure
After your LASIK procedure, your ophthalmologist will give you a brief postoperative eye exam. Your eye doctor will administer antibiotic drops and place a shield over your eye to prevent you from rubbing it or from putting pressure on it while you sleep. You might feel some stinging and experience some blurring of your vision but these symptoms should improve considerably within the first few days after surgery. Following your eye exam, if the doctor confirms that the procedure has been successful, then you can go home, under the condition that you are driven by a family member or friend. You will have your first postoperative appointment the next day of your surgery. Your ophthalmologist will check your vision and make sure that your eyes are healing accordingly. Your subsequent follow-up appointment with your eye doctor will be about a week later.
During this appointment your eye doctor will evaluate the condition of your eyes and determine if you require more follow-up visits for the upcoming weeks. Control exams with your eye doctor should normally be carried out in the first, third and sixth month following the LASIK procedure. It is recommended that you rest your eyes once you get home and take a few days off from work after your procedure. As a regular treatment regimen, you will be advised to use the antibiotic eye drops and artificial tears prescribed by your eye doctor.The eye drops will help speed up the healing process and the artificial tears will keep your eyes moist. During this time try to restrain yourself from touching, scratching or rubbing your eyes. For around a week following your surgery, you are advised to avoid strenuous activities as it can hinder the healing process. You should also avoid wearing eye makeup, lotions and creams for a week, as well. You are allowed to take a shower or have a bath on the day after the eye surgery however within the first 72 hours following the procedure you should refrain from getting any shampoo or soap to your eyes. Hot tubs or any water activities such as swimming should also be avoided for around 2 to 3 weeks. Working on the computer, reading and watching television will be allowed within 24 hours following the procedure. Although not compulsory, it would still be a good idea to wear sunglasses during the day time to protect your eyes for the first 2-3 weeks following your LASIK eye surgery.
Each patient’s recovery pattern is unique so be sure to follow your doctor's instructions and recommendations before resuming daily activities.
Since having treatment, my life is so much easier! Stuart Hunt, Age 47, Treatment: Laser eye surgeryWatch Now