LASIK (Laser Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis)
Perhaps the most exciting procedure in the field of refractive surgery is Laser Assisted In-Situ Keratomielusis (LASIK), which is a version of a procedure innovated by Dr. Juaquin Barraquer dating back to the 1970s.
In today’s LASIK procedure, an excimer laser is now used to remove the refractive lenticle, or layer of corneal tissue required to flatten the cornea. This adds a new level of precision over previous procedures.
LASIK allows the refractive surgeon to remove corneal tissue without disrupting the surface of the eye.Usually the patient can see immediate results the day after surgery, and experiences no discomfort. This is a considerable improvement over standard PRK myopia surgery, in which patients can often experience discomfort, and there can be a significant delay in visual recovery. Additionally, the period of postoperative drop treatment can be reduced to 10-14 days in LASIK compared to several months with PRK surgery because the healing pattern is so different. There have been virtually no reports of visually significant corneal haze after LASIK surgery.
Who is an Appropriate Candidate for LASIK Surgery?
Many surgeons believe LASIK is generally superior to PRK and are offering it to patients with refractive errors as standard procedure. Interested patients should seek a surgeon with considerable experience in refractive and corneal surgery.
The LASIK procedure offers patients the following benefits and advantages:
- Intact surface providing rapid visual recovery
- Less pain, limited to mild burning or foreign body sensation
- Minimal to no haze
- Minimal need for postoperative medications
Patients must consult with an ophthalmologist who can provide the appropriate level of care necessary.