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What Happens During a LASIK Procedure?

What to expect during LASIK surgery

More and more people are asking if LASIK surgery is the right choice to fix their vision problems. While not everyone will be a good candidate for the procedure, many will qualify and many more have benefitted from LASIK. With that in mind, we’re continuing our three-part series on what you can expect on your LASIK journey from start to finish.

In this part of the series, we’ll look at:

  • Duration of the procedure
  • Prepping for the procedure
  • Creating the corneal flap
  • The LASIK treatment

We recently talked about what you can expect before your LASIK procedure. Check it out to get a leg up on what to expect as you begin your LASIK journey. 

Duration of the Procedure

One of the major benefits of LASIK surgery is that the procedure is usually pretty short, with most taking less than 30 minutes. This is also a major benefit to whoever you recruit to take you to your appointment as well as back home since it won’t be that time-consuming. With that said, you may still want to buy them coffee or fill their gas tank as a “thank you.”

Prepping for the Procedure

Before the procedure is started, you will be given a mild sedative (Valium) to help you relax.  Once you’re in the procedure room, your surgeon will have you sit in a reclining chair and lie you down flat on your back. You’ll also notice a large machine in the room with a computer screen and microscope. This is the LASIK machine that your surgeon will use to perform the procedure.

Once positioned in the chair, someone from your surgical team will use special eye drops to numb your eye. They will also clean the area surrounding your eye to help ensure everything is sterile.

Safety is the top priority of your medical and LASIK team. You can rest assured that they’ll do everything they can to ensure you get the best results. Make sure to follow any instructions they provide to make sure you’re doing your part for the best possible outcome.

Creating the Corneal Flap

There are two types of surgical devices that can be used to make the flap in the cornea that is necessary to perform LASIK—mechanical and laser. The mechanical keratome is no longer used in our practice under any circumstance.  The laser-created flaps are far superior and safer.  The mechanical flaps are an outdated technology.

At Baptist Eye Surgeons, we’re dedicated to providing the safest and most up-to-date treatments. You can breathe easy knowing that you’re in safe hands with our expert staff. By utilizing the latest equipment and techniques, we can provide you with the results you both want and need.

Laser Flap Creation

To make the flap, your surgeon will put a suction ring on your eye. You will feel some pressure and the vision will go dim, but this is short-lived. The suction ring is only on the eye for about a minute and the actual flap creation only takes about 12 seconds. The flap will be made in both eyes and then the treatment will be performed.

The LASIK Treatment

Once the flaps are created, your surgeon will put a lid speculum in your eye so you don’t have to worry about accidentally blinking. The flap is gently lifted, and you will be asked to look at a little blinking light.  

No worries though if you do move your eye during the treatment. Our laser uses very advanced iris-recognition technology that automatically finds the center of your pupil and tracks it the entire procedure. The laser will track any small movements so the treatment is centered every time.

After the laser reshapes the cornea (which takes under a minute) the flap is put back into place and the lid speculum is removed.  The entire process is 30 minutes or so for both eyes combined. Expect your vision on the day of the treatment to be fairly blurry and hazy. This is why it’s necessary to have a friend or family member to drive you to treatment and back.

After the numbing drops wear off the eye might burn like there is an eyelash or particle in it. Fortunately, this sensation should only be temporary. By the next day, both the vision and the discomfort should be improved.

Overall, LASIK is a well-tolerated procedure. Literally, in about 30 minutes you can change your life! It’s definitely worth considering for such a huge improvement in your vision.

Baptist Eye Surgeons is an ophthalmological practice in Knoxville, TN, and Morristown, TN. Visit our website to meet our doctors and learn more about our specialties, or give us a call at 865-579-3920 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

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