The LASIK Procedure
To determine whether or not a patient is a good candidate for LASIK eye surgery, the eye doctor will conduct a pre- LASIK eye examination.
The traditional LASIK vision correction procedure begins with the creation of a hinged corneal flap. After the eye is anesthetized with topical eye drops, the LASIK eye surgeon creates the flap on the outer surface of the eye to expose the underlying cornea. The flap can be created with a microkeratome (a hand-held device) or with the IntraLase® laser, which allows the surgeon to create the flap using a computer-guided laser. The cornea is then reshaped using an excimer laser and the flap is replaced.
After LASIK eye surgery many patients experience immediate improved vision, although it can take up to six months for vision to stabilize. Patients can expect a short LASIK surgery recovery period but there is usually little to no discomfort following the procedure. Follow-up exams ensure proper healing.
LASIK Risks & Benefits
Most patients are extremely pleased with their LASIK results. LASIK eye surgery benefits include improved visual activity, freedom from corrective eyewear, and possibly new career opportunities. Patients who achieve a successful LASIK outcome can eliminate their need for glasses or contact lenses, and enjoy the freedom of clear vision at all times. Patients can play sports, swim, spend a day at the beach, and participate in various activities without the restrictions that glasses and contacts bring. LASIK eye surgery is a safe and effective treatment that has continued to gain popularity among patients.
A small number of patients – one to five percent – experience LASIK eye surgery complications. LASIK risks include sensitivity to light, haloed or glared vision, irregular astigmatism, dry eyes, loss of visual clarity, and sensitivity. Fortunately, advances in LASIK technology have dramatically reduced complications and many problems can be easily corrected with additional treatment.
Statistics – LASIK Results
LASIK eye surgery has become the most popular vision surgery in the country. More than one million Americans undergo LASIK each year. LASIK surgery statistics and information from the FDA indicate that complications occur in just 1 to 5 percent of patients. In most cases, LASIK treatment provides patients with exceptional results, with many patients experiencing 20/20 vision or better following LASIK eye surgery.