What is the LASIK laser eye surgery procedure?

This procedure is carried out under a local anaesthetic and takes about 20 minutes at her most.

You will be asked to sit in a special chair or in a reclined position underneath the laser. The surgeon will clean your eye with antiseptic before putting in local anaesthetic drops. This helps to numb the eye. And, a special clip will be used to help keep your eye open.

The eye that is not being treated will be covered to stop any distractions.

If you opt for the blade version then the surgeon will use a microkeratome (special machine) to make an incision in the outer layer of the cornea. This makes a ‘hinged flap’ which can be folded back to reveal the cornea itself.

The surgeon then uses a laser to reshape the deep layers of the cornea. This will improve the focusing ability of the eye.

The flap is then replaced: Stitches are not required as this flap will naturally stay in place. The outer layer or epithelium will then start to grow back, usually within a few hours.

Antibiotic, steroid eye drops will be placed in the eye. A special plastic shield (similar to an eye patch) is then taped over the eye to stop any touching or rubbing.

The eye shield must stay in place for 24 hours. You will be asked to return to the clinic the next day to check upon the progress of your eye.

If you have chosen to have the bladeless version such as ‘Wavefront’ or ‘Intralase’ then the only difference here is that a highly advanced laser is used to make a corneal flap. This replaces the older microkeratome device.

If you opt for bladeless treatment then you will have a choice between two types of lasers:

  • femtosecond laser 
  • excimer laser

Note: it is possible to have both eyes done at the same time although some surgeons will advise you to wait for a week or so before doing so. The reason behind this is to see how the first eye has responded before treating the other eye. 

LASIK Laser Eye Surgery Guide:

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