Step by Step Lasik Surgery

Lasik is a variety of eye surgery that can help to correct refractive problems with your eyesight that result in the need to wear glasses or contact lenses. An increasingly popular solution, Lasik is now so popular that millions of Americans have had the procedure. However, many people are still confused about what the treatment entails and so we have put together this step by step guide to Lasik surgery.


Step 1: Consultation

Before you can have Lasik surgery you will need to have a consultation. This will be with your surgeon who will ensure that you know all of the benefits and risks of the procedure. He will then perform a comprehensive eye examination in order to determine your suitability as a candidate for the surgery. He will ask about your general medical history and any medications you are currently taking, as well as evaluating the shape and thickness of your cornea, your pupil size, your refractive errors (whether you are far or near sighted) and check for any pre-existing ocular conditions such as dry eye or glaucoma.


Step 2: Preparation for surgery

If you have been approved for Lasik, then you may need to start preparing for your surgery a short time ahead of the actual procedure. Make sure you have read all of the information you have been given about your surgery, and write down any questions that you may have for your surgeon. Most Lasik surgeons request that soft contact lens wearers stop wearing them two weeks before the procedure to make sure that your corneas are stable. If you have rigid lenses then you may be asked to stop wearing this as early as four weeks ahead of your surgery.

You should ensure that you are completely make-up free the day of your procedure, and avoid wearing perfumes or facial moisturisers. You will also need to arrange for someone to drive you home after the procedure and back for your check-up again the next day. You should not drive until you have been given express permission to do so.


Step 3: The surgery

Lasik surgery takes place in a number of steps too.

  1. When you enter the room where your Lasik surgery will be performed, you will be asked to lie down on a comfortable treatment chair where you will be given eye drops which will numb them for the duration of the procedure. Your surgeon will then place a small device on your eyes which will help to keep them open wide so that he can have the best access possible to your cornea.

  2. Next, a small laser or bladed surgical tool known as a microkeratome will be used to create an ultra-think flap on the centre of your cornea. Both devices attach to your eye using mild suction, which you will be able to feel as slight pressure, but no pain. Once the flap has been cut, the surgeon will then fold this back so that he can access the cornea underneath.

  3. The laser will have been pre-programmed to deliver the right amount of reshaping to your cornea to correct your unique vision. Your surgeon will put the laser in the relevant position directly over your eye. You will be asked to focus on a specific point while the laser undertakes the reshaping process, which your surgeon will watch through a microscope. The entire process only takes a few minutes per eye.

  4. When the reshaping is complete, your surgeon will put the flap back into place and begin again on the other eye.

  5. There is no need for stiches or anything to hold the flap in place, the moistness of the eye will do the job for you and it will heal extremely quickly.


Step 4: After surgery

After your Lasik surgery you will be prescribed eye drops. These are medicated and will help to reduce inflammation and possible infection while your eyes heal. It is not uncommon to feel a slight sting or burn when administering these eye drops, but you should continue to use them as per your directions. You may also be given a bottle of artificial tears to take home with you. This is important as some people find that their eyes feel very dry after Lasik surgery, and using artificial tears can help to keep their eyes moist and comfortable.

The day after your surgery you will be asked to return to see your surgeon, who will be able to check that everything is healing as it should be. You will also be given a vision test, which you must pass to be given clearance to drive again.

In the first few weeks after your treatment, your vision may not be as clear as you expect it to be. However, depending on how fast your eyes heal, your vision may continue to improve for a number of weeks after your procedure.