WHAT IS LASIK EYE SURGERY?
LASIK, an acronym for Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis, is a refractive procedure that reshapes the cornea to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. It is the most common type of refractive surgery. Using targeted excimer laser beam energy, the LASIK eye surgery procedure reshapes the cornea so that light rays are focused more precisely on the retina, producing clear, sharp vision. Dr. Aizuss has been performing the LASIK procedure for many years at his Encino, CA and West Hills, CA offices.
LASIK EYE SURGERY PROCEDURE
LASIK is performed on an outpatient basis at either our West Hills, CA or Encino, CA location. Prior to your LASIK eye surgery procedure, a complete ophthalmologic eye examination is performed at our offices. On the day of your procedure, we give you a small dose of valium to relax you for the procedure. You are brought back to the LASIK suite where two different lasers are used to perform your all-laser LASIK procedure. One laser is used to create the LASIK flap on the cornea and the second laser is used to perform the specific correction for your eyes.
Both lasers are computer controlled, and prior to the procedure the iDesign aberrometer is used to create a computerized map of your cornea which is saved to a thumb drive and plugged directly into the laser for computer control of your laser vision correction!
LASIK EYE SURGERY STEPS
- The LASIK procedure uses only numbing eye drops to reduce any potential discomfort. If requested, patients can receive an oral sedative prior to surgery to reduce any anxieties about the procedure. We often prescribe a low dose of valium preoperatively to reduce patient anxiety.
- The entire LASIK eye surgery takes less than 10 minutes to perform.
- During the procedure, the patient lies down in a reclining chair as the doctor positions the laser precisely over the eye.
- A lid speculum helps keep the eye open so that you don’t need to worry about blinking during the procedure.
- A corneal flap is created with our femtosecond laser.
- The surgeon then gently lifts the corneal flap, enabling the excimer laser to reshape the curvature of the cornea, thus correcting the vision.
- The excimer laser delivers customized pulses of light energy based on each patient’s prescription. The measurements for customization are determined prior to surgery, with the precise positioning confirmed prior to the start of the procedure.
- The second eye is treated immediately after the first.
- Following the LASIK eye surgery, the patient is provided with a protective shield to protect the eyes.
BENEFITS OF LASIK EYE SURGERY
One of the primary benefits of LASIK eye surgery is that patients immediately experience improved vision after surgery. For many people, laser eye surgery can correct their vision sufficiently to permit them to perform all, or most, of their daily activities without eyeglasses or contact lenses. Well over 90 percent of patients who have undergone LASIK achieve 20/20 to 20/40 vision as a result of the procedure.
LASIK has the advantage of being a short procedure that results in permanent vision improvement. Most patients who choose to undergo laser eye surgery achieve clear vision without corrective lenses while also benefiting from minimal downtime and only mild post-operative discomfort.
SIDE EFFECTS AND RISKS OF LASIK/PRK SURGERY
Side effects and risks of LASIK are different than for PRK. In PRK, we have created a defect on the surface of the cornea which needs to heal in. During that time, patients wear a bandage contact lens which permits them to see but their vision may be blurry during the first week. There also may be discomfort related to the healing epithelial defect created by PRK, but we help you with that by providing medication that reduces any associated pain.
There can be delayed healing in PRK which we deal with in a variety of ways, but this is uncommon. In LASIK, there may be some discomfort on the day of the procedure, but we recommend going home and taking a nap. Most patients find on awakening, they feel just fine. There can be some tearing and light sensitivity the first day. The biggest risk of either procedure is infection, but this is rare.
Some patients experience scratchiness and eye irritation, which is usually resolved by two days after the procedure at the latest. Rarely, there can be overcorrection or undercorrection that requires laser vision enhancement, which is included in the cost of the procedure. There is the rare patient who can develop and abnormal bulging of the cornea after LASIK, which is called kerectasia. We do a variety of tests to screen for such patients and as a result of those tests, we may inform you that you are not a candidate for LASIK eye surgery.
All surgical procedures carry some risks, and patients should be aware that changes to the cornea made during LASIK cannot be reversed. Nonetheless, LASIK is considered safe for most eligible patients. While rare, complications may occur after the procedure, including:
- Undercorrection or overcorrection of vision
- Dry eyes
- Flap complications
- Postsurgical infection
- Increased sensitivity to light
- Visual problems, such as halos or night glare
- Fluctuating vision
Despite the potential risks, complications from LASIK eye surgery do not typically occur.
RECOVERY AFTER LASIK EYE SURGERY
After LASIK, patients may return home immediately. Eye drops are started the day of the procedure and for 5 to 7 days thereafter. The doctor will likely recommend a few hours of rest after treatment. Most patients are able to return to work and other regular activities the very next day. Patients who have undergone LASIK are instructed to avoid hot tubs, saunas and swimming pools for a least one to two weeks.
Typically, patients experience a significant improvement in their vision by the day after the procedure, but the full benefits of LASIK may not be apparent for several months. While patients can achieve clear vision from LASIK eye surgery, this procedure does not prevent the development of presbyopia, the age-related vision changes that occur after the age of 40 requiring the need for reading glasses. Many patients will need reading glasses for this condition, but their distance vision will remain clear. Some patients may choose to under correct their nearsightedness thus creating monovision in one eye allowing good distance vision in one eye and good reading vision in the nondominant eye.
LASIK EYE SURGERY FAQs
AM I AN ELIGIBLE CANDIDATE FOR LASIK EYE SURGERY?
LASIK is considered a safe procedure, yet it is not ideal for everyone. A thorough medical evaluation of the patient’s eyes must be performed to determine whether the procedure is appropriate. Good candidates for LASIK are patients who:
- Are over 18 years old
- Not pregnant or nursing
- In general good health
- Have had stable vision for at least 6 months
- Have healthy corneal tissue, thick enough for a LASIK flap
- Have refractive errors that fall within the treatable range
It is also important for patients to fully understand the details and risks of the procedure, and to maintain realistic expectations for the outcome.
WILL I HAVE 20/20 VISION AFTER MY LASIK EYE SURGERY?
Most patients achieve 20/20 vision, and some even see better than 20/20 vision. There are some patients whose optical system will not allow us to achieve that level of vision, but we can usually determine that in advance and will discuss that with you prior to scheduling your procedure.
IS LASIK EYE SURGERY A SAFE PROCEDURE?
Most patients achieve 20/20 vision and some even see better than 20/20 vision. There are some patients whose optical system will not allow us to achieve that level of vision but we can usually determine that in advance and will discuss that with you prior to scheduling your procedure.
IS LASIK EYE SURGERY A PAINFUL PROCEDURE?
The procedure is essentially painless. The eye is numbed with topical anesthetic. Some patients are aware of a pressure sensation from the device that docks the laser to the eye to create the lasik flap but most patients do not experience any substantial discomfort. The pressure sensation typically lasts less than three minutes.
HOW SOON AFTER LASIK EYE SURGERY CAN I RESUME NORMAL ACTIVITIES?
You can resume normal activities the next day other than swimming. We recommend no swimming for at least one or two weeks after LASIK. We also recommend use of sunglasses when outdoors during the initial healing phase. Most patients return to work the next day.
HOW LONG WILL VISION CORRECTION LAST?
In some patients, LASIK vision correction lasts until they start developing cataract formation in advanced age. In other patients, their eyes may change over time affecting the results of laser vision correction.
We try to ensure your eyes are stable prior to LASIK to ensure that you obtain the longest lasting results possible. Unfortunately, everyone is different and so there is a very small group of patients whose laser vision correction may not last as long as most patients. If your vision changes during the first year, we offer free enhancements during that time period.
IDESIGN ADVANCED WAVESCAN STUDIO
I am excited to announce the availability of the iDesign Advanced Wavescan Studio system as part of my LASIK vision center’s newest equipment at Laser Vision Institute of the Valley. The iDesign Advanced Wavescan Studio System captures more data than ever before to create a detailed picture of your eye’s unique characteristics in order to create the most accurate treatment plan for your eye and you alone.
This 100% personalized LASIK procedure begins with a custom treatment plan which is created using the proprietary wavefront mapping technology from the iDesign System. The system included special high definition sensors that have five times the resolution of our prior technology. We can now correct higher levels of astigmatism up to 5 diopters in people who are nearsighted. Our new system captures 1200 data points from each eye to create a highly accurate 3D map of the surface of your eye. With iDesign a clinical study has shown that at 6 months after surgery, LASIK patients with iDesign were not limited in outdoor sports or activities, had little or no difficulty with the clarity of their vision and 97% were satisfied with their vision after surgery. I am happy to be able to offer this latest improvement in LASIK laser vision correction surgery to my patients.
Dr. David Aizuss from Ophthalmology Associates of the Valley proudly provides, Encino, West Hills, Calabasas, Agoura Hills, Tarzana, Woodland Hills, Sherman Hills, and Reseda, CA with LASIK eye surgery. Call today for your consultation at (818) 907-1038 or complete a Contact Form here!