Center For Eye Care: On The Cutting Edge of Advanced Specialty Eye Care
LASIK (laser in situ keratomileusis) is an outpatient surgical procedure used to treat nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. With LASIK, an ophthalmologist (Eye M.D.) uses a laser to reshape the cornea in the front of the eye. This improves the way the eye focuses light rays onto the retina at the back of the eye.
It is important that anyone considering LASIK have realistic expectations. LASIK allows people to perform most of their everyday tasks without corrective lenses. However, people looking for perfect vision without glasses or contacts run the risk of being disappointed. More than 90 percent of people who have LASIK achieve somewhere between 20/20 and 20/40 vision without glasses or contact lenses. If sharp, detailed 20/20 vision is essential for your job or leisure activities, consider whether 20/40 vision would be good enough for you.
You should be comfortable with the possibility that you may need a second surgery called a retreatment or that you might need to wear glasses for certin activities, such as reading or driving at night.
LASIK cannot correct presbyopia, the age-related loss of close-up focusing power.
How It Works
LASIK is performed while the patient reclines under a surgical device called an excimer laser in an outpatient surgical suite.
First, the eye is numbed with a few drops of topical anesthetic. An eyelid holder is placed between the eyelids to keep them open and prevent the patient from blinking. A suction ring placed on the eye lifts and flattens the cornea and helps keep the eye from moving. The patient may feel pressure from the eyelid holder and suction ring, similar to a finger pressed firmly on the eyelid.
From the time the suction ring is put on the eye until it is removed, vision appears dim or goes black. Once the cornea is flattened, a hinged flap of corneal tissue is created using an automated microsurgical device, either a laser called a keratome, or an instrument called a microkeratome blade. This corneal flap is lifted and folded back. Then the excimer laser preprogrammed with the patient’s unique eye measurements is centered above the eye.
The surgeon checks that the laser is positioned correctly. The patient looks at a special pinpoint light, called a fixation or target light, while the excimer laser sculpts the corneal tissue. Then the surgeon places the flap back into position and smoothes the edges. The corneal flap sticks to the main cornea within two to five minutes, and stitches are not needed.
The patient should plan to have someone drive him or her home after the procedure and then take a nap or just relax. To help protect the cornea as it heals, the surgeon may place a transparent shield over the eye(s) to protect against accidental bumps and to remind the patient not to rub the eye(s). The patient may need to wear the shield only when sleeping. The surgeon will provide eye drops to help the eye heal and relieve dryness. It may take three to six months after LASIK surgery for the improvements in a person’s vision to fully stabilize and any side effects to go away.
Risks and Side Effects
LASIK, like any surgery, has potential risks and complications that should be carefully considered. LASIK has now been performed with millions of patients in the United States for more than 10 years, and the overall complication rate is low, between 0.2 and 2 percent of all patients. Infection and inflammation are possibilities, as with any surgical procedure, and usually can be cleared up with medications.
Problems with the corneal flap after surgery sometimes make further treatment necessary. There is a chance, though small, that vision will not be as good after the surgery as before, even with glasses or contacts.
Some people experience side effects after LASIK that usually disappear over time. These side effects may include hazy or blurry vision; difficulty with night vision and/or driving at night; scratchiness, dryness and other symptoms of the condition called “dry eye”; glare, halos or starbursts around lights; light sensitivity; discomfort or pain; or small pink or red patches on the white of the eye. In a small minority of patients, some of these effects may be permanent.
Sometimes a second surgery, called a retreatment, may be needed to achieve the desired vision correction. This is more likely for people who were more nearsighted, farsighted, or had higher astigmatism before LASIK — those whose vision originally needed more intensive correction. Approximately 10.5 percent of LASIK patients in the United States require a retreatment.
The Center for Eyecare LASIK Services
We offer the most advanced proven techniques and technologies through the Kremer/TLC Center in Cherry Hill, NJ. This includes bladeless LASIK and custom wavefront guided LASIK.
Dr. Raymond M. Girgis is meticulous and detail-oriented. He demands the absolute best from himself and his staff. You can be assured that you will receive the best treatment and follow-up when Dr. Girgis and his staff perform your procedure. His excellent surgical results and patient testimonials generate tremendous satisfaction for him and his staff.