About LASIK Eye Surgery
LASIK stands for ‘Laser-Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis.’ It is the most common type of refractive surgery (surgery to eliminate the need for glasses/contact lenses). It is used to treat near-sightedness, far-sightedness, and astigmatism.
LASIK is a type of laser vision correction that changes the shape of the cornea. The cornea, the clear front window of the eye, is the primary determinant of an eye’s prescription. By changing the shape of the cornea, LASIK can eliminate the eye’s need for a prescription.
LASIK works by using a sophisticated femtosecond laser to create a thin flap in the outer layer of the cornea. This hinged flap is folded backward, and then a second laser (the excimer laser) is used to precisely reshape the now-exposed deeper layers of the cornea. The flap is then put back into position, and the procedure is done. No sharp instruments, bandages, or stitches are required. In the majority of cases, LASIK is a painless procedure that takes only 10 minutes to perform. Usually, you achieve the clear uncorrected vision in as little as 24 hours.
To determine if you are a LASIK candidate, the first step is to schedule a free screening. At this screening, multiple measurements are taken of your eyes to determine if your eyes qualify for LASIK surgery. If your eyes are suitable, the next step is to have a thorough eye exam with Dr. Larson or Dr. Saipe. They will further evaluate you to ensure that your eyes are healthy enough for the LASIK procedure.
On the day of surgery, you will be given medicine to help you to relax. You will then be brought into our state-of-the-art laser suite and reclined flat on your back. Numbing drops are placed in your eyes, and your eyelashes and eyelids are cleaned with a medical soap. Your eyelids are gently separated, and a soft rubber ring is placed on the surface of your eye. Once it is properly aligned, this soft ring applies a moderately-intense pressure, and the vision temporarily goes dark. This all lasts only a few seconds. During this time, you are carefully positioned under the femtosecond laser, and the LASIK flap is created.
This is the most delicate part of the procedure, and after this is done, the hard part is over. To complete the LASIK surgery, you will be positioned under the excimer laser and asked to focus on the blinking orange light. The laser will confirm your eye, and then you will hear the clicks of the laser pulses working to reshape your cornea. Dr. Larson or Dr. Saipe do one final check to make sure that everything looks good, and then the procedure is complete!
Immediately following your LASIK surgery, it is normal for the vision to be blurry or to feel like you have something in your eye. The best thing to do for your eyes after LASIK is to take a nap, and then to start using your eye drops when you wake up. You will return to see Dr. Larson or Dr. Saipe the next day. Often the vision is already nearly perfect at this visit; however, sometimes it can take several weeks for the vision to stabilize. Either way, it is important to follow the directions you were given regarding the use of eye drops, to abide by your activity restrictions, and to avoid rubbing your eyes.
LASIK is a life-changing procedure, and the surgeons at Vermont Eye Laser are committed to helping you achieve your best vision possible! Schedule a LASIK consultation today.