Lasik surgery is a procedure that is designed to reduce an individual’s dependency on the use of contact lenses or glasses. Lasik, which is the abbreviation for Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis, is a procedure that is designed to permanently change the shape of the cornea and the clear covering of the front of the eye with the use of an excimer laser.
While many patients are pleased with the results of Lasik surgery, the procedure does carry certain risks as does any medical procedure. It is important that patients know and understand these risks prior to undergoing Lasik surgery. Among the most common risks that are possible are loss of vision, debilitating visual problems, the continuing need for glasses, the development of severe dry eye syndrome, diminishing results in farsighted patients, etc.
Once the decision is made to move forward with Lasik surgery, patients need to know what to expect before, during and after the procedure. The particulars will vary depending on both the patient’s condition and the physician’s policy. Prior to having Lasik surgery, patients will require an initial or baseline evaluation from their eye doctor in order to determine whether or not they are a good candidate for the procedure. During this consultation, patients must inform the doctor of any past or present medical eye conditions, any/all medications they are currently taking and any medications that he/she may be allergic to.
If the patient is determined to be a good candidate for Lasik surgery, the physician will begin to explain the various risks, benefits and possible surgical alternatives. In addition, they will discuss the patient’s responsibilities before, during and after the procedure. During this discussion, patients should take the opportunity to ask any questions that they have regarding Lasik surgery. This is very important for every patient and must be done before signing the consent form.
The actual Lasik surgery, in most standard cases, will not take longer than 30 minutes. During the surgery, the patient will be reclined in a position for the laser to be placed above their eye. When in the correct position, the doctor will start the laser. Once the process is complete, a covering will be placed on the eye to protect it from exposure to light and everyday elements. Because stitches are not used after the surgery, this covering will need to remain in place until the doctor recommends otherwise.
Following the surgery, patients may notice a discomfort in their eye. If the pain becomes unbearable, physicians may prescribe a mild pain reliever. Most doctors recommend a followup visit within 24-48 hours following the surgery and at regular intervals or until such time as they deem the eye to be healed properly.
This article is to be used for informational purposes only. It should not be used as, in place of or in conjunction with professional medical advice regarding Lasik surgery. Individuals must consult a physician for a proper diagnosis and recommendation for any eye-related procedure.