laser eye surgery

What To Know About Laser Eye Surgery

To clearly see the objects of the surrounding world, to fully enjoy their beauty and diversity is the natural desire of any person. Glasses and contact lenses help to compensate for poor vision, but they have significant disadvantages: they are not always convenient to use, and they can be lost or damaged.

Laser vision correction can solve the problem once and for all. Specialists of ophthalmological centers can help you with your decision.

What is laser eye surgery?

All laser eye surgery methods use the same principle: an excimer laser vaporizes part of the cornea and reshapes it so that the light beams are optimally focused on the retina. The whole difference is in the approach. The upper layer of the cornea, depending on the method, can be both preserved and removed, and the differences are in the instruments used during the operation.

As a rule, we are talking about two basic techniques of laser vision correction: PRK eye surgery and LASIK eye surgery, all the rest emphasize some features of a particular method.

How to prepare for surgery?

Prior to surgery, each patient must undergo a complete eye examination. During the examination, a picture is taken, the condition of the cornea is checked, visual acuity is checked. After receiving the diagnostic examination data, the ophthalmologist will determine the structure and thickness of the cornea, measure the intraocular pressure and the eyeball.

7 days before the operation, you need to stop wearing soft contact lenses, and hard ones a month before. On the day of surgery, you do not need to use cosmetics, including creams and aftershave lotion.

You can eat and drink as usual, since during the operation, no general anesthesia is used, but local anesthesia.

You need to come to the clinic in advance, because before the operation, the patient must be examined by the doctor again to make sure that he is in full health. Residual runny nose and cough are not allowed.

What the surgeon must check before the operation?

The ophthalmologist checks all risk factors that can interfere with the operation and harm the patient’s health. Patients with thin corneas require a special operation. The manifestation of dry eye syndrome may intensify. These and many other factors should be given special attention.

Methods of laser vision correction

In PRK, the topmost cell layer of the cornea is completely removed. The removal method may vary:

  • LASEK: the epithelium is mechanically moved with a spatula.
  • Epi LASIK: with a microscalpel, the doctor makes an incision that does not affect the corneal tissue.
  • Transepithelial PRK: The epithelium is removed with an excimer laser beam.

PRK refers to surface laser operations. The depth of impact on the cornea is less than with LASIK, and therefore this method can be used on a thin cornea, but the wound surface is large, which affects the healing time.

LASIK. With this method, the correction of the shape of the cornea occurs in its deeper layers. To access them, the upper layer of the cornea is not completely incised and carefully folded to the side. It turns out to be a kind of “lid”, which, upon completion of the operation, gently returns to its place. The incision is made with a special contact instrument – a microkeratome. It cuts deeper into the tissue, but it’s still a thin petal, 110-140 microns.

It happens like this: the patient is asked to look at the flashing green light, which is present in the laser unit, for 10-15 seconds. At this time, the laser is centered in relation to the optical axis of the eye, and the eye is gently fixed with a microkeratome, like a small vacuum suction cup. A corneal flap is formed. A person at this time can feel the touch and briefly lose the green light from the field of view.

More advanced versions of LASIK, Femto LASIK and Super LASIK, use other instruments to create a corneal flap, which makes the cut more accurate. This minimizes post-operative higher-order optical distortion. With the same sharpness as traditional LASIK, the quality of postoperative vision is better.

How does the operation end?

PRK. Immediately after the end of the excimer laser, a special protective contact lens is put on the eye, since the wound surface is quite extensive.

LASIK. The corneal flap is returned to its place and gently smoothed out. No sutures are required – due to the natural stickiness of the corneal tissue, they are tightly joined, and the wound is actually much smaller.

The eye is washed with saline. At this point, the patient may feel cold in the eye area. The dilators are removed. The operation is over.

Full recovery will occur within two weeks, but immediately after the completion of the correction, visual acuity increases significantly. Even though the tear veil, patients note that they began to see more clearly. But it is too early to enjoy the new vision. On the first day after surgery, it is best to keep your eyes closed.

Recovery after laser vision correction

PRK is a more traumatic and therefore painful type of laser vision correction. Burning and profuse lacrimation may continue for a week. The quality of vision may fluctuate. The patient must be prepared for the fact that the results of the operation can be fully evaluated only after a few months.

But after the healing of the cornea, there will be no restrictions on physical activity. You can work in law enforcement agencies.

With LASIK, the corneal tissue is less damaged and therefore heals faster. Unpleasant sensations are most pronounced only the first day or two. Stabilization of vision in the recovery period is also significantly accelerated – up to one month. That is why the vast majority of operations to correct the refraction of the eye are carried out by this method.

However, after LASIK vision correction, there will always be a risk of displacement or even detachment of the corneal flap, for example, as a result of a hit to the eye. There will be restrictions on some sports.

Things to consider after surgery

The eyes will be very sensitive at first. It is better to take sick leave or plan a vacation while they recover. Smartphones, computers, reading are prohibited at first. You can walk, listen to music, and audiobooks.

Visiting saunas, swimming pools, fitness clubs will have to be postponed until the end of the rehabilitation period.

It is very important to regularly, according to the scheme, bury the drugs prescribed after the operation. They will help to cope with discomfort after the intervention, will promote the healing of the cornea and protect against infection.

The light will bother you at first. You must use dark glasses with a good UV filter. They will also be a barrier to the undesirable effects of dust and wind.

Do not miss the scheduled control visits to the ophthalmologist, even if nothing bothers you. The sensitivity of the cornea is restored gradually, and the onset of the inflammatory process can be missed.

The next day

Vision will not improve immediately after the operation, the patient will feel the first changes within the next few days. The patient may feel a burning sensation in the eyes, tingling, and sensitivity to bright light. That is why experts recommend wearing sunglasses for several days after the operation.

It is strictly forbidden to rub your eyes: to get rid of discomfort, use a special eyewash solution. After about a day, the patient has re-tested eyes.

Is laser vision correction worth it?

Laser eye surgery is an effective, time-tested and proven direction of advanced medicine from the best side. Technologies and methods used in laser vision correction have passed many years of comprehensive testing and have proven their effectiveness to millions of patients around the world.

However, studying the Internet, reading a lot of articles on the topic of laser vision correction is not enough to make a decision about the operation. There will always be additional individual questions. A personal conversation with a specialist will help to weigh all the pros and cons, where you can discuss your specific situation and make a final decision.

Similar Posts