LASIK surgery is a vision correction procedure that aims at permanently altering the focusing power of the eye by reshaping the cornea with the excimer laser light.
LASIK is an outpatient refractive surgery procedure. It is performed under local anesthesia in a same-day surgery center or a surgeon's office.
It is performed while you are awake, but sometimes your doctor may give you a mild sedative such as Valium to make you relax. Usually both eyes are operated on at the same time, but if you prefer, it can be done one eye at a time.
LASIK is performed in two steps. The first critical step is to create a flap of corneal tissue. The second step is remodeling of the cornea underneath the flap with the laser. Finally, the flap is repositioned.
Let’s now discuss how LASIK eye surgery is performed step by step.
Eye Preparation for LASIK Surgery
You will lie down in a bed, which is adjusted to exactly line up the eye to be treated with the laser. One of your eyes is covered to reduce distraction.
- A few minutes before your LASIK procedure, a number of eye drops will be placed; in the eye to be treated. These eye drops will anesthetize your eye and prevent infection.
- A special solution is used to clean around your eyes.
- A sterile adhesive cover is used to isolate the eye surface from the eyelids and surrounding face. This also helps retracting the lid margins.
- A speculum (eyelid holder) is placed between your eyelids to keep your eyelids wide open and prevent you from blinking during the procedure.
- A number of ink marks will be made in your cornea to help realigning the flap correctly at the end of the LASIK procedure.
LASIK Flap Creation with A Microkeratome
No injections are used during the LASIK procedure and you will not feel any pain, only some discomfort may be felt.
- A ring-shaped device called a suction ring is applied to your eye. Then a slight pressure will be applied to create suction. This will hold your eye in place. The pressure will be elevated sufficient to cause dimmed vision or even blacking out. Don’t worry; this is normal and required to make an ideal LASIK flap.
- Once the eye is immobilized, your doctor will then use device called a microkeratome (a surgical blade) to cut a thin flap of the corneal tissue. An alternative way to create a flap is to use a femtosecond laser flap maker.
- After creation of the LASIK flap, the suction ring is removed.
- Your surgeon will then lifts the flap, hold it back on its hinge, and dry the exposed tissue.
Excimer Laser Ablation (Laser Corrective Treatment)
The creation of the corneal flap prepares your eye for the second step of the LASIK procedure, where the excimer laser is used to correct your vision.
- The laser beam will be focused over your eye and you will be asked to stare at a blinking light. This light will help you to fixate your eyes on one spot, once the laser is started.
- In a series of short pulses, the excimer laser will reshape your cornea by removing some tissue from the middle layer of the cornea called the stroma. A computer controls the amount of laser energy delivered to your eye according to amount of treatment required. A tracking device is used to find the center of your pupil, so if your eye moves, the laser will follow and stay with the center.
- The flap is replaced back into its original position. There are no stitches.
- The LASIK operation is completed.
After LASIK Surgery
After your LASIK surgery, you should expect some common symptoms such as burning and tearing, foreign body sensation, light sensitivity, and discomfort. These symptoms will improve in few days after the LASIK procedure.
You should follow your doctor’s instructions after LASIK surgery and don’t hesitate to call your doctor if suspect a problem.
Now you can watch a LASIK Eye Surgery Video to fully understand how LASIK works.
The full series of LASIK Vision Correction Explained tutorials are Tutorial 1, Tutorial 2, Tutorial 3, Tutorial 4, Tutorial 5, Tutorial 6,Tutorial 7, Tutorial 8, Tutorial 9, Tutorial 10, Tutorial 11 and Tutorial 12.