LASIK stands for Laser Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis. It is now widely considered as the procedure of choice for the correction of most cases of myopia. In selected cases, it can also be used to correct mild to moderate degrees of astigmatism and farsightedness. Approximately 700,000 Americans receive the procedure annually and the majority of those patients reported that they are happy with the results.
LASIK surgery is a type of refractive surgeries, performed to correct refractive errors. Refractive errors are caused by the imperfection of the cornea and the eyes. Cornea is the part of the human eyes that helps focus light to create an image on the retina, much like the lens of a camera. When the shape of the cornea is off, the image it helps create would end up being out of focus, distorted, or not correctly located in the cornea; these are called refractive errors. Three primary types of refractive errors are Myopia, Hyperopia and Astigmatism. Refractive surgeries, which mean surgeries that correct the refractive errors, reshape the cornea to change its focusing power2.
First approved of use by the U.S Food and administration in 19982, Lasik is sometimes also called the “flap and zap” procedure. During the LASIK surgery, a laser is used to reshape the cornea. Your eye will be made numb at the beginning of the surgery, the ophthalmologist uses either a blade or a laser to create a thin flap in the cornea, folds the flap back and uses an excimer laser to remove a very specific amount of corneal tissue under the flap. The flap then is laid back to its original position and heals in place without the need of stitches. This procedure permanently reshapes your cornea, a very delicate part of the human eye, and cannot be reversed. A successful LASIK surgery will improve your eye sight without the need for glasses or contact lenses1.
Because of the surgical nature of LASIK, inevitably, there are risks associated with the procedure. Side effects and complications can negatively affect the eye sight and even the life quality after the surgery. It is recommended that you conduct a careful evaluation based on your own health, physical condition and life style as well as consulting your eye doctor before you make any decision. Please note that prior to the surgery, you should be screened for a handful of risk factors and be informed with any possible complication and risks involved in the surgery.