Given the lifestyle restrictions associated with glasses and contact lenses, many wearers wonder if LASIK surgery is a good option. But it is difficult to reject the idea of eye surgery. Here’s a breakdown of what to expect from LASIK surgery.
The operation itself takes about five minutes and the patients are awake. Once your eyes are numb from the drops, the surgeon follows these three basic steps:
- Create a thin contact lens flap on the cornea using a small blade called a microkeratome or laser.
- Fold the corneal flap back and use an excimer laser to reshape the cornea, removing small pieces of tissue.
- Replace the corneal flap.
It is a relatively simple procedure, but LASIK is a very delicate operation that must be performed by a doctor who specializes in it. The surgeon must know how to correctly “map” the area of the eye that he will work on and be able to use the computer that controls the movements of the laser.
One of the benefits of LASIK for Amblyopia is that most patients experience no discomfort after the procedure, although some report that their eyes look like grains of sand for several days. Patients can return to their normal activities the next day if they wish, although there is no physical exercise for about a week. Most importantly, most patients will immediately notice a dramatic improvement in vision and even better results will appear within a couple of weeks.
Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) was the first laser eye surgery developed and preceded LASIK. The procedure is similar to LASIK, except that the laser is applied to the eye without first creating a corneal flap. Instead, a thin layer of the cornea known as the epithelium is removed. The impression after that is also a little different. Patients experience greater discomfort after PRK than after LASIK, and their vision improves gradually over weeks or even months, rather than almost immediately. PRK is generally recommended over LASIK in patients with thinner corneas.
LASEK is another LASIK alternative for people with steep or thin corneas. The surgery itself is similar to PRK, except that a thin layer of epithelial cells is replaced after surgery. Patients report more discomfort with LASEK than with LASIK and longer healing times.