The LASIK Procedure
Refractive procedures work by altering the shape or curvature of the cornea, the clear tissue that covers the front surface of the eye. LASIK (laser in-situ keratomileusis) is an FDA approved form of Excimer laser vision correction that removes a small amount of tissue beneath a thin flap of corneal tissue.
Prior to the procedure, you will receive a low dose of sedative and eye drops to anesthetize and clean your eyes. Once the eyelids are prepped, you will lie down on a comfortable bed under the laser microscope. The eye is held open (so you cannot blink!) with a speculum. A pancake-like flap of the cornea is then fashioned using a cool beam of UV Excimer light. The flap is approximately 100 microns thick (about a 10th of a millimeter).
After the flap is prepared, the Excimer laser will then remove a small amount of tissue from the remianing cornea beneath the flap, and then the flap is replaced over the treatment zone for quick healing. The procedure takes 5-10 minutes for each eye. Your doctor will check your eyes immediately after the procedure, prior to you leaving for home. Protective eyewear is given immediately to use along with prescription eyedrops. Go home and rest and sleep.
We will see you the next day and then approximately 4 to 8 days later in follow up , and additionally as your doctor decides. Patients often note an immediate improvement in vision. You can expect some mild scratchiness, sensitivity to light , and tearing for 24 to 48 hours.
Our doctors at Eastside Eye Physicians never settle for less than the best bladeless technology and we currently utilize the Alcon Wavelight® EX 500 excimer laser or the Johnson & Johnson Star S4 IR® excimer laser system.
The PRK Procedure
PRK, also sometimes referred to as advanced surface ablation, uses the Excimer laser to remove tissue, but no flap is made. Instead, a clear soft contact lens is placed on the eye for 3-7 days to protect the eye and help it heal. This procedure is sometimes preferred for patients with very thin corneas or other predisposing conditions. Our doctors will discuss your alternatives.