LASIK: Before-During and After Lasik Eye Surgery
LASIK eye surgery, otherwise known as Laser-Assisted
In Situ Keratomileusis, is a surgery, which changes the shape
of the cornea in order to correct vision problems. LASIK eye surgery
has been changing over the past ten years, and some potential
patients are confused as to exactly what LASIK is. In order to
clear up your LASIK concerns and questions, here are some important
facts about what happens before, during, and after LASIK surgery.
Before you can undergo LASIK surgery, you must
have your eyes evaluated. It is advised that you stop wearing
contacts and switch to glasses before your first evaluation; contact
lenses change the shape of your cornea and may interfere with
an accurate evaluation. If you wear contact lenses you need to
stop wearing them for at least 2 weeks, those wearing toric or
gas permeable lenses need to stop wearing them for at least 3
weeks, and those wearing hard lenses need to stop wearing them
for at least 4 weeks before the first evaluation.
During the evaluation, the doctor will determine
whether or not you are a good candidate for LASIK surgery; you
will need to be honest about your medical history and any medications
you are currently taking in addition to medications you are allergic
to. The first evaluation should also be a time when you discuss
the risks of the LASIK surgery and what you should expect. It
is important to take some time to review everything you discussed
with your doctor before you commit to a decision; LASIK is an
elective surgical procedure, and the decision to undergo this
type of procedure should never be made on an impulse.
Once you have decided to have the LASIK procedure
performed, it is important to understand your responsibilities
and what to expect. The day before the surgery is to take place
you will need to stop using creams, lotions, makeup and perfumes;
you will also need to arrange reliable transport to and from the
surgery location for the surgery and for prearranged post-op visits.
The LASIK surgery itself, depending on the type of LASIK you are
having, is usually less than 30 minutes. You will be asked to
lie in a reclining chair, and then numbing drops will be placed
in your eyes.
After the drops are placed in your eyes the area
around your eyes will be cleaned, and a lid speculum instrument
will hold your eyelids open. Once your eyelids are held open,
the first cut into the cornea will be made. During this procedure
you will probably feel pressure and discomfort, but it will be
mild; you vision will also dim and start to blur. You will then
need to stare at a light while the cornea is reshaped; the light
is used to keep your cornea in a fixed spot while the laser reshapes
After the surgery is over, a shield will be placed
over your eyes to protect them and let them heal. Most patients
experience watery eyes, burning and itching sensations, and mild
pain. Vision immediately following LASIK is often hazy and blurry.
The symptoms will gradually disappear, usually within a week,
and you will need to see your doctor for regular appointments
for the first 6 months following the surgery; expect to see the
doctor again in the first 24 – 48 hours after your surgery
as well. Patients with especially irritated eyes will be given
eye drops. Vision will usually stabilize in 3 – 6 months
following the surgery.