LASIK is a non-invasive, refractive eye surgery using the technology of the excimer laser along with a the IntraLase femtosecond laser. LASIK uses a beam of cool light to reshape the top layer of the cornea, so that images focus correctly on the retina.
Prior to LASIK surgery, numerous tests will be performed on your eyes to determine the amount of correction needed. A computer, controlled by your LASIK eye surgeon, is used to precisely calculate the exact amount of cornea that needs to be removed for each person’s individual eyes.
During your LASIK surgery, a femtosecond laser called an IntraLase will be used to create a thin flap from the surface of the cornea. This laser takes the place of the microkeratome blade that is used in traditional LASIK. The flap is then lifted to expose the inner layer of cornea to be treated. This corneal flap stays attached to the rest of the cornea on one side. The VISX Star 4 excimer laser is then positioned into place, and delivers a programmed number of pulses of ultraviolet light onto the newly exposed part of the cornea. Each pulse of the laser removes a microscopic layer of cornea. After LASIK surgery is complete, the corneal flap is set back into place. This flap will naturally bond to the treated cornea, eliminating the need for sutures. Natural pressure from the eyelid and other factors will help to hold the flap in place as healing occurs, minimizing discomfort.
The center of the cornea is now flattened, allowing light rays to be focused more precisely on the retina and images will be seen more sharply. Most patients will notice dramatic improvement immediately after their LASIK surgery. However, maximum improvement will occur over the next three to four weeks. Both antibiotic drops and steroid drops will be used for a period of two weeks following LASIK surgery to ensure the cornea is properly healing. Artificial tears will also be used abundantly to help keep the cornea smooth and moist during the healing period.