What is LASIK surgery?
The newest and perhaps the most exciting new procedure in the field of refractive surgery is LASIK. The word LASIK is an acronym for the words Laser Assisted In-Situ Keratomielusis. This is the latest and most effective version of a procedure which was innovated by Dr. Juaquin Barraquer dating back to the 1970s.
In the LASIK procedure the excimer laser has been substituted to remove the refractive lenticle, or layer of corneal tissue required to flatten the cornea. This eliminated the need to use the microtome a second time--adding a new level of precision.
LASIK represents a new concept in laser vision correction . It allows the refractive surgeon to remove corneal tissue without disrupting the surface of the eye. Because of this, on the day following surgery, the eye is comfortable, the cornea clear and the visual result immediately appreciated by the patient. 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 post operative 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.Of note is the fact that 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 generally superior to PRK and are offering it to patients with refractive errors on a routine basis. The advantages are immediately apparent.
Because of the demands of this technique, it is currently being performed by a smaller, more select group of ocular surgeons. Interested patients should seek a surgeon with considerable experience in refractive and corneal surgery.
Is LASIK FDA Approved?
The FDA has approved an IDE or investigational device exemption in the performance of LASIK. There are currently several extensive collective studies now in progress in which world wide results are being compared so as to encourage refinements. The decision as to whether LASIK or PRK should be performed is one that should be determined by the surgeons level of expertise and comfort with these procedures.
- Intact surface providing rapid visual recovery
- Less pain, limited to mild burning or foreign body sensation
- Minimal to no haze
- Minimal need for post operative medications
Patients must consult with an ophthalmologist who can provide the appropriate level of care necessary.