How LASIK Works
LASIK Eye Surgery
The cornea helps focus images onto the retina by bending or refracting light. When the shape of the cornea and the eye are not perfect, the image on the retina is blurred or distorted. These imperfections are called refractive errors. Myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism are the three primary refractive errors. Persons with myopia, or nearsightedness, have more difficulty seeing distant objects as clearly as near objects. Persons with hyperopia, or farsightedness, have more difficulty seeing near objects as clearly as distant objects. Astigmatism is a distortion of the image on the retina caused by irregularities in the cornea or lens of the eye. It is not unusual to have combinations of myopia and astigmatism or hyperopia and astigmatism. Glasses or contact lenses are worn to compensate for the eye's imperfections. Now there are more options than just corrective eye wear. Refractive surgery procedures have been developed and are aimed at improving the focusing power of the eye. LASIK (Laser-Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis) is one type of refractive surgery that uses precise and controlled removal of corneal tissue to reshape the cornea, changing its focusing power.
The Benefits of LASIK Eye Surgery
Benefits to LASIK include fast visual recovery, limited post-operative discomfort, and a lowered incidence of glare and halos than some other refractive surgical procedures. Most patients are very happy with the results. It's no wonder that LASIK laser vision correction has quickly emerged as one of the true medical breakthroughs of modern history. LASIK, the most accepted form of laser vision correction, is the fastest-growing type of refractive surgery. It is very versatile and can treat both nearsightedness and farsightedness with or without astigmatism. Over 98% of people who have LASIK achieve somewhere between 20/20 and 20/40 vision without glasses or contact lenses.
At Your LASIK Eye Surgery Consultation
If you have not already done so at a screening evaluation, a complete medical and eye history will be taken. This is typically referred to as the pre-operative LASIK evaluation. This will include a review of your health and medical conditions, medications you are taking, allergies as well as a discussion of your ocular health and status including your vision correction history. It will be necessary for you to communicate any medical or eye conditions or diseases that have been diagnosed or treated among your family members.
A technician will conduct several tests. These will include measuring your visual acuity with and without your current vision correction (i.e. glasses or contact lenses) and determining the shape of your cornea using an instrument called a corneal topographer. A measurement of your pupils will be performed as detailed later. In order to get accurate refractive measurements, your refractive error will be measured both in its natural state and after having drops placed in your eyes. A test will be performed to determine your dominant eye, and most importantly, the thickness of your cornea will be measured to make sure you are a LASIK candidate. Additional testing will include measuring your intraocular pressure. Your doctor will assess your cornea, lens and tear film health using an instrument called a slit lamp. After the drops have had their full effect, the doctor will examine the health of your retina and optic nerves. All these various tests and measurements are necessary to give your eyes a "clean bill of health" and to determine if you are a suitable LASIK candidate.
What to Expect During Your LASIK Surgery?
When you arrive on your day of surgery, you should expect to have the surgicl staff begin to both prepare you for your treatment, and to make you comfortable. First, if you have not already done so, you will need to sign a statement of informed consent which says that you have had the opportunity to ask questions, that they have been answered, that the risks, benefits and possible complications of your treatment have been reviewed and discussed with you, that you have considered alternatives such as glasses and contact lenses and that after considering all of this information you have made the decision to proceed. Before signing the informed consent, make sure to ask any final questions and have the answers that you need. Next, a staff member will begin putting a series of eye drops in your eyes. Some of these are to numb your eyes so that you are comfortable, some are antibiotics to prevent any risk of infection, and depending on your treatment, some may be to dilate your pupil. After a few minutes you will be accompanied into the laser suite. Don't be alarmed if it seems like there are a number of people doing things in the laser suite. They are all just doing their jobs of getting things ready for your surgery. You will be asked to sit and recline on a comfortable bed-like chair or platform and some additional numbing drops will be placed in your eyes. The surgeon or staff will clean the area around your eye by using a small sterile pad and some liquid to gently scrub your eyelids and adjacent areas.
You will be awake and able to communicate for this very brief procedure. It lasts about 15-30 minutes. A delicate instrument, called a microkeratome, is used to create a very thin flap of corneal tissue. Once this tissue flap is created, the surgeon positions the laser beam over the eye, directing light pulses to achieve the desired correction. The flap is carefully placed back in its original position. Because of the way the eye is formed, no stitches will be necessary. You will be given eye drops to help the eye to heal and to alleviate dryness. Healing time is minimal and after two or so hours of rest the results will be apparent. For some patients recovery may take longer.
10 Questions to ASK Your LASIK Surgeon
- What is your experience with LASIK eye surgery
- What is the track record of LASIK success at the Kentucky Eye Institute?
- What is your educational background and training to be an ophthalmologist?
- What do you like about LASIK?
- What do you NOT like about LASIK?
- What do you think about the LASER technology?
- What type of LASER technology does Kentucky Eye Institute use?
- What is the difference between LASIK and PRK eye surgery
- Where is your laser center located?
- How many days will I need to miss work?
Legal Disclaimer: The information on this LASIK website page should not be interpreted as medical advice. If you have questions regarding LASIK in Kentucky or you would like more information regarding our Kentucky LASIK eye surgery specialists feel free to contact us.
Kentucky Eye Institute is comprised of both ophthalmologists and primary care optometrists. We invite you to read about our doctors on this website and explore the vast experience we possess as one of the region’s premier eye care providers. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us.
Are you a candidate for LASIK eye surgery in Lexington or the surrounding Areas? Take our test and hear from our LASIK eye surgery consultants. Get started today on your path to visual freedom!
Would you like to have LASIK refractive surgery but are concerned about finances? Kentucky Eye Institute has multiple financing options available to make LASIK affordable for almost everyone. There is a page on this website dedicated to discussing LASIK financing options. You can even fill out an online application to see if you qualify. Kentucky Eye Institute offers 0% financing, with approved credit, with low fixed monthly payments, no down payment and no pre-payment penalties.
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