LASIK Eye Surgery

Laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis is commonly called LASIK eye surgery. It is an outpatient surgical procedure most often performed to correct myopia (nearsightedness). About 70% of all patients undergoing this procedure enjoy 20/20 vision after recovery. Most of the rest of the patients experience dramatic improvements in vision although a small percentage of patients still need corrective lenses in certain situations.

LASIK eye surgery is an incredibly quick, safe procedure performed while the patient is awake. In most cases, eye drops that numb the surface of the eye is the only anesthesia necessary. Some patients have both eyes done in one session but others do one eye at a time.

Visual acuity changes as we mature and generally stabilizes once we reach our twenties. For this reason, LASIK eye surgery is rarely performed on anyone younger than 18 and some surgeons advise waiting until the late 20s to be sure the vision has become as stabilized as possible.

Regardless of age, women who are pregnant or nursing may experience a change in the refraction of their eyes and should postpone surgery until the vision has stabilized after childbirth.

While most people are likely candidates for LASIK eye surgery, certain pre-existing medical conditions may preclude the procedure. Patients diagnosed with glaucoma, herpes infections affecting the eyes, cataracts, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes may be advised to avoid this procedure.

To determine the degree of success expected from LASIK eye surgery, your surgeon will thoroughly examine your eyes to determine exactly where and to what degree the surgery needs to be done. Microscopic measurements will be taken before and during the surgery to assure accuracy. Even with this meticulous examination, however, there is still the likelihood that an overcorrection of undercorrection of the vision may be achieved.

In such cases, additional surgery may be in order and glasses are always an option. Some patients cannot wear contact lenses after surgery due to corneal scarring that is inherent with the procedure. Others will continue to require reading glasses or will grow to need them in middle age.

Med-Help is for informational purposes and should not be considered medical advice, diagnosis or treatment recommendations.

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