How is LASIK Done?
When considering undergoing laser vision correction, it is very normal to wonder: how is LASIK done? The procedure is very safe and effective, in fact it’s considered one of the safest elective surgeries. Here is a step-by-step description of the simple process the surgeon follows with every procedure.
Before Entering the Operating Room
The LASIK MD staff will re-test your eyes to ensure there hasn’t been a change to your prescription or your pupil size. They will then go over the post-operative instructions with you and explain what you can expect during the actual procedure. You will also be given the option to take a mild sedative to help you relax. While you’re in the waiting room, your eyes will be numbed using drops to ensure a pain-free experience. You’ll be given more numbing drops when you enter the OR.
Creating the Flap
The first step for the surgeon is creating the flap. They will begin by putting an instrument on your eyes called a speculum that will keep your eyes open throughout the duration of the procedure (this way you don’t have to worry about blinking). During the standard LASIK procedure, a microkeratome is used to create the flap. During this step, you will feel a slight vibration and your vision will go dark for roughly 15 seconds. In All-Laser LASIK, a laser is used to create the flap. For either procedure, the corneal flap is then folded back to allow access to the middle layer of the cornea for the corrective step.
Reshaping the Cornea
Next, the surgeon will use an excimer laser to reshape the middle section of the cornea. This has the same effect as putting a lens over your eye—it changes the refraction of the eye and therefore the focus of the light that converges onto the retina.
Each type of eye problem is treated differently. For myopia (nearsightedeness), the cornea is flattened by removing more tissue from the centre of the cornea than from the periphery. This decreases the converging power of the eye, or the angle at which light is refracted in the eye.
In the treatment of hyperopia (farsightedness), the cornea is steepened by removing more tissue from the sides of the cornea.
Astigmatism, a condition in which the eye is not perfectly round but rather is wider in one direction than the other, requires tissue be removed from the wider sides to make the surface of the eye spherical.
The laser is used for less than one minute on each eye. The whole procedure can last as little as 10 minutes and is completely painless.
The Flap Seals
Once the middle section of the cornea is reshaped, the surface flap is smoothed back down. The surface of the eye will begin to seal immediately and is held in place naturally after that (in the same way that a contact lens stays in place). The surface layer of the cornea will begin to grow over the edge within a few hours. Collagen bonds that permanently seal the edge of the flap will form within days.
Patients with high prescriptions will notice an immediate improvement after the procedure. Most patients notice a dramatic improvement the next morning. When model Ksenia Mezenina underwent her procedure with LASIK MD, she was surprised at how quickly her vision improved. “Just a few hours after my laser vision correction, I could see everything clearly,” she said. The healing process is extremely fast and you will be able to resume normal activities within 24 hours.