Laser refractive surgery refers to all the surgical procedures on the cornea that correct for near-sightedness (myopia), far-sightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism prescriptions. The surgical procedures are performed by surgeons, and our optometrits care for you throughout the post-surgical recovery period. This shared responsibility between the surgeon and primary eyecare optometrist is called co-management.
LASIK (laser assisted in-situ keratomileusis) is the most commonly performed and well known vision correction surgery. Using an excimer laser, the doctor re-shapes the cornea so that images are focused to the correct spot on the retina (the light receptor of the eye). The success rate with this procedure is excellent, with most patients achieving 20/20 vision or better upon completion. The LASIK procedure itself involves little or no discomfort both during the procedure and also usually through the recovery process. Eyesight improvement is quick, with good vision typically achieved within a few days.
Reasons to consider LASIK:
- Nearsightedness (myopia).
- Farsightedness (hyperopia).
- Astigmatism (irregularly shaped cornea).
- Desire to decrease or eliminate dependence on glasses or contacts.
Are you a good candidate?
Our doctors are experienced in laser refractive surgery co-management. They will determine whether you are a good candidate, prepare you for surgery, and take care of you throughout the entire recovery period. We have a dedicated Laser Vision Coordinator who will answer questions and provide information regarding the latest laser treatments for your type of prescription.
The Surgical Procedure
During the procedure, the surgeon administers a local anesthetic via eye drops. A speculum device is then placed over the eye to prevent the patient from blinking. Next, the surgeon creates an extremely thin flap from the outer layer of the cornea, using either a microkeratome (a small blade specially designed for this purpose) or a laser. The flap is folded to the side, and the excimer laser, programmed with the individual map of the patient’s eye, removes corneal tissue with quick pulses of concentrated light. This process usually takes less than a minute. Once this is done, the surgeon folds the flap back into place and surgery is complete. Click on this LASIK video to learn more
Co-Management Throughout Recovery
The patient may go home shortly after surgery. However, someone else must drive or alternate transportation must be arranged. Patients will be asked to get lots of rest, avoid any strenuous activities, and avoid rubbing the eye area for a period of time. The patient will have follow-up appointments beginning 24-48 hours post-surgery and periodically over the following weeks and months with our optometrists. These follow-up co-management exams concentrate on proper healing and detecting infection.