Considering LASIK? Expect your stay at the laser eye surgery center to be approximately 2 hours. However, the actual laser treatment might take only about 7 to 10 minutes per eye. Though quite complex a procedure, its expedited nature renders it a simplistic feel, at least superficially. LASIK is a relatively painless procedure as opposed to other surgical techniques.
Even though it’s a surgery, LASIK is performed with the patient awake and functional. However, the eye surgeon typically administers a mild sedative (for instance Valium) and anesthetic eye drops. The complete 7 to 10 minute process can be broken down into two major steps. The initial step involves the creation of a flap of corneal tissue. This is accomplished with a microkeratome (a surgical blade), or a femtosecond laser. A hinge is left at one end of the flap and the flap is folded back to reveal the stroma (the middle section of the cornea).
The second step of the procedure employs a high precision laser, an excimer laser, to reshape the cornea. The excimer laser is a “cool laser”, that is, it achieves precise ablation without heating or damaging the surrounding tissue. After carving the cornea in the desired manner thereby imparting the desired refraction to it, the flap is repositioned. The flap remains placed by natural adhesion and aids in the healing of the cornea.
Much like the procedure itself, the visual recovery is also rapid in case of LASIK. Since the ablation is performed in the stroma, under the corneal flap, the cornea does not register the fact that it has been operated. As a result, the wound response is muted, and that is the reason for a hasty recovery after LASIK.
On the whole, LASIK is a fairly innocuous procedure, without the need for hospitalization. Though the patient might experience blurry vision immediately after surgery, the visual acuity is restored within a day or two, and the patient may resume his/her daily chores with ease. In fact, the preparation towards the procedure (the preoperative examination) may take up more time relative to the procedure itself. Finally, the results achieved through this 7 to 10 minute LASIK procedure are certainly worth the endeavor.
If you find a LASIK doctor that you are confident with, you will be able to get more information about LASIK eye surgery operations.