Laser eye surgery takes a maximum of 30 minutes, but in most cases it is done within 10-12 minutes
What Is Lasik Eye Surgery
LASIK stands for LASer In-situ Keratomileusis. LASIK surgery is a type of day care laser surgery that is performed to correct the spectacle power. LASIK surgery is recommended for correcting Nearsightedness(myopia), Farsightedness(Hyperopia) and Astigmatism. In patients with refractive error, i.e spectacle power, the rays of the light entering the eye do not focus precisely on the retina.
Glasses and contact lenses are hence used to precisely focus the light onto the retina so that that vision improves. However, without using glasses or contact lenses constantly, the patient cannot view the objects clearly. This spectacle dependency can be a hindrance for day to day activities. Persons who lead a very active lifestyle may particularly find wearing spectacles to be bothersome.
Patients may also choose to want to get rid of their glasses for cosmetic purposes and wearing contact lenses for prolonged periods is not recommended. LASIK surgery is the gold standard method to correct spectacle power for moderate to high refractive powers. It is a flap based laser surgery procedure which takes about 10 minutes per eye. The vision correction after this laser eye surgery is immediate and you can resume most of your routine activities within 3 days of recovery period.
LASIK surgery usually offers a permanent correction of the power and freedom from glasses. Patients may also want to opt for contoura eye surgery to not only get rid of their glasses but also improve the quality of their vision.
Benefits of LASIK Eye Treatment
Painless Eye Surgery
Fast Healing Process
No Bandages or Stitches Required
Spectacles Free Vision
Allergy Relief to some extent
World Class Technology
Laser surgery technology for power correction by LASIK eye surgery has advanced by leaps and bounds in the last two decades. From a surgical procedure with moderate results, LASIK surgery today has surpassed all expectations and is a highly precise surgery requiring the best of skills and technology. In keeping up with technological advancements world-over, the surgeons at Sri Eye Care work on the Alcon Wavelight™ EX500 flying spot laser treatment system.
This is one of the most advanced excimer laser surgery machines available to treat refractive errors and takes just 1.4 seconds per diopter of power correction. The EX500 laser surgery equipment is also synced to the Topolyzer™ corneal analyser tool which captures every single surface point of the patient's cornea. This way, the treatment is customized for every patient's eye thereby ensuring best visual outcomes. This topographic guided treatment is known as CONTOURA® Vision.
Steps of LASIK Eye Surgery
Depending on the type of LASIK surgery chosen, your treatment may be performed precisely in the following steps:
A femtolaser or Microkeratome [which is an automated precise tool for making a flap] is used to create a circular flap in the cornea to reach the corneal stromal layer before the laser treatment.
In the next step of the laser surgery, the excimer laser precisely reshapes the cornea as per the programmed advanced algorithm to correct the spectacle power.
Voila! It's that simple!
The flap is then repositioned in place after the laser treatment without sutures and this healed in 24-48 hours of time.
All this is performed under the effect of drop anaesthesia and is completely painless to the patient
Eye Problems That Can Be Treated With Lasik
Myopia or short-sightedness is a condition wherein far objects are difficult to visualize. Myopia usually occurs when the rays of light entering our eyes focus in front of our retina, instead of focusing directly on it. Myopia is one of the most common conditions for which patients undergo laser surgery!
Hypermetropia or far-sightedness is a condition wherein far objects are difficult to visualize. It usually occurs when the rays of light entering our eyes focus behind our retina, instead of focusing directly on it.
Astigmatism is a condition which causes distortion of the vision, both for far as well as near. In this condition, all the rays of the light entering the eye at different axes do not converge onto the retina. Instead one or more rays of light may fall in front or back of the retina, while the other set of rays may fall on the retina or in front of it. Astigmatism contributes to the cylindrical power of the eyes, and is usually due to the difference in the shape of the cornea in one axis as compared to the other. However, even our natural lens of the eye can also cause astigmatism.
Contoura Vision is an advanced type of laser eye surgery.The human cornea is not a perfectly smooth and regular structure. All of us have very small microscopic irregularities on the surface of our corneas.These irregularities cause the light falling onto the eyes to scatter slightly and thus reduce the overall quality of vision.
This may manifest as reduced sharpness of objects, reduction of contrast among other vague visual symptoms. When we proceed with any type of laser surgery in these eyes, it is advantageous to correct these irregularities as well. Traditional Lasik surgery does not correct these irregularities and hence patients may continue to experience this loss in visual quality.
Contoura lasik surgery is able to correct all these microscopic irregularities resulting in a smoother and perfect cornea. Hence patients are able to experience clearer, sharper and extremely high quality of vision after contoura eye surgery. Contoura Lasik surgery is not possible in all Lasik machines. Only advanced laser machines with the contoura eye surgery algorithm can perform this treatment. Not only this, mapping the cornea for Contour Lasik surgery requires the need of a specialised diagnostic equipment, the topolyser.
The topolyser measures nearly 22000 points on the patient's cornea and directly transfers these parameters into the laser machine. Contoura lasik surgery also centres the treatment around the visual axis so as to better the quality of treatment. During the contoura eye surgery, the laser machine treats all these irregularities on your cornea, along with correcting the eye power.
The Process of LASIK Laser Surgery
Before Lasik surgery
Before opting for Lasik Surgery, it is advised to make sure that you are eligible for surgery. Consulting your ophthalmologists will give you clear information about your eye condition and whether your eyes are suitable to proceed further with the laser surgery. After a comprehensive eye examination, your laser eye surgery specialist would advise on the type of LASIK eye surgery you may be suitable for.
You will also have to undergo a scan to check the parameters of your cornea before proceeding with the laser surgery. If you are planning to undergo Contoura lasik surgery, an additional scan by the Topolyser scan may be undertaken to map 22000 points on the cornea, which will be able to highlight the microscopic irregularities. If you wear contact lenses, it is advisable to discontinue wearing them before planning for the laser treatment.
The time period varies with the type of contacts you wear and you are advised to follow the instructions recommended by your ophthalmologists for the betterment and success of your laser treatment. During our eye evaluation, many parameters and measurements are taken to best optimise your vision after the Lasik eye surgery, which will be extremely important for planning the treatment. Once your date for the LASIK has been confirmed, eye drops may be prescribed to be started a day before the surgery.
During Lasik Surgery
LASIK and other laser eye surgery is performed only with the help of numbing eye drops.So patients do not experience any pain. However, there may be other mild sensations such the feeling of water flowing on the eye or a gentle pressure-like sensation. Patients may also hear sounds of the laser machine and its accessories during the treatment which can at times catch them off guard. It is extremely important that you are completely relaxed throughout the procedure. LASIK procedure is a two step process. In the first step, a microkeratome instrument or a femto-LASIK laser creates a flap of a predetermined thickness.
After the flap is created, the excimer laser equipment performs the programmed laser surgery and precisely re-shapes the cornea so that the light is now adjusted to fall onto the retina with precise focus. If Contoura Vsion has been planned, the microscopic irregularities on the cornea are also treated during the laser surgery. Once the laser treatment is complete, the flap is carefully repositioned back to its original place. Each eye should take around 10 minutes to complete.
After Lasik Surgery
After laser surgery, you may experience dry eyes, mild itching and foggy vision for the next 1-2days. These are quite common and are nothing to get worried about as those symptoms gradually disappear within 48 hours of surgical procedure. Medications are prescribed to soothe and heal the eyes.
You will also have to wear protective goggles for a period of 1 week after the treatment. Whether it is traditional LASIK, wavefront optimised LASIK or contoura eye surgery, the recovery time is the same. As time passes, the quality of your vision improves significantly and you can experience life in high definition without the need of wearing glasses!
Frequently Asked Questions
Laser Eye Surgery is usually painless, but you may experience a kind of pressure in your eyes during the procedure, but this may be temporary.
If you have undergone ReLEx SMILE or LASIK, you can resume your work the next day after your procedure. With PRK/ASA it may need 5- 7days to resume your work. However, you may need to wait until your eyes become fully comfortable and clear. You are also advised to as your surgeon post-surgery before resuming your job.
With modern day laser technology, laser eye surgery is extremely safe. Our team of specialists always use the highest safety parameters and keep a high ceiling safety profile before advising Laser correction for all patients.
See, the laser surgery aims to provide a 'permanent' solution to your eyes, but it has to be accepted that your eyes change with age, reading glasses are optional with the surgery. However, using them may be an added advantage.
Laser eye surgery is usually not recommended for people where the spectacle power has not stabilised. Laser eye surgery is not done for individuals below 18 years. An eye with keratoconus is a strict no-no for undergoing any kind of laser eye surgery. Also, if the corneal profile and thickness are not suitable, your surgeon may defer the procedure or offer any other alternate means of achieving spectacle free vision
SMILE Xtra and LASIK Xtra are recently introduced procedures that offer an additional layer of protection for the cornea after surgeries. This process combines SMILE/LASIK procedure with Riboflavin assisted Corneal Collagen Cross Linking [C3R] procedure to aid in strengthening of the corneal layers. SMILE/LASIK Xtra procedure is not recommended for all patients undergoing laser eye surgery. It will only be recommended by our specialists only if your corneal profile is borderline or shows some indications of future thinning.
Are there any advantages of ReLEx™ SMILE over conventional LASIK? Bladeless LASIK or Femto LASIK is an all-laser LASIK wherein even the creation of the flap is performed by femtosecond LASER. The thickness and accuracy of the flap depth is more precise with this method as compared to conventional LASIK procedure.
While ReLEx™ SMILE is also an all laser procedure, it however does not need the creation of a corneal flap for correction of the power. Here a disc shaped tissue called as the “lenticule” is fashioned by the femtosecond layer which is extracted through a 2mm incision.
Contoura vision is an advanced type of LASIK laser surgery. Here, microscopic irregularities on the patient’s cornea are mapped on the corneal topographer. These irregularities are then transferred to the LASIK suite. At Sri Eye Care, we use the Alcon WAVELIGHT™ suite which automatically maps and corrects these irregularities while also correcting the power. Contoura™ vision is required only for patients who have significant irregularities on their cornea. If not a simple LASIK would suffice.
Normally your specialist, after performing a thorough evaluation, would suggest the ideal procedure recommended for your eyes. However, if you are deemed to be suitable for both ReLEx™ SMILE as well as LASIK, you can take a conscious decision based on the relative advantages of SMILE over LASIK. The flapless nature of ReLEx™ SMILE makes healing of the incision faster (within 48 hours as compared to 5-7days with LASIK). Since a flap is created in LASIK, it causes a larger proportion of corneal nerves to be severed. These corneal nerves are important for tear production and hence patients experience dry eyes post-operatively. However, in SMILE since no flap is created, the post-operative dry eye is significantly lesser as compared to LASIK.
This advantage might be more relevant in people who work on computers for long hours who may be more prone to dry eyes. The flapless nature of this procedure also affords a higher safety profile for those who have an active lifestyle and play contact sports. Post LASIK there are minor chances of the flap being dislocated due to any injury. This risk is not there in SMILE. Although SMILE does have some advantages over LASIK, the visual recovery and accuracy of vision correction is equal in both procedures.