Safe, fast, effective: LASIK is the refractive surgery technique that allows people who are suffering from myopia, hyperopia, or astigmatism to be able to completely eliminate the use and discomfort of glasses and contact lenses and regain an excellent vision.
Virtually painless, LASIK surgery usually has no post-operative complication and allows the patient to return to social and work life very quickly.
What Is LASIK Surgery
LASIK refractive surgery (laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis) is currently the most widely used procedure in the world to correct refractive defects such as myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism.
To perform the operation on the cornea, the surgeon uses an excimer laser, which is extremely safe (now in its fifth generation) as it emits a beam of ultraviolet light. The high energy created by the ultraviolet light allows for the cold evaporation of the very thin layer of the cornea, in a very targeted way, and the consequent reshaping of the corneal curvature with the definitive elimination of the visual defect.
The great advantage is that the laser, with very low penetrating power into the biological cells, does not damage the underlying tissue.
How Is LASIK Surgery Performed
With the LASIK technique, the action of the laser is completely guided by a computer that performs on the relevant data set by the surgeon with nanometric precision.
Under topical anesthesia (instilled with some anesthetic eye drops), the operation takes place in several stages:
- using the Femto Laser, the surgeon creates a thin hinged section of the cornea, called the “corneal flap”,
- with the flap raised, the excimer laser is activated as it hits and remodels the cornea thereby correcting the refractive defect,
- at the end of the procedure, the flap is repositioned back without the need for sutures and the patient can go straight home wearing a pair of eye shields.
The total duration of the intervention is only about 10 minutes.
Elements Of LASIK Intervention
The LASIK surgery, despite being a technically more complex intervention, differs from PRK and LASEK, especially in the post-operative period. Recovery from the intervention is particularly rapid and almost always pain-free.
Immediately after the treatment, the eye does not present particular disturbances, allowing a rapid functional recovery from the early hours postoperatively. The vision continues to improve and the final settling of the recovery is normally completed in just a few weeks.
After LASIK Surgery
On the day right after the LASIK procedure, the patient is recommended to avoid straining the eyes. It is not necessary to stay in the dark but it is good to avoid activities that would likely fatigue the eyes like working on a computer or watching television.
It is absolutely essential, in any case, to carefully follow the instructions of the surgeon both as regards to the post-operative therapy and the checks to be carried out in the periods following the operation.
It is also advisable to protect the eyes with sunglasses in the following early months.
Potential Risks Of LASIK Surgery
The procedure has an excellent safety profile, however, in rare cases, complications may occur which include infections or nocturnal glare. A very small percentage of patients may need further improvement, or even a subsequent (repeat) procedure, a few months after the first LASIK surgery to achieve excellent visual acuity.
After reaching 40 years of age, many patients may also need reading glasses because of presbyopia, a natural and progressive loss of vision related to age.