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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.
There are two types of LASIK available:
1. In Traditional LASIK or Blade LASIK, Microkeratome is used to cut the cornea to create a flap. It is also called as blade flap.
2. In Bladeless LASIK, femtosecond laser is used to create the corneal flap.
The LASIK surgeon will assess if the patient fits into the criteria for LASIK surgery.
A patient is a candidate if –
Before the LASIK surgery:-
1. The doctor first takes your detailed history & then examines your eyes to make sure there is no other eye disease & checks if they are healthy for the procedure.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. Your doctor will instruct you not to wear contact lens for about 2 weeks before the procedure.
An eye surgeon (ophthalmologist) who is trained in LASIK surgery performs the surgery.
The ophthalmologist takes approximately 10 – 20 min to perform the procedure.
Both eyes can be done at the same time.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. After marking the cornea, the surgeon creates a thin, circular flap in the cornea with the help of surgical instruments (microkeratome or femtosecond laser).
4. After folding back the thin flap, the corneal tissue is removed with the help of excimer laser.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. After one eye, the surgeon operates on the other eye.
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.
The patients return to normal activity the next day, however, rest is advised for few days.
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.
Complications/Risks of LASIK:-
Like any other surgery, there are risks associated with LASIK surgery. Very rarely, the patients experience side effects of LASIK.