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, an advanced form of Excimer laser vision correction that removes a small amount of tissue beneath a thin flap of corneal tissue. The LASIK procedure was developed from two surgical procedures that have been performed for some time – PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) and ALK (automated lamellar keratoplasty).
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 cleaned, the patient lies down comfortably under the laser microscope. The eye is held open with a speculum and a pancake-like flap of the cornea is then fashioned with a microkeratome (a very fine, thin blade). New technology allows us to create this flap with the Moria OnePlus System™ or the AMO Intralase iFS™.
After the flap is prepared, the Excimer laser’s ultraviolet light removes a small amount of tissue from the remaining cornea beneath the flap, and the corneal flap is replaced on the eye. Our doctors use the state-of-the-art Abbott Medical Optics VISX Star S4 IR ™ Excimer Laser. Now that the cornea has been reshaped, the overlying flap helps protect and heal the eye quickly. This effect decreases nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism.
The procedure takes about 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 for your use.
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.