By now most people have heard of LASIK eye surgery for vision correction. However, many people still have questions and concerns about how the surgery is performed and what it can, or can’t, accomplish. LASIK stands for Laser-Assisted Stromal In-situ Keratomileusis, which is the most common type of refractive eye surgery.
The procedures correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism by reshaping your cornea to improve its focus. While reshaping your cornea sounds complex, the procedure is actually typically performed in about 20 minutes. So, if you’re considering LASIK eye surgery, take these 3 factors into consideration:
The Surgery Is Extremely Precise
During LASIK, the eye surgeon uses lasers to literally reshape your eye’s cornea to improve its focus. Before surgery, the eye surgeon will measure the thickness and curvature of your cornea and make a 3D map of the curvature of your eye, just like a topographical map that shows mountains and valleys. The details from the map, along with information about how much vision correction you need, are then programmed into state-of-the art technology to determine how best to correct vision.
The first laser opens a “flap” on the surface of the cornea through which a second laser can make adjustments to the bed of the flap. This allows for the least amount of disturbance to the front surface of the eye, which can then heal very quickly. If you’ve heard the term “blade-free LASIK,” this refers to an advanced laser called “Intralase” which allows for an even smaller, extremely precise flap which leads to even quicker healing. One of the interesting facts about LASIK surgery is that it uses a technology that was actually developed for missile defense systems, and which tracks the movement of the eye during the procedure.
LASIK Surgery Is Not Painful
LASIK eye surgeries are performed on an outpatient basis. Only topical anesthetic eye drops are needed to numb the eye—no general anesthesia, stitches, or bandages are required. When the numbness from the anesthetic eye drops wears off, you may experience a bit of discomfort like a gritty sensation for a few hours. A normal dose of aspirin or ibuprofen should relieve any discomfort.Your eye surgeon may provide you with artificial teardrops to minimize discomfort. Avoid rubbing your eyes as this could dislodge the corneal flap that’s healing.
Your eye surgeon should be able to give you a good indication about how your vision should be 24 hours, 48 hours, one week, and one month after your surgery. Typically, improvements are noticeable 24 hours after surgery.
Be Wary Of Low Prices & Deep Discounts
Some LASIK eye surgeons attract patients by offering incredibly low or discounted prices. However, low advertised prices like $499 or even $99 are usually just a starting point. After examining your eyes, the eye doctor will most likely recommend a more expensive route. This is often because the fine print indicates that the discounted price is invalid if you have astigmatism. However, astigmatism will show up in almost everyone with modern wavefront testing. So, only a select few people would even be eligible for the advertised price.
Other times, eye doctors may offer lower prices because they’re still using older model lasers. Laser technology and cutting techniques like Intralase have drastically changed since LASIK began in the 1990’s. It’s not worth risking the outcome of your procedure for cheap laser eye surgery rates because the doctor is using older model machines. If he or she is not using the latest state-of-the-art laser equipment and techniques, that’s a red flag that should send you running.
To recap, LASIK is a precise and pain-free procedure, but you should choose your eye surgeon carefully and avoid going for the lowest price. You can learn more about how safe laser eye surgery is in our blog post, Is LASIK Safe?.
LASIK eye surgery is not recommended for patients with thin or irregular corneas, those with eye diseases or viruses, or anyone experiencing major health problems such as uncontrolled diabetes or autoimmune diseases.
If you’re considering laser eye surgery, stop by our office in Knoxville or Morristown for a free consultation with one of our trusted eye surgeons. You can schedule your appointment over-the-phone by calling 865-579-3920 or by filling out this online form and we’ll give you a call with available times.
With offices in Knoxville, TN and Morristown, TN, Baptist Eye Surgeons is an ophthalmological practice dedicated to providing quality eye care to patients whose needs range from relief from dry eye to routine comprehensive eye examinations to complex eye surgeries. To learn about our specialities and our doctors, visit our website. Call us at 865-579-3920 for more information, or schedule an appointment online.