Walking into surgery without knowing exactly what will take place can be a daunting experience for just about anyone. But with a simple procedure like LASIK eye surgery, there’s no reason to fear. The process is quick with minimal preparation and recovery time, yet the results provide a life-changing improvement to your vision.
Before surgery, your eye doctor must determine that you are a qualified candidate for LASIK. They’ll gather detailed information about your medical and surgical history, and perform a comprehensive eye exam. During the exam, your doctor will look for signs of eye infections, inflammation, dry eyes, large pupils, high eye pressure and other eye conditions. They’ll also measure your cornea, documenting the shape, contour, thickness and any irregularities. Your doctor evaluates which areas of your cornea need reshaping. Measuring the shape and contour of your cornea determines the precise amount of tissue to remove to correct your vision.
The day of surgery you will be given numbing eye drops and, if needed, a medication to help you relax. The eye surgeon will then position your eye under the laser and utilize a lid speculum to keep your eyelid open. A suction ring is then applied to the front of the eye to prevent eye movements or loss of contact that could affect flap quality.
The surgeon will then use the laser to create the flap. Illinois Eye Center’s laser, the Wavelight FS200, creates a precise flap in about six seconds. This is the fastest flap creation available in the United States. The cornea is then reshaped with the Wavelight EX500 Excimer Laser based on the measurements taken prior to surgery. The surgeon will ask you to focus on a point of light to help keep your eye fixed while the cornea is reshaped. The laser will track your eye in case of movement. If you look away from the light, the laser will pause and the surgeon will ask you to find it again before continuing.
When the process is complete, the corneal flap is placed in its original position, where it seals itself. The procedure lasts about 10 minutes. If you are having both eyes treated, the surgeon will wait about 30-60 seconds for the flap of the first eye to seal itself. Then they’ll remove the lid speculum and ask you to blink a few times before placing a patch over the corrected eye and treating the other eye.
When surgery is complete, you will rest for a short while and then be given a brief post-op exam. You’ll need someone to drive you home, as your doctor has to confirm that your vision meets the legal driving standard before you can drive. Most people are able to resume normal activities the next day, but doctors advise a few days of rest post surgery. You’ll see your doctor the next day for a follow-up exam.
With a base knowledge of what to expect, surgery becomes a lot less intimidating. A short procedure and quick recovery time are just two of the many, many reasons why LASIK is worth considering as a permanent solution to your vision correction needs.
To learn more about LASIK, call (309) 243-2400 today, and visit our website to sign up for one of our free LASIK seminars.