LASIK: laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis
LASIK is a laser-assisted surgery that is used to reshape the cornea, changing the focus point of light entering the eye, resulting in improved vision. When performed by an experienced LASIK surgeon, LASIK can lead to remarkable vision improvement, greatly reducing or completely eliminating the dependence on glasses or contact lenses.
From start to finish, the LASIK procedure takes only 20 minutes! The laser portion of the procedure takes a minute or less, with the rest of the time spent certifying your eyes are prepared for surgery, ensuring you the best outcome. You will be awake and will be given some numbing eye drops to keep you comfortable during the procedure. Dr MacIntyre can also provide some medication to help you relax. You will still feel some pressure on your eye and the vision will be a bit blurry at times, however this sensation usually lasts less than a minute.
The 5 steps of LASIK surgery:
- A numbing eye drop will be placed and the eyelids will be prepared for surgery. The eyelids will be held open with a small clip to prevent you from blinking.
- A femtosecond laser (Intralase or LenSx) will be used to create a flap in the centre of the cornea. This flap will be reflected back to expose the inner cornea (stroma), the middle layer of the cornea.
- An excimer laser (Schwind Amaris 1050RS) will be used to reshape the inner cornea to your exact prescription. This laser will track all of your eye movements and will be aligned to account for any rotational movement when you move from a seated/standing position to lying down. Higher order aberrations (subtle imperfections) of the cornea or the eye can be treated with this laser.
- The flap will be replaced into its original position and allowed to settle into place. Antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eye drops will be placed. Occasionally a bandage contact lens may be placed.
- The flap adheres naturally and securely. Your eye will be examined to be sure the flap is lying in perfect position.
Before and after LASIK
It is important to remember that you cannot drive yourself home as your vision will be blurry. If you were given a sedative, you may also be a bit drowsy. When you get home, it is best to take a nap or rest, and use the recommended eye drops to keep your eyes healthy and comfortable. You will be given an appointment within the next day or two after surgery to be sure the eye is healing well.
If you are considering a laser vision correction procedure such as LASIK, the first step is to book a consultation with Dr MacIntyre to find out whether or not you are suitable for laser eye surgery.