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5 Frequently Asked Questions About LASIK Surgery

LASIK (laser in-situ keratomileusis) is a surgical procedure that reshapes the surface of your eye so you can see more clearly. Denver LASIK is done by an ophthalmologist or an optometrist with specialized training. The surface layer cells of the cornea are removed and replaced with new ones, allowing light to be focused directly on the retina for clear vision. This surgery is mainly used to correct refractive errors such as myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism.

What Is LASIK Surgery?

LASIK surgery uses a laser beam to change the shape of your cornea, which is the front part of your eye that acts like a lens focusing light into your eye. The surgeon creates a thin, circular “flap” in this tissue using a microkeratome or a femtosecond laser. Then, the eye doctor folds back the flap to get to the underlying tissue in the cornea and reshapes it using an excimer laser. After the surgeon replaces the flap, it will heal into place without sutures.

How Does LASIK Work?

LASIK works by changing one of your eye’s natural curves to improve your vision. The first step is creating a thin hinged flap in the cornea with a laser. A computer-controlled laser beam gives off bursts of energy that remove small amounts of tissue from specific points on the surface of your cornea (like removing layers of paint). This part only takes about 10 seconds for each eye; you can even watch the laser as it works. The next step is where LASIK gets its name: the surgeon uses a second laser to reshape your cornea. This longer, more detailed procedure takes about 20 minutes.

How Effective Is LASIK Surgery?

LASIK surgery has an excellent safety record and high success rates. In one clinical study, 98 percent of patients were satisfied with their results one year after surgery. Eye care professionals often quote LASIK surgery success rates between 95 and 99 percent – but what does that really mean? It means that 9 out of 10 people who get this kind of vision correction will realize a significant improvement in vision quality. Many other eye surgeries have much lower success rates. For example, another type of corrective surgery for nearsightedness, called photorefractive keratectomy (PRK), has a success rate of 85-94 percent.

What Are the Side Effects Of LASIK Surgery?

Most people who have LASIK do not experience serious side effects. Some patients report seeing halos or starbursts around lights at night; these symptoms typically clear up in a few weeks to months after the surgery. Other less common complications include infection, dry eyes, and eye pain. You will be given prescription eye drops before your procedure to minimize these risks. Your surgeon may also recommend using artificial tears several times a day in the months following your surgery to help with any dryness you experience.

What Happens After LASIK Surgery?

For the first several days after your surgery, you should rest and avoid vigorous activity. Most patients resume their normal routines within one to three days. Follow the doctor’s recommendations on avoiding strenuous exercise until you are sure that your eyes have healed completely. Your doctor may also recommend using eye drops to reduce dryness during the healing process. It typically takes between three to six months after surgery before vision stabilizes, but you will notice a big difference immediately after the procedure.

LASIK surgery is a safe and effective way to reduce or even eliminate the need for glasses after a few quick procedures. If you are considering this kind of vision correction, make sure that your surgeon is experienced in laser eye surgery techniques. Also, check that the facility where the procedure will be performed has been approved by major health organizations such as the National Eye Institute (NEI).