LASIK is currently the most popular vision-correcting or “refractive” surgery available. But there are other options as well. We will help you find the ideal solution for your problem and partner with the best surgeon to perform your procedure.
Dr. Lewis has spent many years working at a busy Lasik center, and has seen thousands of pre and post-operative Lasik patients. He has trained many new optometrists in the preoperative and postoperative care of laser vision surgery patients. If you are interested in Lasik, Dr. Lewis can discuss your candidacy for the procedure at the time of the exam.
Introduction to LASIK
LASIK is the most commonly performed refractive surgery procedure. You may hear people calling it “LASIX,” but the correct name is LASIK, which is short for “laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis.”
Why is it so popular? LASIK has advantages over other vision correction procedures, including a relative lack of pain afterward and the fact that good vision usually is achieved by the very next day.
An instrument called a microkeratome is used in LASIK eye surgery to create a thin, circular flap in the cornea. Another, newer way of making the flap is with a laser called Intralase. Intralase Lasik, which is also known as “All-laser Lasik” or “blade-free” Lasik is now considered by most to be the most safe and precise way to create a corneal flap.
After the flap is created, the surgeon folds the hinged flap back out of the way, then removes some corneal tissue underneath using an excimer laser. The excimer laser uses a cool ultraviolet light beam to precisely remove (“ablate”) very tiny bits of tissue from the cornea to reshape it.
When the cornea is reshaped in the right way, it works better to focus light into the eye and onto the retina, providing clearer vision than before. The flap is then laid back in place, covering the area where the corneal tissue was removed.
Both nearsighted and farsighted people can benefit from the LASIK procedure. With nearsighted people, the goal is to flatten the too-steep cornea; with farsighted people, a steeper cornea is desired. Excimer lasers also can correct astigmatism by smoothing an irregular cornea into a more normal shape.