During your pre-surgery examination, your doctor will:
- Dilate your pupils to fine-tune your prescription
- Examine your eyes to make sure they’re healthy, including testing for glaucoma, performing a retinal exam and assessing for dry eye
- Measure the curvature of your cornea and your pupils
- Examine the topography of your eyes to make sure you don’t have an irregular astigmatism or a cone-shaped cornea – a condition called keratoconus
- Determine the thickness of your cornea. You need to have enough tissue left after your corneas have been cut and reshaped.
- Discuss the risks, benefits, options and possible complications of LASIK surgery.
If you qualify for LASIK, you will be required to stop wearing your contact lenses for a while before the surgery. Contacts can temporarily change the shape of the cornea and your cornea should be in its natural shape the day of surgery. Your doctor may instruct you to stop wearing makeup, lotions or perfume for a few days before surgery. These products can interfere with the laser treatment or increase the risk of infection after surgery.
LASIK is an outpatient surgical procedure. The surgery takes 10 to 15 minutes for each eye.
Local anesthetic drops are applied to numb the eye. An eyelid holder is positioned to hold your eye open and prevents blinking during the surgery. A hinged flap of thin corneal tissue is cut off the outer layer of the eye and the flap is lifted out of the way.
During the procedure you will focus on a green flashing light. The laser will apply computer-controlled pulses of cool laser light to remove a pre-determined amount of corneal tissue according to your prescription, reshaping your cornea. The laser reshaping takes between 10 and 30 seconds.
The corneal flap is then replaced and within minutes natural suction forces within the eyes hold the flap in place. Finally, a shield is placed over the eyes to protect them as they heal.
What to Expect Before During and After LASIK to be continued…