What is LASIK?
LASIK (Laser-Assisted in situ Keratomileusis) is a laser eye surgery to reshape the cornea to correct vision problems (myopia – person has blurred far vision, hyperopia – person has blurred near vision, astigmatism – blurred vision due to irregular shape of cornea or lens). It is commonly known as laser eye surgery.
What are different types of LASIK?
There are two types of LASIK available:
- In Traditional LASIK or Blade LASIK, Microkeratome is used to cut the cornea to create a flap. It is also called as blade flap.
- In Bladeless LASIK, femtosecond laser is used to create the corneal flap.
Am I a candidate for LASIK?
The LASIK surgeon will assess if the patient fits into the criteria for LASIK surgery. However, a patient is a candidate if –
- The patient is 18 years or elder
- Vision is stable for at least a year
- Corneal thickness must be adequate
- Healthy eyes – No other eye disease
- Pregnant or Lactating mothers should wait till the female sex hormones are normal
- Any other disease – Autoimmune diseases, Infections, etc.
Who performs LASIK surgery?
An eye surgeon (ophthalmologist) who is trained in LASIK surgery performs the surgery.
What is the duration of LASIK surgery?
The ophthalmologist takes approximately 10 – 20 min to perform the procedure.
Can I have both eyes done at the same time?
Yes, both eyes can be done at the same time.
What are the complications/risks of LASIK?
- Like any other surgery, there are risks associated with LASIK surgery. Very rarely, the patients experience side effects of LASIK.
- Infection of eye after the surgery
- Under correction or over correction
- You may experience glare, halos, dryness in eyes, hazy vision.
- The corneal flap created during the surgery may fail to adhere back to the cornea. It may lead to formation wrinkles in the cornea, causing blurred vision.
- Deformity of the cornea
Is LASIK cure permanent?
During LASIK surgery, a permanent reshaping of cornea is performed. However, with time, some changes in your eyes, such as age related changes, glaucoma, cataract, macular degeneration, etc, may affect your vision.
What should I expect before the LASIK surgery?
- The doctor first takes your detailed history & then examines your eyes to make sure there is no other eye disease & are healthy for the procedure.
- After your doctor confirms that you are a fit candidate for the procedure, he/she will evaluate parameters of different parts of your eyes – thickness of cornea, pupil size, status of your refraction (vision), pressure of your eye, etc.
- A corneal topographer is used to measure the curvature of cornea & creates map of the same. Some new technologies are also being used to measure the same.
- Your doctor will instruct you not to wear contact lens for about 2 weeks before the procedure.
What should I expect during the procedure?
- The doctor will instill anesthetic eye drops into your eyes to make the procedure pain free. However, some patients may feel some discomfort during the procedure.
- After positioning the eyes under the laser, lid speculum is used to keep your eyes open. A suction ring is used to prevent eye movements.
- After marking the cornea, the surgeon creates a thin, circular flap in the cornea with the help of surgical instruments (microkeratome or femtosecond laser).
- After folding back the thin flap, the corneal tissue is removed with the help of excimer laser.
- The reshaping of cornea is done according to the need of the patient. For farsightedness, cornea is steepened; and for nearsightedness, cornea is flattened. For astigmatism, corneal surface is smoothened.
- After reshaping the cornea flap is put back in place & is allowed to heal naturally. No stitches are needed for the incision on the cornea.
- After one eye, the surgeon operates on the other eye.
What should I expect after the LASIK surgery?
- You will have blurred vision and itching sensation after the procedure.
- After observation of few minutes, you will be allowed to go back home.
- Your doctor will prescribe some medicines (antibiotics, painkillers) and rest for few days
- You will be asked to visit the doctor for follow up the next day.
What should I expect the day after surgery?
- Vision will likely be hazy or blurry immediately after surgery. The whites of the eye may look red or bloodshot.
- The rapid effect enables the patient to see more clearly the next day of the surgery. However, further improvements may take few weeks to months.
How soon can I return to normal activities after LASIK surgery?
The patients return to normal activity the next day, however, rest is advised for few days.
What is the cost of LASIK in India?
The cost of LASIK may varies from 30,000 INR to 1,25,000 INR depending upon the type of technology used & the type of healthcare institution.