Laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis, also known as LASIK, is one of the most common laser eye procedures nationwide that corrects refractive vision problems. Currently, over 600,000 Americans choose LASIK eye surgery to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism each year. This innovative eye surgery procedure is just about pain-free and can be completed within 15 minutes for both eyes.
The LASIK Procedure
The LASIK eye surgery procedure is one that is completed quite quickly with ease and efficiency. During this painless procedure, your eye surgeon–ophthalmologist–will make a small incision across the cornea of the eye. Once that is completed, they will raise that thin flap of tissue and completely reshape the cornea to correct vision. Throughout this short procedure, patients are completely awake and responsive. While LASIK eye surgery is the best and most effective procedure to correct various vision afflictions, being awake during the surgery as well as idea of cutting into the eye tends to be a frightening concept for many potential patients. However, as many ophthalmologists will explain, patients feel virtually no pain throughout the entirety of the procedure. Most importantly, studies show that the odds of complications arising during surgery are less than 1 in 20. Even minor issues post-surgery aren’t nearly severe enough to cause any form of vision loss.
On average, patients will experience improved vision almost immediately after surgery. Approximately 95% will gain 20/40 vision or better, while 85% will resume 20/20 vision. While results are nearly immediate, it can take a few weeks after LASIK surgery to fully adjust your vision. We recommended having a friend or family member drive you home post-surgery, for your vision may be a bit blurry and your eyes will be very sensitive to sunlight. Luckily, it’s very rare to need bandages or stitches; therefore, patients can continue their normal activities within 24 hours. Post-surgery, glasses-wearing patients will find that their need to wear glasses will grow less and less over time. In most cases, patients stop wearing glasses altogether.
In just a few short weeks, your vision will be fully adjusted to its permanent state. While you can always request a follow-up procedure for good measure, most ophthalmologists do not require one due to the efficiency of the procedure. The only time a follow-up procedure is truly needed is if the patient experiences slight changes in their eyesight. These changes are most likely due to aging; however, there’s always the possibility that the initial surgery was not enough correction. To fix these uncommon issues, adjustments can be made several years after the initial surgery.
Like all surgeries, LASIK eye surgery is a substantial investment and should be regarded as such. While there are a few financial institutions and insurance companies that are willing to cover a portion of the overall costs, we recommend budgeting appropriately. Although the cost is great, it’s important to think about it in terms of what you’ll be saving in the long term. Avid glasses and contact wearers will be saving a significant sum of money over time since they will no longer need them. In terms of risk versus reward, the reward for LASIK eye surgery trumps all.
To learn more about this unique procedure and if you’re a good candidate, please talk to your eye care professional.
This article was written by Millennium Laser Eye Centers. Dr. Cory M. Lessner’s extensive training and expertise along with the professional team at Millennium Laser Eye Centers are recognized as a LASIK Leader in the United States.