Overview of LASIK Surgery
LASIK surgery, or laser-assisted in situ keratomileuses, is the most commonly performed eye surgery today by ophthalmologists to correct vision problems. This surgery can improve the vision of myopia, hyperopia, or astigmatism patients. Moreover, LASIK surgery is a more attractive alternative to glasses and lenses.
LASIK surgery is one of many vision correction surgeries that your eye doctor performs by changing the shape of your cornea. The cornea is the clear dome-shaped tissue in front of your eyes. When performing LASIK surgery, an ophthalmologist meticulously changes the shape of your cornea and improves your vision, using a special cutting laser.
Normally, your cornea bends (refracts) light correctly onto the retinal layer at the back of your eye. However, in patients with farsightedness (hyperopia), nearsightedness (myopia), or astigmatism, the cornea cannot refract light correctly. Therefore, the patient’s vision becomes blurred.
You can remove the blurriness in your vision with glasses or contact lenses. But with LASIK surgery, you can make your cornea refract the light correctly.
Why is LASIK Surgery Done?
Ophthalmologists practice LASIK surgery to treat refractive disorders. We can simply list the refractive disorders as follows:
If your eyeball is longer than normal or your corneal fold is too sharp, the light will focus in front of your retina. Hence, your distant vision becomes blurred. You can see up close with sufficient clarity, but not far.
If your eyeball is shorter than necessary or your cornea is too flat, the light is focused behind the retina. Thus, your far vision is clearer, while your near vision is blurred.
Astigmatism is the uneven curve or flatness of your cornea. Both your far and near vision are impaired.
If you are reading this article, you are probably wearing glasses or contact lenses. If you want to have LASIK surgery, evaluate your situation thoroughly with your eye doctor and decide which refractive procedure suits you best.
The following cases are not suitable for LASIK surgery:
- Under 18 years old
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women
- Use of certain drugs
- Those with too many changes in vision prediction
- Those with thin or uneven corneas
- Those with dry eyes or elevated eye pressure (glaucoma)
- Diabetes, lupus, or rheumatoid arthritis patients
Risks of LASIK Surgery
In the hands of a thoroughly trained and experienced optometrist, the likelihood of complications in LASIK surgery is very low. However, LASIK surgery is quite complex. Therefore, we cannot emphasize enough the importance of choosing an experienced surgeon. An inexperienced or untrained doctor can cause permanent deterioration in your vision.
In addition, LASIK surgery has some common and temporary side effects. Patients often have discomforts such as glare or dry eyes. However, these resolve within a few weeks or months.
LASIK surgery involves the following risks:
After LASIK surgery, your tear production drops temporarily. During the first 6 months when your eyes heal, you may feel an unusual dryness in your eyes. This may affect the quality of vision. Therefore, your doctor will recommend eye drops. In addition, if the dry eye is abnormally large, you may need an additional operation to put special plugs on your tear ducts. Thus, your doctor prevents your tears from flowing from the surface of the eye.
Glare, Halos, and Double Vision
You may have problems seeing at night for a few days or weeks after surgery. It is natural to experience discomfort such as hypersensitivity to light, glare, seeing halos around bright lights, or double vision.
If your doctor removes too little tissue from your eye, you may not have the vision you desire. Undercorrection is more common in myopic patients. In this case, you will need to have LASIK surgery again within a year.
It happens because your doctor removes more tissue than necessary with the laser. This problem is more difficult to overcome than incomplete correction.
It can occur due to unbalanced tissue uptake. Then, additional surgery, glasses, or contact lens wear may be required.
During surgery, if your doctor removes or folds back the flaps, there is a risk of complications. Along with the infection, and excessive tears, the outermost layer of your cornea may grow abnormally during the healing process.
Your vision will gradually return to what it was before the surgery. This is not a common complication.
Loss or Change of Vision
Rarely, loss of vision may occur due to surgical complications.
How Do You Prepare
Starting on the day before the surgery, avoid using products such as make-up, cream, perfume, lotion, or accessories. Your surgeon may have trouble adjusting the position of your head.
Before going into surgery, you can have a light meal. Also, be sure to take your medications for the surgery.
Don’t forget to arrange for someone to drive you home after surgery. It is not safe to drive because you will be under the influence of medications required for surgery.
What Can You Expect
Before LASIK Surgery
You will get the best results if your doctor has meticulously performed your examination and evaluation and has determined your eligibility for LASIK.
First, your doctor will inform you about what to expect during and after the surgery. Next, he or she will evaluate your medical history and perform a full eye exam. These tests measure the thickness of your cornea, refraction, and eye pressure. In addition, if you wear fixed gas-permeable contact lenses, you should not use them for 3 weeks before the examination. For other types of lenses, it is sufficient to stop their use 3 days before the examination. Finally, don’t forget to bring your glasses when you come to the examination. This way, your doctor can better understand your condition.
During the exam, your doctor will look for signs of complications such as:
- Eye infection
- Dry eyes
- Wide pupils
- High eye pressure
In addition, your doctor measures the thickness, contour, and shape of your cornea and looks for irregularities. He then decides which area of your cornea to shape and how much tissue to take.
Before LASIK surgery, your doctor creates a detailed map of your eye with wavefront-guided technology. The more detailed these measurements are, the more accurately your doctor can take the corneal tissue.
During LASIK Surgery
First, your surgeon numbs your eye with drops and opens your eyelids with an instrument. He then places a suction ring on your eye before making an incision on your corneal flap. During this time, it is normal to experience some pressure and loss of vision in your eyes.
Your eye surgeon cuts and folds back the flap in the anterior area of your eye with a small blade or laser. Thus, your cornea becomes open to reshaping.
With a pre-programmed laser, your surgeon reshapes certain areas of your cornea. Each pulse of f laser beam starts to remove very small amounts of your cornea. After your surgeon has finished reshaping, they will reposition the flap. No stitches are needed for the flap to heal.
During the surgery, your doctor asks you to focus on a point of light. This is so you can keep your eye still while changes are being made to your cornea. While the laser is doing its job, it is natural to smell a burning smell.
If both eyes need LASIK surgery, your doctor can perform the procedure on the same day.
LASIK surgery takes about 30 minutes. You lie in a recliner chair and can take medicine to relax.
After LASIK Surgery
Immediately after surgery, you may experience itching, burning, and watering. You will have a small amount of pain and your vision will likely be blurred. But don’t worry, your vision will improve quickly.
Your doctor will give you medicine or eye drops for pain. Moreover, to protect your eyes, you will need eye protection that you will wear at night when you go to bed. This is important for a smooth healing process.
After surgery, you will be able to see although it will not be clear. It may take 2 or 3 months for your vision to improve and for your eye to heal. 2 days after the operation, your doctor will perform a re-examination and check the healing of the eye. Moreover, he also examines it for any signs of complications.
You won’t be able to start applying makeup for a few weeks. Also, if you do contact sports, you will need to take a break for a few weeks. Never deviate from your doctor’s advice about returning to your activities.
With LASIK surgery, you can have 20/25 or 20/40 vision. In addition, you will be freed from dealing with glasses and lenses. More than 80% of patients undergoing the procedure do not need glasses or lenses.
The result of the surgery depends on the nature of the disorder in your eye. While less myopic patients are more likely to get good results, it is difficult to predict the results that patients who are very myopic or have hyperopia and astigmatism could get.
Cases with under-correction may need to repeat LASIK surgery.
In an unusual situation, be sure to contact your doctor. Our eyes are as delicate organs as they are complex. Never delay seeking help if you are experiencing symptoms other than the ordinary side effects your doctor has informed you of.
For More Information
In Istanbul Medical Assistance your comfort during or after all kinds of procedures is our priority. Whether you are looking for more information, an initial evaluation, or a second opinion, do not hesitate to contact us via Whatsapp at +90 530 884 47 22 and we will get back to you as quickly as we can.