LASIK, or Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis, is a type of laser eye surgery for correcting myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. In order for light to focus more clearly on the retina, the outer window of the eye and the cornea must be of the proper curvature.
In preparation for the surgery, patients are asked to stop wearing their contact lenses several days before surgery.
Prior to surgery, several eye tests will be performed including a wavefront analysis and a topographic map of the cornea is created using specialized equipment. The surgeon uses this information to precisely locate and calculate the amount of corneal tissue to be removed during the procedure.
Just before surgery, the eye is numbed with "eye drop" anesthesia, after which an eyelid speculum is put in place to hold the eyelid open. The Intralase laser is applied to safely and accurately create a protective flap that is folded back. Next, cool rays of light from the Excimer Laser reshape the inner tissue of the cornea with up to .25 microns of accuracy. Often, only 50 microns of tissue (about the thickness of a human hair) are removed to achieve the proper amount of correction. The corneal flap is then folded back into place and the eye is allowed to heal naturally without the need for stitches.
After the laser vision correction procedure, you should plan to rest for a period of 2-3 hours with your eyes closed. You should also use your eye drops as instructed.
Most patients experience little, if any discomfort after Lasik eye surgery. Several follow-up appointments are made starting with your first appointment the day after the procedure so that the surgeon can observe how well the eyes are healing.