LASIK (acronym for Laser-Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis) is a type of refractive surgery intended to correct various kinds of vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. It involves the creation of a thin flap on the cornea which is then folded back so that a suitable amount of corneal tissue can be removed using a laser.
Listed below you find starting prices for a LASIK procedure in different countries.
As a form of refractive surgery, LASIK is designed to correct several kinds of distortions in the eyes cornea and lens. A microkeratome blade or a femtosecond laser is used to make an extremely thin flap on the top of the cornea, and an excimer laser or ultraviolet laser is then used to remove corneal tissue. This allows the cornea to be reshaped so that light can be focused clearly on the retina, leading to improved vision.
Surgery is very quick and fairly straightforward. Here is how the procedure breaks down as a step-by-step process.
1. Pain-numbing eyedrops: There are no traditional anaesthetic measures involved in this kind of eye surgery. Instead, a numbing agent is administered in the form of a series of eyedrops. These will take effect immediately and last for the duration of the procedure.
2. Flap creation: Once positioned in the operation chair, a vacuum ring will be placed on your eye to prop it open and hold it in position. You may be aware of the sensation caused by this, but there should be no discomfort or pain involved. You will be asked to focus on a light or laser point to keep your eye steady. This light will normally include a tracking mechanism, so your surgeon will be aware when your eye moves from this point, allowing him to pause until you have reacquired it. The surgeon will then create and fold the flap using precision instruments. Your vision will dim, blur or even fade completely during the process, but it should return to normal as soon as the flap is created.
3. Cornea shaping: Once the flap is created, an excimer laser is used to remove tissue from the cornea to create a new shape and refractive properties. The amount removed will be based on the preoperative evaluation by your doctor.
4. Flap sealing: Once the reshaping of the cornea is completed, the doctor will carefully replace the flap and allow natural tension to hold it in place until an initial surface healing has occurred.
There are three main types of treatment available.
This involves the use of a microkeratome blade to make the initial flap. It is the most commonly available type of LASIK.
This surgery replaces the use of the microkeratome blade with a femtosecond laser to create the flap. The laser is computer-guided and offers a level of reliable precision over and above the traditional approach. It also reduces the risk of certain complications and makes it possible for several kinds of candidates, for whom it would not normally be suitable, to undergo the procedure.
The most advanced type of LASIK procedure available, Custom LASIK employs the use of Wavefront technology to create a detailed 3D map of the eye, allowing the surgeon to tailor the surgery to a high degree. While traditional LASIK can remedy what are known as lower-order aberrations, Custom LASIK can potentially resolve higher-order aberrations which were previously untreatable through the use of either corrective lenses or traditional LASIK.
It is important to discuss your options with your doctor and decide on the approach that best balances risk, cost and potential rewards.
You should do a careful self-assessment before deciding to pursue a LASIK treatment option. The level of risk and outcomes can vary depending on your unique situation as a candidate, and you should aim to balance the risks with the potential positive outcomes.
In addition, it is important to be aware that certain occupations do not allow the use of LASIK, so you should check if your current occupation or future career choice is among these.
After the surgery, it is important to maintain a patient and calm approach as results may not be optimum immediately, and adverse effects during the healing process may cause concern. If you do experience unexpected symptoms or less than satisfactory results, it is best to discuss them with your surgeon in a follow-up as soon as possible.