LASIK is an acronym for the laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis procedure, the most commonly performed laser eye surgery. The procedure reshapes the cornea so it can focus light properly on the retina, removing the need for corrective lenses, like those in eyeglasses and contacts.
LASIK corrects refractory problems including astigmatism, hyperopia or farsightedness, and myopia or nearsightedness. Your eyesight professional at South Shore Eye Care determines what specific corrective surgery is suitable for your vision. Chances are that some form of the LASIK procedure is an option.
There are variations of the LASIK procedure itself. The initial cut into the cornea may be made using either a surgical tool called a microkeratome or a femtosecond laser, a different device than the excimer laser used to reshape the underlying stroma layer of the cornea.
The LASIK procedure is typically painless and takes about 15 minutes to treat both eyes. Results are noticeable in as little as 24-48 hours, and post-procedure eyesight may reach 20/20 or better.
After the initial incision, the excimer laser removes tiny amounts of stroma tissue to reshape the cornea, correcting the original refractory problem. The cornea is flattened if you’re nearsighted, or rounded if you’re farsighted. Astigmatism results from an irregularly shaped cornea, and the LASIK procedure can also correct this condition.
Once the stroma layer is reshaped, the outer cornea flap is folded down and allowed to heal naturally. No stitches or other sealing techniques are required. The procedure uses only topical anesthetic and no post-surgery bandages are necessary.
Immediately after the procedure, you’ll rest before a short post-operative exam. You’ll be tested again, usually the next day, to confirm that your eyesight is corrected and suitable to drive legally. Because of this, you’ll need to arrange a ride home on the day of the procedure.
Some blurry vision is normal right after the procedure. So too are sensations of itching or burning. These are temporary and typically pass quickly. While most people have nearly instant vision correction, it can take several weeks in rare cases. Your South Shore Eye Care surgeon will advise you on how long to rest before returning to your regular activities.