LASIK, which stands for Laser-Assisted in-Situ Keratomileusis, is a vision correction surgery used to treat nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia) and astigmatism. During a LASIK procedure, eye surgeons use lasers to reshape the cornea to improve vision.
LASIK is a delicate procedure that takes extensive skill and experience. At Aurora, our laser eye surgeons have successfully performed hundreds of LASIK vision correction procedures – so you know you’re in good hands.
Are you a candidate for LASIK? If you’re looking for vision correction surgery to treat one of the following conditions, LASIK could be right for you:
Myopia (nearsightedness) – LASIK is a popular myopia (nearsightedness) treatment option because of its high success rate in treating those with mild, moderate and even severe nearsightedness. Nearsightedness occurs when you can focus on objects that are close to you, but can’t see things that are far away. LASIK outcomes have been shown to be best in those with mild to moderate nearsightedness, where 67% of patients gained at least 20/20 vision, and 95% of patients gained at least 20/40 vision after having LASIK.
Hyperopia (farsightedness) – LASIK eye surgery is also used as a hyperopia (farsightedness) treatment option. Farsightedness occurs when you can see objects in the distance clearly, but can’t focus on close objects such as a computer screen or book. Farsightedness is caused by inaccurately focused light on the retina. LASIK corrects this inaccuracy by changing the shape of the eye’s cornea so close-up objects come into focus.
Astigmatism – LASIK surgery is a popular choice for astigmatism treatment. Astigmatism occurs when the cornea, or the top surface of the eye, is asymmetrical. This asymmetrical shape can cause images to be improperly reflected on the retina, which results in blurred vision. LASIK treats astigmatism by reshaping the cornea with lasers, so the shape of the eye is more like a baseball than a football. If your astigmatism is less than 3.0 diopters, LASIK could be a highly successful astigmatism treatment.
Before your surgery, you'll meet with a LASIK eye surgeon for a thorough eye exam. You'll discuss your overall health, your vision concerns, and your candidacy for LASIK. If you wear contact lenses, you'll need to stop wearing them at least 2-4 weeks before surgery, depending on the type of lenses you wear.
Before your eye surgeon begins the procedure, they'll create a map of the refractive errors in your eye that have been caused by astigmatism, nearsightedness and/or farsightedness. This map will help them accurately calibrate the laser that will be used during your eye surgery.
Next, your LASIK surgeon will apply topical eye drops to numb your eyes. They will then create a small flap in your cornea to expose the tissue beneath. Using a laser, they will contour your cornea until the shape is such that your vision problems will be corrected. Once they are finished working with the laser (about 10-15 minutes per eye), your eye surgeon will replace the corneal flap, which will naturally adhere to the surface of your eye.
The entire laser eye surgery should takes about 2 hours, including paperwork.
After the procedure, you may feel some itching, burning or discomfort in your eyes. Your doctor may provide a protective eye patch to help you resist the temptation to touch your eyes. You may also be prescribed pain medication to ease your discomfort.
Your vision will most likely be blurry immediately following surgery. You'll need to have a friend or family member drive you home from your Aurora Vision Center or clinic, and you'll probably want to take a few days off work to recover. Most patients see a noticeable improvement in their vision within a few days of having laser eye surgery.
You'll return to see your eye surgeon a few days post-surgery, and then at regular intervals for the 6 months following surgery to make sure the eyes have healed properly. Long-term, you may be able to stop wearing glasses or contact lenses altogether – and even achieve 20/20 vision.