Lasik Eye Surgery
Lasik laser eye surgery is one of the most commonly practised forms of laser eye surgery in the world today. Indeed, the general success rate of Lasik procedures speak to its efficacy: patients tend to see strong results, with data published from the Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery indicating a 96% satisfaction rate.
Lasik is one of the most commonly performed procedures to combat myopia (also known as short-sightedness), hyperopia (also known as long-sightedness) and astigmatism. An acronym for ‘laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis’, Lasik surgery involves a reshaping of the cornea using an EXCIMER laser in order to refocus light entering the eye through the cornea so that it focuses properly onto the fovea (the small exquisitely light-sensitive region at the back of the eye) on the retina within the eye to enable clearer, more accurate vision.
In most cases, Lasik procedures are very brief (normally taking between 10 and 20 minutes for both eyes for full completion of the whole treatment). A significant benefit of this procedure is its largely pain-free nature, added to the fact that its benefits can be enjoyed nearly immediately, with its brief recovery period normally spanning only a few days.
How Does it Work?
If you are deemed to be a suitable candidate for Lasik eye surgery, you will normally go through the following steps as part of your procedure. Two different types of laser are utilised in this procedure:
- Firstly a femtosecond laser is utilised to create a thin corneal flap. This is a totally painless procedure.
- Once the flap is fashioned, the flap is then gently lifted up to expose the underlying corneal stroma.
- The corneal bed is then rotated 90 degrees so that one is now placed under the second ‘Excimer’ laser.
- This second laser then reshapes the underlying corneal stromal tissue.
- After the corneal tissue has been reshaped, the flap is gently put back into place.
It is important to note that Lasik eye surgery is carried out under local anaesthetic, delivered painlessly via eye drops. During the procedure, the surgeon will constantly talk to the patient and tell them exactly what is occurring and tell them at different short point to focus upon a green flashing light.
Lasik Eye Surgery Benefits
The popularity of Lasik laser eye surgery can be explained by the numerous benefits it offers to patients:
- Tried and tested: Lasik laser eye surgery has been practised since 1990, and offers perfect vision to approximately 96% of patients who undergo the procedure (this figure can increase with further refractive surgery).
- Painless process: Thanks to anaesthetic eye drops, Lasik is widely recognised as a pain-free treatment.
- Recovery benefits: Whilst vision is corrected only 24 hours following the procedure, no bandages or stitches make the recovery process brief and effortless.
Lifestyle pros: The majority of patients will no longer have to wear prescription glasses or corrective lenses.
Types of Laser Eye Surgery
At Cathedral Eye Clinic, a range of treatments are available to patients who wish to correct their eyesight impairment. However, in the majority of cases, one of three laser treatments will be offered:
- Lasik: Carried out using a combination of lasers, a small incision is made, opening a thin, flexible flap on the surface of the eye’s cornea. The cornea is reshaped before the corneal flap is replaced, and which then heals naturally over a few days. It does take some time before the corneal flap is strongly adherent and so contact sports should be avoided for sometime after surgery.
- SMILE: Cathedral Eye Clinic are the only facility in Ireland to offer VisuMax SMILE laser eye surgery technology. This procedure offers minimal invasion on the eye, and unrivalled recovery times – meaning athletes can return to their passion immediately without fear of disrupting the Lasik flap.
- Surface laser treatments: The see-through skin (known as ‘epithelium’) is removed before a surgeon reshapes the cornea of the eye with the help of a laser. These treatments include LASEK, TransPRK and PRK and heal naturally over time. In general, these treatments though very accurate and providing excellent outcomes, tend to be more painful and have a slower recovery rather than the almost immediate recovery offered by both Lasik and SMILE laser surgery.
In some cases, patients who are deemed unsuitable may be offered a range of alternative treatments. To find out which laser eye treatment is best for you, book an eye test or arrange a suitability consultation with the expert team at Cathedral Eye Clinic.
Side Effects and Risks
Whilst Lasik eye surgery side effects and risks are well-documented, they are nonetheless extremely uncommon. Potential side effects of Lasik eye surgery include:
- Dry eye syndrome: A temporary fall in tear production can be triggered by Lasik eye surgery, mainly due to the corneal nerves being affected by the creation of the corneal flap. Patients can experience dry eye syndrome for up to six months following their procedure as their eyes heal. Whilst this normally heals relatively quickly, doctors and surgeons recommend lubricating eye drops in the short-term and occasionally these may be required long-term.
- Visual disturbances: Patients who undergo Lasik eye surgery, in a small number of cases, complain of disturbances in their vision. This includes halos (bright rings that appear around sources of light), glare (a glow which appears to come from sources of light) and double vision. These are side effects noted in a small minority of cases and normally correct themselves a few weeks after your procedure.
- Undercorrections and overcorrections: In a small minority of cases, too little or too much tissue may be removed from the eye, preventing the patient from obtaining the intended results. This may require further Lasik refractive surgery to correct, which can usually be done by lifting the previously created corneal flap and further reshaping again with more EXCIMER laser the underlying corneal stroma.
- Astigmatism: This condition can be caused by excess or uneven tissue removal, requiring the patient to wear prescription glasses, corrective contact lenses or to seek further refractive surgery.
- Corneal flap complications: The creation and manipulation of a corneal flap can, in isolated cases, lead to infection or even tears of the flap itself. Furthermore, the layer of epithelium covering your eye may grow abnormally, hindering the healing process.
Cathedral Eye Clinic pride ourselves on their expertise in both assessing and managing both the straight forward and complex refractive conditions. Cathedral Eye Clinic regularly deals and manages referred cases from other clinics.
Cathedral Eye Clinic prides itself upon the high standard of after-care given to each and every one of our patients, aiming to enable the quickest and most successful individual recovery of each patient to provide the best possible vision quality possible.
Lasik Eye Surgery Risk Factors
Some pre-existing health conditions can heighten your chances of experiencing complications as a result of Lasik eye surgery. Conditions which may heighten your chances of experiencing complications, or which may exclude you from the procedure, include:
- Autoimmune conditions
- Dry eye syndrome
- Physiological conditions (for example, pregnancy or hormonal changes)
- Large pupils
- Thin corneas
Your suitability for Lasik eye surgery will be determined in our rigorous, meticulous pre-operative assessment. If you are deemed unsuitable, our expert team are on-hand to recommend a variety of alternative treatments.
Laser eye surgery should not be carried when pregnant or breastfeeding.
Bring your world into focus. To hear more about Lasik eye surgery at our facility, contact Cathedral Eye Clinic today to book a consultation on (028) 90 322020.