LASIK Surgery

LASIK Surgery

LASIK Surgery

LASIK Surgery

LASIK Surgery

LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis), is the most popular refractive surgical procedure today. In this procedure, a laser is used to permanently change the shape of the cornea (the clear covering on the front of the eye) to correct common vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. This improves vision and reduces a person's need for glasses or contact lenses.

LASIK uses an excimer laser (an ultraviolet laser) to remove a thin layer of corneal tissue, giving the cornea a new shape, so that light rays are focused clearly on the retina. In the case of a nearsighted person, the goal of LASIK is to flatten the cornea.  With farsighted people, a steeper cornea is desired to correct their vision. LASIK can also correct astigmatism by correcting the curvature of the cornea.

LASIK is an outpatient surgical procedure and usually takes 10 to 15 minutes to complete each eye. The procedure is done while the patient is awake, but the patient may request mild sedation. The only anesthetic used is eye drops that numb the surface of the eye, making LASIK completely painless.   LASIK can be done on one or both eyes during the same session.

How to Prepare for LASIK Eye Surgery

Before LASIK eye surgery, Dr. Kubota and your surgeon will evaluate your medical and ocular history and perform a full eye examination, including measuring corneal thickness, refraction, corneal mapping, eye pressure, and pupil dilation. Afterward, both Dr. Kubota and your surgeon will discuss what to expect during and after the procedure.

On the day of the surgery, eat a light meal before going to the surgery center and take all prescribed medications, if any. Do not wear eye makeup, creams, perfumes or lotions on the day of surgery and do not wear any bulky hair accessories that will interfere with the positioning of your head under the laser.

Contact lenses shouldn't be worn for a minimum of three days prior to the evaluation, but a week would be even better to make sure that there is no swelling in your cornea. In the case of rigid gas permeable contact lenses, they should not be worn for at least FOUR weeks before surgery. Patients should arrange for a ride to and from the surgery center, as their vision might be blurry and they may still feel the effects of sedation.

What Happens During LASIK Eye Surgery?

The LASIK surgeon uses a computer to adjust the laser for each patient’s particular prescription. An instrument to hold the eyelids open will be used and the patient will be asked to look at a target light for a short time while the laser sends pulses of light to painlessly reshape the cornea. During LASIK eye surgery, a suction ring is placed on the eye just before creating the corneal flap that may cause a feeling of pressure and may cause vision to dim. Then, an instrument called a femtosecond laser is used to create a thin flap in the cornea. The corneal flap is then painlessly peeled back and the underlying corneal tissue is reshaped using another laser. After the cornea is reshaped so that it can properly focus light onto the retina, the cornea flap is put back in place and the surgery is complete. A slight odor might be detected as the laser removes the corneal tissue which some people describe as similar to that of burning hair, but is nothing to worry about.

What to Expect After LASIK Eye Surgery?

After the surgery, patients are advised to go home and sleep for at least 4 hours to keep the eyes closed.  This is very important in letting the cornea start to heal properly.  Plastic eye shields will be provided for you to tape over your eyes with first aid paper tape to prevent you from touching or injuring your eyes during sleep.  These should be worn every night for 2 weeks if the patient is a consistent back sleeper and for 4 weeks if the patient sleeps on their side or stomach.  Eye drops will be prescribed to prevent infection and inflammation and you will need to buy preservative-free artificial tears to keep the eyes moist. These drops may cause a momentary slight burn or blurring of your vision upon using them. Do not use any eye drops not approved by Dr. Kubota or your LASIK surgeon.

Healing after LASIK eye surgery usually occurs very rapidly. Vision may be blurry and hazy for the first day, but most patients notice improved vision within a few days of surgery. There will be a follow-up evaluation with Dr. Kubota 24 hours after LASIK eye surgery, as well as at regular intervals within the first six months.

What Are the Advantages of LASIK Eye Surgery?

LASIK has many benefits, including:

  • Vision is corrected quickly and heals quickly with LASIK.

  • LASIK causes a dramatic reduction in eyeglass or contact lens dependence and many patients no longer need them at all for distance.

  • Adjustments can be made years after LASIK to further correct vision if vision changes with age.

  • LASIK is associated with very little pain due to the numbing eye drops that are used.

  • No bandages or stitches are required after LASIK.

    If you want to know if you are a good candidate for LASIK surgery, schedule your appointment with Dr. Kubota and she will discuss it with you.

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