While it may sound imposing, laser surgery is actually one of the most reliable surgeries in the world today. In fact, it is the single most commonly practiced vision correction procedure in North America, with average success rates over 95%.
The most common reservation people have with laser surgery is a concern over how safe the procedure is. Laser eye surgery is minimally invasive, with short recovery periods. The procedure itself takes between an hour to an hour and a half- inclusive of all preparation.
Millions of Americans have chosen laser eye surgery to provide long-term vision correction.
This procedure is undergone by thousands of Americans every week – if you feel like it’s time for a change, you can probably be one of them.
Many patients find that the surgery itself is quite a fast, efficient service. The exact details of your procedure will vary depending on the type of surgery you choose, but all treatments can be split into pre-op, surgery and post-op.
The first thing we need to do is conduct a comprehensive eye exam. Unfortunately not every individual is a suitable candidate for laser treatment. We are required to assess your overall eye health, as well as certain properties like the thickness of your cornea. If you are deemed a viable candidate, then we will discuss surgical options and make an appointment!
The surgery is quite straightforward. The surgeon will apply a local anesthetic to your eyeball to ensure your comfort through the exam. Then an incision is made into the front surface of your eye, exposing your cornea, and the laser treatment is applied for a few seconds to reshape it. That’s all there is to it!
Post-operatively, the most important factor is your recovery. We will see you multiple times after your surgery to ensure that everything is progressing well and that your sight is improving according to schedule. If any complications arise, we will be there to help you take the required next steps.
Being several decades old, more than one surgical procedure has been designed and approved for use in correcting refractive errors. They all follow the same general principle, but are conducted in slightly different manners, with differing advantages.
This is by far the most commonly practiced form of laser eye surgery. With the highest success rate and the shortest recovery time, it’s not hard to see why! Using a high precision laser a small flap is made in the corneal tissue at the front of the eye. This flap is pulled back to expose the cornea underneath, before the cornea is reshaped using the laser.
After surgery, the flap is replaced and left to heal.
The primary difference between LASIK and LASEK is how the corneal tissue is handled. In LASIK, a flap is made using a microkeratome or intralase laser. In LASEK, no corneal flap is made. Instead, an alcohol solution is used to temporarily displace the corneal cells. When the laser is finished, the corneal cells are placed back in their original position and left to heal.
The final option is PRK; this is less commonly used than the discussed alternatives, and varies quite substantially in that the removed layer of skin (the epithelium) is discarded during surgery and left to grow back during the postoperative period. This involves a slightly longer recovery period, but is still commonly undergone by those who do not qualify for LASIK surgery or those with thin corneas.