LASIK is one of the safest and most-successful laser refractive procedures available today. LASIK eye surgery is an option for patients with nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Rochester Regional Health offers the latest in LASIK technology, providing our patients with enhanced safety and the chance to see more clearly.
LASIK, or laser-assisted in situ keratomileuses, is a surgical alternative to contact lenses or glasses. The cornea, the dome-shaped clear tissue in front of the eye, bends (refracts) light to focus directly into your retina. During the procedure, a special cutting laser is used to precisely change the shape of your cornea to improve your vision.
Contact lenses and glasses can correct vision, reshaping the cornea through LASIK also provides the necessary refraction.
At Rochester Regional Health, we have several types of refractive procedures we can use to best meet your needs. After your eye doctor determines if you’re a candidate for laser eye surgery, they will help you determine which laser type will help your vision most.
LASIK surgery is a bladeless procedure in which two lasers are used to correct your vision. The first laser, a femtosecond laser, creates a very thin flap on the surface of your cornea, which is then lifted to expose the middle layer of the cornea. After the flap is lifted, a second laser is applied to the exposed layer to correct your vision with remarkable precision. The excimer laser can treat lower-order aberrations (nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism), and can also correct subtle higher-order aberrations that cause issues like poor night vision, glare, halos, and shadows. Using a special camera, we will take custom measurements of your eye to guide the laser during your surgery.
Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK), corrects your vision using just one laser–the excimer laser. Instead of accessing your corneal tissue by making a flap, we instead remove the superficial layer of the cornea and apply the laser directly to your cornea’s surface. Once done, a bandage contact lens is placed on both your eyes to help with the healing process.
While there is a longer healing time and more post-operative discomfort with PRK compared to LASIK, one is not superior to the other. Because PRK does not involve creating a corneal flap, it eliminates the risk of flap-related complications. PRK surgery may be a necessary alternative depending on your pre-surgical screening results.
LASIK surgery offers improved vision without the hassle of glasses or contacts, and most people have 20/20 vision or better after surgery.
Your results will depend on your eyes, your refractive errors, and your overall health. Your surgeon will help you set expectations and will thoroughly examine your eyes to ensure you’re a good fit for laser eye surgery.
Like all surgeries, laser eye surgery is not without risks. Your provider will walk through any questions or concerns you may have before your procedure. Risks of LASIK surgery include:
Before you and your provider determine if LASIK is right for you, it’s important to know how much the surgery will cost you. LASIK laser eye surgery is typically deemed an elective surgery, meaning most insurance companies will not cover the cost. Please be prepared to pay out-of-pocket for your surgery.
You will need to have someone drive you to and from your surgery. After surgery, your vision may be blurry and you may still feel the effects of the medicine, so we cannot let you drive.
Please refrain from wearing eye makeup, eye cream, lotions, or perfumes on the day before and the day of your surgery.
The best long-term results from LASIK come from people who were carefully evaluated before surgery to ensure they are good candidates. Your doctor will evaluate you for:
After talking through your medical and surgical history and giving you a thorough examination, your doctor will measure the shape, contour, thickness, and any irregularities of your cornea.
Before your procedure, you and your doctor will talk about both the risks and benefits of your surgery and can talk through any concerns or questions you may have.
LASIK laser eye surgery typically takes 30 minutes or less per eye. You will be given medication to help you relax, and you will lie back on a bed. Your doctor will place numbing drops in your eyes and then will use an instrument to keep your eyelids open.
Your eye surgeon will place a suction ring on your eye before cutting your corneal flap, which may result in a feeling of pressure and dimming of vision. Then, they’ll use a femtosecond laser to create the flap on your cornea.
After the flap is created, an excimer laser will be used to reshape your cornea. Every pulse of the laser beam removes a bit of corneal tissue, allowing your eyes to refract and see better. Once your cornea has been reshaped, your flap will be put back in place to heal without stitches.
You’ll be directed to focus on a point of light during your procedure. This helps to keep your eye fixed in place while the laser reshapes your cornea. If you need LASIK in both eyes your doctor will conduct the procedure on the same day.
It is common to experience itchy, gritty, watery, or burning eyes after your surgery. Many have blurred vision and a bit of pain but will recover their vision quickly. Your surgeon may recommend eye drops and/or pain medications to help you feel comfortable after your procedure.
With LASIK, you will be able to see after your surgery. It is normal for vision to be slightly blurry and fluctuate for several days after LASIK, but visual recovery is relatively quick. With PRK, it typically takes two to three months–and sometimes up to 6 months–for your eyes to heal and your vision to stabilize.
One day after your surgery, you’ll have a follow-up appointment with your eye doctor so they can check for complications and see how your eye(s) are healing. You can also expect a follow-up appointment at one week, 6 months, and one year.
Your doctor will give you their recommendations for how quickly you can resume normal activities and wear cosmetics around your eyes. Please ask them if you have any questions or concerns.