LASIK is the most commonly performed laser eye surgery that allows the surgeon to modify the curve of the cornea using an Excimer laser, after having “lifted” a very thin layer from the eye surface. Once the treatment is finished, this layer is replaced in its place.
LASIK laser eye surgery is painless, and visual recovery takes place in a short time, only about 24 hours. This surgery requires only topical anesthetic drops, without bandages or stitches.
LASIK with Femtosecond or Femtolasik laser
It is like LASIK surgery, but instead of cutting the cornea with a blade (microkeratome), it separates the tissue by a femtosecond laser, in order to lift the outer surface of the cornea and then, perform the treatment with the Excimer laser.
In this way, all the surgery is performed with lasers (Femtosecond and Excimer), without mechanical cuts at all, providing much more safety and precision
For this reason, this type of Femtosecond laser treatment is usually also called femtosecond laser surgery, Femtolasik, or laser eye surgery without cutting.
Who can be treated with LASIK?
Most people with myopia, hyperopia and/or astigmatism with an adequate corneal thickness can undergo LASIK eye surgery.
Before deciding on treatment, your ophthalmologist will perform a thorough eye exam to assess if your eyes are healthy enough and meet the conditions to be a suitable LASIK candidate. Any medications you are taking and your overall health history are also taken into account.
Laser eye surgery with LASIK has numerous benefits:
- Fast treatment: LASIK surgery takes only about 5-10 minutes per eye, a total of 15-20 minutes for both eyes, in only one session.
- Fast recovery, fast results: recovery after LASIK surgery is fast, after a little rest and a brief post-operative exam you can return home. By the next morning, your vision should have already improved, and takes only a few days for vision to stabilize and see the final results.
- Painless and comfortable: LASIK eye surgery is totally painless, and the process is also a bit more comfortable compared to other laser eye surgery treatments, for example PRK.
- Safe and effective: LASIK treatment has an excellent safety profile and a high success rate: only a very small percentage of people needs a “touch up” procedure after.
Before LASIK surgery
First, your ophthalmologist will perform an exhaustive exam of your eyes to determine if you are a suitable LASIK candidate, including:
- Shape and thickness of the cornea.
- Pupil size.
- Refractive errors (myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism), as well as other ocular anomalies.
- Moisture of the eyes. In some cases, a treatment to reduce the risk of developing dry eyes after LASIK may be recommended as a precaution.
Your ophthalmologist will also consider your general health history and any medications you may take.
And If you wear contact lenses, your doctor will advise you to stop using them for a period of time before your eye exam and before the LASIK surgery.
During LASIK surgery
Before beginning the surgery, your doctor will apply anesthetic eye drops to your eyes to prevent any discomfort, and may also give you some medicines to help you relax.
During surgery, your eye is placed under the laser. During all the procedure, an instrument called “blepharostat” is used to keep the eyelids open, and in the first step of the LASIK surgery, which consists of creating the “flap”, a suction ring is applied to the front of eye to prevent eye movements. This first step can be performed by two different methods:
- Using a microkeratome (a surgical mechanical tool, which uses a blade to make a cut in the cornea).
- Using a femtosecond laser (it separates the necessary thin layer without cutting).
Once the flap is created, the surgeon lifts it to access the underlying cornea.
Then, to correct his visual defect, the surgeon adjusts the specific treatment for each of his eyes in an excimer laser computer. The surgeon will observe your eyes through a microscope embedded in the laser as it molds the cornea of your eye. This is painless, and you may only notice some pressure in your eye during the process, and hear a sound while the laser is acting.
Finally, the flap is repositioned back in place covering the treated area, and the cornea is allowed to heal naturally.
After LASIK surgery
Once the LASIK surgery is completed, your doctor will have you rest a while, and then perform a post-operative examination before you can return home. Immediately, after the procedure you may experience temporary itching or burning sensation, as well as blurred vision, but by the next morning the vision will have improved considerably.
In most cases, the patient’s vision will continue to improve and stabilize over the next few days, although in some rare cases it may take longer.
The next day after the laser eye surgery you can go to work and do your daily life, but usually most doctors advise rest during a few days, and not to do physical exercise during the next week, because it could affect the recuperation.
Lastly, remember to follow your doctor’s instructions after laser eye surgery.