The LASIK Procedure
The word “LASIK” is an acronym formed from the words “laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis." The term “in situ” means “in the natural position or place,” in this case a reference to the fact that your eye is being treated right where it is. “Keratomileusis” refers to the surgical re-shaping of the cornea.
Add this all up, and the basic concept of LASIK can be relatively simply described: it is a surgery in which laser light is used to change the shape of your cornea.
What Does LASIK Do?
Why would changing the shape of your cornea be beneficial?
Vision difficulties such as nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia) and blurred vision (astigmatism) result when the shape of your eye changes in a way that causes it to bend light in a manner other than that associated with normal vision, something referred to as a “refractive error.”
The cornea, the transparent, dome-shaped layer at the front of your eye, is where the light enters and where the bending all begins.
The problems that you are having with your eyes, that result in your having to wear the glasses or contact lenses that you would much rather do without – whether for reasons of aesthetics, comfort or convenience – are all the result of refractive errors.
LASIK is an FDA-approved procedure that can address this problem, on both eyes, in as little as 15 minutes. You will be on the road to better vision, without a need for contact glasses or eyeglasses. There is a good chance that you will see some results on the same day that you are treated, and things will only improve with the passage of time. 20/20 vision, or even better, is not unrealistic.
Is LASIK Right for Me?
Whether LASIK is the right procedure for you can only be determined through a consultation with our LASIK surgeon, but you are likely to be a good candidate for LASIK surgery if you are experiencing mild to moderate nearsightedness, farsightedness or blurred vision. It is also important that you have adequate corneal thickness, something that will be determined in an examination and consultation.
Your pre-operative examination will also cover other aspects of your eye health, including:
- Eye moistness Some clients experience dry eyes following a LASIK procedure. Depending on the existing dryness of your eyes, your doctor may recommend a pre-operative treatment to reduce the likelihood that this will occur.
- “Mapping” your eyeA map of your cornea can be created by an automated instrument known as “corneal topographer,” providing a clear picture of its curvature.
- Wavefront analysisYour doctor can get an even more exact idea of the nature of the refractive errors that are occurring in your eye, and, thus the exact approach he should take to correct them by sending light waves through the eye structure to map how they travel.
As with any procedure, our LASIK surgeon will want to know about your general health, the medications you might be taking, and other medical information.
If you wear contact lenses, these can change your cornea’s natural shape. You will need to stop wearing them prior to undergoing LASIK surgery. Our LASIK surgeon will advise you how long you will need to switch to glasses prior to surgery.LASIK Charleston SC
What Does the Surgeon Do?
Before beginning the procedure, you will be administered numbing eye drops. You may also receive other medication to help you relax. You should not be concerned about experiencing pain while the procedure is being performed – it does not involve any pain.
- When you are positioned under the laser, an instrument known as a “lid speculum” is put in place to ensure that your eyelids cannot close during the procedure.
- The surgeon will be cutting a circular flap in your cornea, which will be folded to expose the underlying corneal tissue that will be treated with the laser. First, the area that will be cut is marked with an ink marker.
- The precision of this first step could be affected if your eye moves while the flap is being created. This is prevented through the application of a suction ring at the front of your eye.
- The flap is then created with a surgical tool and then folded back. At this point, the laser comes into play. First, the surgeon will adjust the laser via a computer, using the data collected during your pre-operative exam. The reshaping that the laser is being programmed to achieve will depend on the individual eye problems being corrected.
- Next, our LASIK surgeon will ask you to look briefly at a target light. While you do this, pulses of laser light will be sent to the cornea. The surgeon will monitor this process through a microscope.
- At this time, your cornea is being reshaped by the laser. Its cool, ultraviolet accomplishes this by using by removing microscopic amounts of tissue from the cornea. After this, the flap that was folded back is returned to its original location.
- You won’t experience pain, but it’s possible that you might experience a feeling of pressure on your eye.
- After the laser reshapes the cornea, the flap is then laid back in place, covering the area where the corneal tissue was removed. Then the cornea is allowed to heal naturally. No stitches will be needed, but a shield will be put in place to prevent you from rubbing your eye.
In just minutes, you are on the road to recovery and a new, clearer view of the world and all that is in it. Our clients report to us that quality of life has greatly improved with sharp, clear vision restored – without glasses or contacts.LASIK Charleston SC
George Waring IV MD FACS
735 Johnnie Dodds Blvd, Ste 101
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
Schedule a Consultation