What You Should Know About Lasik Eye Surgery | Family Eye Physicians

What You Should Know About Lasik Eye Surgery

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What you should know about lasik eye surgery
Interested in learning more about LASIK surgery? Family Eye Physicians is here for you.

Even though millions of LASIK eye surgery procedures have been performed since it was approved by the FDA in 1999, the thought of laser eye surgery makes some people nervous. The best way to combat this fear is through information. The following article will provide you with what you need to know about the LASIK procedure. If you still have concerns about whether or not LASIK is right for you, contact Family Eye Physicians. Visit us or call today at 708-636-9393 with questions or to schedule an appointment.

What is LASIK Eye Surgery?

LASIK is an acronym. It stands for laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis. Lasers are the beams of light used in the procedure. In situ means “in position” and keratomileusis is the process where the cornea (the surface of the eye) is reshaped through surgery. Reshaping the cornea allows incoming light to focus more accurately on the retina.

LASIK surgery is performed in two steps. In step one, a very tiny circular flap is made in the cornea. The flap is lifted to allow the surgeon to perform the second step of the surgery. In step two, the eye surgeon uses a computer-guided laser to remove the tissue that is causing the vision problem. The flap is placed back and the cornea begins to heal.

What Vision Problems Does LASIK Eye Surgery Fix?

LASIK has been used to treat presbyopia and hyperopia (farsightedness), myopia (nearsightedness) and astigmatism. For nearsightedness, the cornea is flattened. For farsightedness, the cornea is steepened. For astigmatism, an irregular cornea is smoothed into normal shape.

What People Get Wrong About LASIK

There are several misconceptions about LASIK eye surgery that should be addressed.

LASIK Eye Surgery Cuts Into the Eye

One misconception about this type of surgery is that it cuts into the eye. This is a bit misleading. Lasers are used for this type of eye surgery because of their precision and the entire procedure focuses on the cornea. No other surrounding tissue is cut in the LASIK procedure.

Is LASIK Eye Surgery is Painful?

Numbing drops are used before and during the LASIK procedure so pain is minimal. Patients will feel a bit of pressure on their eyelids which must be held open during the procedure. Following the surgery, mild discomfort is not uncommon but typically lasts about five hours.

It is Dangerous to Move During LASIK Eye Surgery?

LASIK eye surgery is performed without putting the patient under anesthesia. The thought of being awake during surgery makes some people uncomfortable, so sedatives can be administered to help calm the nerves. The laser shuts off automatically when it senses abrupt movements so not there’s no need to worry about a sneeze causing a mishap. 

LASIK Procedure Diagram
The LASIK eye surgery procedure itself is only 15 minutes, you’ll be totally comfortable the entire time. In as little as 24 hours, you’ll have clear vision without contacts or glasses!

Here’s the breakdown of what will happen the day (and week) of your LASIK eye surgery procedure:

Before Your Procedure

  • If you wear soft lens contacts, we ask that you stop for 7 days before your procedure.
  • You’ll need to set aside two days without work/school: One for the procedure and the day after to rest.
  • When you arrive for your LASIK appointment, we’ll do some final tests and a little paperwork before we bring you to the laser suite.

LASIK Step by Step

Once you are in the laser suite, you can expect the following steps:
  • Your surgeon will ask if you have any further questions and take time to answer them.
  • Anesthetic eye drops will be applied so you’re comfortable during the surgery.
  • Your surgeon will make sure your eye is free from any foreign debris such as eyelashes or dust.
  • Using a speculum, your surgeon will gently open your lids and keep them in place for the surgery (your eye will remain moist from eye drops).
  • You’ll be asked to focus on a light.
  • Using an incredibly precise laser method called Intralase, your surgeon will make an incision in the outer layer of your cornea to create what is known as the “corneal flap,” which will be gently lifted to allow the laser to function. At this point, your vision will be blurred.
  • Your surgeon will ask you to remain focused on the light, and you will hear a clicking sound as the laser reshapes your cornea. This usually takes less than a minute.
  • After the surgeon is finished reshaping your cornea, he will gently fold the corneal flap back to its original location. It very quickly and naturally heals back in place without stitches.
  • More eye drops are added to aid with healing and comfort.
  • The speculum is released and you will be asked to sit up and relax for a few minutes.
And that’s it! The entire process in the laser suite should take less than 15 minutes.

After Your Procedure

  • We ask that you have someone drive you home
  • Go home and relax in a room that is not too bright. We ask that you avoid reading or watching TV for the day, as it can add unnecessary stress to your healing eye.
  • You should be able to function normally within a day, and many people report having clear vision 24 hours after the surgery (although it can sometimes take up to a week for it to be completely clear).

Is LASIK Eye Surgery Right For You?

Contact Family Eye Physicians Laser Centers today for more information on LASIK eye surgery. Our team of expert doctors and eye care professionals serve patients in Buffalo Grove, Orland Park, Oak Lawn, and the Albany Park neighborhood of Chicago. Schedule an appointment online or call us today at 708-636-9393.

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