LASIK is the most frequently performed elective surgery in North America. This highly effective outpatient procedure is often referred to as refractive surgery or laser vision correction.
The LASIK procedure is performed by ophthalmologists, medical doctors who specialize in surgical treatments of the eye. Here is a general outline of the procedure:
1) Anesthetic eye drops are applied to the eye.
2) The LASIK surgeon creates a protective flap to access the inner corneal tissue. During this part of the procedure, your vision dims and becomes blurry for about a minute. After the flap is created you are able to see the flashing fixation light of the laser and the bright lights used for the procedure.
3) Next, the inner layers of your cornea receive computer-controlled pulses of cool laser light. Although the laser light is invisible, the laser makes a clicking sound as it gently reshapes the inner corneal layer to improve and in many cases, eliminate your prescription. During this part of the procedure, an eye-tracking device tracks your eye movements to ensure precise correction.
4) Following the re-shaping of the tissue, the LASIK surgeon carefully repositions and aligns the flap to its original position. Protective shields are placed over your eye to prevent accidental rubbing as the flap heals naturally and securely over the next several hours.
After the LASIK eye surgery procedure, patients feel moderate discomfort and irritation for a few hours, but most are comfortable after a nap and rest.