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LASIK Eye Surgery 

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Introduction to LASIK Eye Surgery

Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis or LASIK eye surgery is a commonly adapted surgical procedure to correct certain eye conditions by changing the shape of the cornea permanently and hence, avoids the need to wear eyeglasses. LASIK eye surgery is used to treat eye conditions like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism etc.1 LASIK eye surgery has its own advantages and disadvantages. There are risk factors, which cannot be eliminated but can be minimized or reduced.


Procedure to LASIK Eye Surgery

Before the procedure of LASIK eye surgery, the patient is given a preoperative sedative to help them relax. Along with this, anesthetic eye drops are used, which help the patient to improve the comforts during the course of the procedure.1

The procedure involves two major steps.

  • The first step involves creating a flap or a layer of corneal tissue using a microkeratome. One end of the flap is pulled back by folding to clearly visualize the stroma. This is the middle part of the cornea. The patient may feel uncomfortable when the flap is being pulled back.

  • The second step involves using an excimer laser to restructure and shape the cornea. An excimer is an argon-fluoride laser that emits ultraviolet light. The ultraviolet light emitted is in pulses and at a wavelength of 193 nm. The laser vaporizes the tissue in a safe way so that the healthy tissue around the stroma is not disturbed and also the cornea can be shaped properly. After replacing the cornea, the thin flap created is replaced. This serves as a temporary band aide, which promotes faster and safer healing. The progress of the surgery is tracked using computer systems. This helps the surgeons to know the patient’s progress.

LASIK eye surgery is a combination of photorefractive keratectomy and automated lamellar keratoplasty.

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Risk Factors
 for LASIK Eye Surgery

Just like other surgeries, LASIK eye surgery also has some risk factors. This may not apply to everybody who undergoes this surgery. It is essential for the patient to have a prior knowledge about the risk factors.

Discussion with an ophthalmologist is necessary before heading with the process.

The following are some of the risk factors of this surgery.

  • LASIK eye surgery is less effective with age and in patients with farsight.

  • There is a possibility of loss of vision.

  • In some people, it might not be effective and there is no change in their eyesight.

  • Debilitating visual symptoms may develop in some patients.

  • There may be difficulty in driving at night.

  • LASIK-induced dry eye syndrome and neurotrophic epitheliopathy are common.3

  • There is a risk of microbial keratosis occurring many years after the surgery and hence, care should be taken by visiting a specialist frequently throughout the patient’s lifetime.4


Advantages
  of LASIK Eye Surgery

LASIK eye surgery has many advantages when compared to other corrective eye surgeries. Some of them are listed below.5

  • LASIK eye surgery has given good results and also proved in correcting the vision effectively. 

  • This surgery does not cause pain or there is very little pain.

  • There is almost instant recovery in vision, may be the very next day.

  • After a successful surgery, the patients do not need to wear a corrective glass. 

  • Fast recovery rate and does not require bandages or stitches.

  • Further vision changes can be made even after many years of surgery.

  • LASIK eye surgery has a major advantage in correcting a very high refractive error with minimal risk of corneal haze and loss of vision quality.


Disadvantages
 to LASIK Eye Surgery

Some of the disadvantages of LASIK surgery are listed below.6

  • Corneal changes during this surgery cannot be reversed.

  • Additional eye surgeries may be required for further corrections.

  • LASIK eye surgery is expensive.

  • This is technically a complex surgery and the surgeon has to be very careful when performing the surgery.


Conclusion

LASIK eye surgery is one of the eye surgeries, which provides people with an opportunity to correct their vision, within a short period. They can live the rest of their without having the necessity for eye wears. The pain associated is minimal and the recovery rate is quick. Postoperative medication like eye drops prescribed by the specialist to prevent dryness and other guidelines suggested by the doctor should be followed. Visiting the specialist frequently, up to 6 months is suggested. 

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Written by: Healthplus24 team
Date last updated: July 18, 2011