Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis or LASIK for short has become increasingly popular in recent years because of its effectiveness in correcting vision problems. But people still wonder — how does LASIK surgery work? How does it actually restore your eyesight? That is the question we are going to answer here.
Let’s start with a short answer to the question, and then we will take a more detailed look. Here is how LASIK surgery works—the surgeon uses a special type of cutting laser with high precision in order to correct the shape of your cornea, which is the dome-shaped clear tissue at the front of your eye.
When eyes are affected with nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia) or astigmatism, the light does not get refracted properly by the cornea, which results in blurred vision. LASIK simply corrects the shape of the cornea so that light falls properly onto the retina at the back of the eye.
Now, let us take a more detailed look at the LASIK procedure and understand how you have to prepare before the procedure, what happens during the surgery and what you can expect after.
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How To Prepare For LASIK Surgery
LASIK surgery is not suitable for everyone and you need to be evaluated to see if you are a suitable candidate. Once you get the go-ahead and before you go into surgery, speak to your doctor and understand what is expected of you.
Here is how you prepare for LASIK surgery:
- During the pre-surgery evaluation, your doctor will see if you are suffering from an eye infection, inflammation, dry eyes or any other condition affecting the eyes. Your doctor will also measure your cornea and determine which areas need to be targeted during the surgery.
- Since this is an elective surgery, your insurance might not cover the cost. So you will have to understand the costs involved thoroughly.
- You will have to arrange for a way to get back home—you will have blurred vision for a while after the surgery and you will feel the effects of the medicine. So you won’t be in a position to drive a vehicle.
- You have to avoid wearing any makeup around your eyes. Your doctor might even suggest that you clean your eyelashes regularly for a few days leading up to the surgery so that you can clear out any accumulated dirt.
- If you wear contact lenses, you will have to stop wearing them at least a few weeks prior to your surgery. You will have to make do with your glasses during this period.
Once all this is done and the big day of the surgery has arrived, here is what will happen next.
What Happens During LASIK Surgery
The entire procedure will take about 15 minutes. Here is what happens during LASIK surgery:
- You will be asked to lie back on a reclining chair and the doctor will administer the anaesthetic. After the medicine takes effect and your eyes are numb, your doctor will use an instrument to hold your eyelids open.
- A suction ring is positioned over your eye and a small incision is made on the corneal flap. You might feel slight pressure and your vision will get slightly blurred.
- Now the surgeon will cut a small flap away from the front of your eye using a small blade or cutting laser. This allows your doctor to reach the part of your cornea that needs to be reshaped.
- Using the programmed laser beam, the surgeon will correct the shape of your cornea. Each pulse of the laser beam will remove a tiny bit of the corneal tissue and you might get the slight odour of something burning.
- If your other eye needs to be operated on, your surgeon will do the needful immediately after finishing the first one.
And just like that, your LASIK surgery will be done. You will be prescribed some medicines for 4-5 days post-surgery and you will be allowed to leave the clinic soon after the surgery.
What Happens After LASIK Surgery
Soon after LASIK surgery, you will feel slight itchiness or irritation in your eye and your vision will be slightly blurred. But within the next few hours, you will recover your vision fully.
It is likely that you will be given some pain medication or eye drops. It is also possible that your doctor will ask you to wear an eye mask when you sleep for a few days.
But the big question on your mind is — how long after LASIK surgery till I can see properly? The answer is that it will take about 15 days for your eyes to fully heal and for your vision to stabilize.
Your doctor will monitor your progress throughout and you will have follow-up appointments one or two days post-surgery and multiple appointments for up to six months post-surgery, depending on several factors.
You will have to avoid any situations that could be dangerous for your eyes like contact sports, swimming or other similar situations. It is best to wear a pair of sunglasses whenever you have to step outside in the bright sunlight.
The Results of LASIK Surgery
Chances are, you will have 20/25 vision after your LASIK surgery and you won’t need glasses anymore. The LASIK Quality of Life Collaboration Project (LQOLCP) that took place in October 2009 to test the safety and effectiveness of LASIK surgery, found that more than 95 per cent of the study participants were satisfied with their vision following LASIK surgery.
If you are tired of wearing thick glasses or annoying contact lenses, it is understandable if you are considering LASIK seriously. Of course, this is a sensitive surgery and it is best if you can find a doctor or eye hospital that has a track record of completing successful LASIK surgeries for patients.
Prasad Netralaya, the leading eye hospital in Mangalore has completed over 3000 LASIK surgeries since 2013. With experienced staff and state-of-the-art technology, this is the best place in Mangalore to have your LASIK corrective surgery done. Reach out to us and book an appointment to speak to our doctors right away. Take the first step towards perfect vision!