Currently this is the most popular method of laser vision correction being offered in the United States. The vast majority of the procedures are performed on an outpatient basis. It is performed on eyes that are nearsighted, farsighted, and/or have astigmatism.
Laser Vision correction works by reshaping the cornea. The cornea functions to focus light to the back of the eye. Most corneas have irregularities, which lead to myopia (nearsighted), hyperopia (farsighted), or astigmatism. By removing these irregularities, light is focused by the cornea so that patients can achieve 20/20 vision.
As for the actual procedure, a patient is awake throughout the procedure. Anesthetic drops are applied to keep the patient comfortable. A microkeratome is applied and this instrument creates a thin flap, which is lifted from the cornea. Once the flap is lifted, microscopic amounts of the cornea are removed. The flap is then placed back into position.
Advantages of Lasik lie in the procedure being relatively painless, completed on an outpatient basis, and having a short recovery time. The goal of being able to see clearly without glasses or contacts is achieved by most patients.
In some patients there may be a need to do an “enhancement” after the first surgery. Some patients may experience dryness and glare for a period of time after the surgery. Very rarely, patients may have double or hazy vision, fluctuating vision, increased sensitivity to light, and/or poor healing.
Overall, the patient who takes the time to research the LASIK procedure, have a comprehensive exam before the procedure to determine eligibility, can expect to see clearly without glasses or contacts after the surgery.