WHAT IS LASIK?
LASIK is short for “Laser in situ keratomileusis”. It is a simple surgical procedure used to treat myopia (shortsightedness), hypermetropia (longsightedness), astigmatism and presbyopia (age-related long sightedness). It has become the most popular form of laser vision correction surgery.
LASIK procedure involves the creation of a flap to the cornea (the front part of the eye). The flap is then lifted and the excimer laser is applied to the deeper layers of the cornea to reshape and to alter the optical power of the eye. The corneal flap is then repositioned to its original position. LASIK is safe, quick and virtually pain free.
HOW IS LASIK PERFORMED?
- Creating the flap
- Laser correction
- Closing the flap
Part I: Creating the flapIt involves creating a "flap" of the cornea with a specialised instrument called the microkeratome
Part II: Laser correctionExcimer laser beam is used to reshape the cornea
Part III: Closing the flap
The “flap” is then replaced to its original location, bonding securely, without the need for stitches
The eye heals within the first 24 hours and patients can generally resume work the day after surgery.
ON THE DAY OF THE PROCEDURE
Do not wear any form of make-up, powder or perfume on the day of your procedure.
You can not drive yourself home on the day of your surgery. Please arrange for someone to take you home.
Plan to be at the surgery centre for 1- 1.5 hours. The actual procedure takes 20 minutes for both eyes.
- Local anaesthetic eye-drops will be placed in your eye to ensure your eye is comfortable during LASIK.
- A sedative tablet is often given prior to surgery.
- You will be placed under the Excimer Laser and your head will be positioned directly under the laser.
- A sterile dressing will be placed over your face exposing only the eye to be treated.
- A speculum will be placed between your eyelids to open your eye and prevent blinking.
- A clear, adhesive plastic film will be placed over your eye to hold down your eyelashes. A suction ring and the microkeratome will be positioned on your eye.
- The Doctor will ask you to fix your focus on a blinking light.
- As soon as the Doctor is satisfied with your eye's fixation he will begin creating the flap. You will hear a low "whirring" sound and observe a shadow momentarily blocking your view of the fixation light and feel a firm pressure on your eye. Relax and keep your eye fixed.
- Once the flap is created, the Doctor will lift the flap and begin reshaping your cornea. You will hear a rapid "clicking" sound and see a bluish white light rapidly flashing. At some moments you may not see the fixation light but you should keep your eye as still as possible. However, if you do accidently move your eye, the laser will stop and restart once you have regained fixation.
- When the cornea reshaping is done, the Doctor will irrigate your eye, replace the flap and gently press down the edges of the flap with a sponge.
AFTER YOUR SURGERY
Immediately after surgery, you will perceive an improvement in the vision. Your vision will be blurred as though looking through frosted glass, usually lasting 6-12 hours. You may experience tearing and a mild foreign-body sensation. Painkillers can be taken to reduce any minor pain.
We recommend you go home and rest or go to sleep after your procedure.
The next morning your vision will be dramatically improved.
For the first two weeks after your procedure, please don’t rub your eyes, don’t go swimming, don’t wear eye make up and please avoid dusty environments, contact sports or long overseas air travel.
Work: You can generally return to work 2 days after the LASIK procedure.
Driving: You can generally drive the next day following your LASIK procedure. At your 1 day post operative check we will inform you when it is safe for you to drive.
Follow up appointments
- 1st visit: 1 day after surgery
- 2nd visit: 2 weeks after surgery
- 3rd visit: 2 months after surgery