Long Term Result of LASIK Surgery

People have been sceptical about laser eye surgery. Are there any side effects of this type of operation? Will the long term result be a favourable one?
With a study that was conducted, doubters will not anymore be sceptical regarding the effectiveness of LASIK eye surgery. Millions of people with eye problems are now reassured that correcting nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism through LASIK surgery is a safe and effective method.

What research study suggests

According to the longest follow up of patients who underwent the LASIK eye laser surgery for visual correction, there is a very minimal rate of complications for the sampled individuals. On the contrary, the research suggests a very high rate of long term positive result and satisfaction with the operation.

The Miguel Hernandez University Medical School of Spain followed for 10 years patients who had undergone LASIK operation. These patients had low, tolerable and severe myopia. The head of the research team reported that less than 20 percent of those with low and moderate myopia underwent retreatment during the 10 year period.

LASIK surgery is safe and very effective

LASIK is now the most popular and commonly used operation in treating people with nearsightedness. This is sometimes called by medical practitioners as the “flap and zap surgery”. In the LASIK surgical operation, a small flap is cut out in the cornea and then reshapes the cornea by the help of a laser.

Surveys and thorough study concluded that LASIK is a safe and effective eye laser surgery. Complications in patients following the LASIK procedure were very rare among the participants in the study. The trend was that most complications happened in the days or months following the operation contrary to the fear of many that complications will take place after several years from the day of operation. These complications were the minor issues such as itchiness and burning sensation felt by the patient. They were not purely complications but rather natural effects of the surgery.

The research findings are reassuring to millions of people worldwide who want to be operated through the LASIK eye surgery. With great certainty, doctors and medical practitioners can now say that the method is a safe long term procedure.

What Happens to Your Eyes During a LASIK Surgery?

The eyes are a very delicate part of the body. In surgical operations involving the eyes, surgeons carefully handle the eye so that it will not experience any uneasiness during the operation.

Before the operation, numbing drops are placed on the eyes to prevent itchiness or other forms of discomfort. Some doctors also give their patients with medicines to relax them.

During the operation, your eyes will be placed under the laser. In the entire procedure, you need to open your eyes hence an instrument called the lid speculum will keep your eyelid from shutting.

The next thing the surgeon will do is to create a flap on your cornea but before doing it, he marks a spot on your cornea. Eye movement could not be prevented in operations such as this. To prevent the movement of the patient’s eye, the surgeon places a suction ring to the front of the eye. Movements should be minimized so as not to affect the quality of the flap.

After the flap is created, the excimer laser is readied and is adjusted to suit your prescription. The surgeon adjusts the excimer laser through the help of a computer. He will then ask you to focus on a light for a short while. The doctor will carefully watch your eyes in a microscope while the excimer laser sends pulses of light to your eye’s cornea. The light pulses sent off by the laser reshape the cornea without any pain.

LASIK surgery is performed separately for every eye.

After the LASIK surgery

After the procedure, the patient usually feels an itching or burning sensation. This is a normal response to the surgery. The surgeon will then conduct a post operative exam which will only take a few minutes. Afterwards, the patient can now head home.

The patient will experience a hazy or blurry vision immediately after the operation. Vision is expected to clear the following day. The patient’s eyesight is expected to stabilize after a few more days and in rare cases, a few weeks.
It is recommended that after the surgery, you should avoid strenuous work and exercises for a week. Involving in rigorous activities will strain your eyes and impair fast recovery.

How LASIK Eye Surgery is Conducted

With the technological advancements today, people with visual problems go for the popular laser surgery to improve their eyesight. One of the commonly used operations in laser surgery is the LASIK. LASIK means laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis and this widely popular procedure is used to restore the normal vision of those who are experiencing myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism.
The LASIK procedure reshapes the cornea so that light entering the eye will be properly focused giving the eyes a clearer vision. Most LASIK procedures take about 15 minutes for both eyes. The resulting improved vision will be felt by patients within 24 hours.

Things to consider before undergoing LASIK surgery

Before you undergo the LASIK surgery, your doctor will have to ensure that you are a good candidate for the operation. He will perform initial tests like evaluating the thickness of your cornea, determining the size of your pupil and examining if you have other eye conditions or diseases.

Most doctors use the instrument called the corneal topographer in order to determine how the front surface of your eye has curved.

Some patients also undergo the wavefront analysis. The wavefront technology sends light waves to the patient’s eye in order to determine the degree of aberration of the patient’s vision.

Performing the LASIK eye surgery

The surgeon first creates a thin and circular flap in the patient’s cornea. The surgeon will either use a surgical tool called the microkertome or the afemtosecond laser. After this procedure, the surgeon will fold back the flap in order access the cornea. He then removes some of the tissues in the cornea by using an excimer laser.

The excimer laser is a highly advanced laser that makes use of ultraviolet light beam in order to ablate the very tiny tissues from the cornea. Once the tissues are removed, the cornea is now reshaped in such a way that light can be clearly focused on the retina thus improving the vision of the patient.

For patients that are nearsighted, the main objective of the operation is to flatten the cornea. On the other hand, with farsighted patients, the LASIK surgery will steepen the cornea.

Astigmatism can also be treated through LASIK. The excimer lasers will smoothen the irregular cornea.

After the cornea is reshaped with the help of the laser, the flap is then placed on the area where the corneal tissue was removed. Following these procedures, the cornea is allowed to heal.

Is Laser Eye Surgery Advisable for Everyone?

Over the last few years, Laser Eye Surgery has become the mainstream treatment for vision problems like nearsightedness, far sightedness and astigmatism. Even celebrities have undergone the eye procedure and a vast majority of the operations have passed off with no ill effects. Lasik which is the most popular type of Laser Eye Surgery has been performed since the 1990’s and the procedure has been greatly improved over the years. However, this does not mean that other types of Laser Eye Surgery are ineffective; Lasek or PRK are recommended by eye doctors for patients who are not possible candidates for Lasik.

How will you know if you are not a candidate for Lasik?

Some questions cannot be answered until the eye doctor has examined the eyes.  After the initial consultation, the eye doctor will inform you whether you are a candidate for laser eye correction otherwise, a different eye procedure will be recommended. Some people though cannot undergo Laser Eye Surgery due to the following conditions:

• Pregnancy – visions changes are not uncommon during pregnancy which makes it difficult for the eye doctors to determine the correct measurements. Some medications may not be suitable for pregnant and nursing women.

• Eye conditions – those with eye diseases and corneal conditions like chronic dry eyes or glaucoma are not permitted to undergo Laser Eye Surgery.

• Autoimmune diseases – people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis or Type 1 diabetes are not good candidates for Laser Eye Surgery since their healing abilities might be compromised.

Benefits of Laser Eye Surgery

Many patients who have undergone Laser Eye Surgery are happy about the effects with the vast majority reporting that their eyes felt normal after the day of operation. Minimal Discomfort can be felt immediately after the eye procedure but this is alleviated by anti-bacterial eye drops that the eye doctor will prescribe. Many patients have also reported that they have experienced good vision immediately after the surgery but not all patients will enjoy this benefit particularly those with higher prescriptions. In most cases, people with very low prescriptions will immediately see improvements but those with higher prescriptions will have to wait for about 6 to 8 hours.

Addressing the Controversies about Laser Eye Surgery

Maybe you have seen some articles about Laser Eye Surgery that describes some serious complications suffered by patients after the procedure. How accurate was the article? Is there truth to the rumors that Laser Eye Surgery is an expensive procedure that results into dry eyes?

First of all, undergoing laser eye treatment is not like buying a car. If you are actually considering eye surgery for vision correction, make efforts to do research so that you can determine why the article has over sensationalized the problem with dry eyes.

Will you suffer from dry eyes after Laser Eye Surgery?

To keep this problem in perspective, many people who seek vision correction from Laser Eye Surgery already have dry eyes. People with dry eyes do not feel comfortable with contact lens that is why they are looking at Laser Eye Surgery so that they will not be required to wear eyeglasses.

Fortunately, patients are pre-screened for dry eyes detection and treatment before they are approved as potential candidates for Lasik Eye Surgery. Dry eyes after Lasik can really cause discomfort but this is alleviated by lubricating eye drops. If you are seriously concerned about dry eyes, there are other procedures that do not involve creating a flap in the eye’s surface such as Lasek or PRK. In fact, the eye doctor will typically suggest these alternatives.

Does the flap heal after Lasik?

To perform Lasik, the eye surgeon uses an instrument called a microkeratome or the more specialized femtosecond laser to cut a layer of corneal tissue which is then folded back. Femtosecond is new technology for the creation of the Lasik flap through hundreds of thousands of pulses for a more precise accuracy of depth and shape.

After the excimer laser is done with its job on the corneas based on your prescription, the corneal flap is replaced. The flap will eventually heal and re-bond to the underlying stromal bed but due to individual healing differences, the timeline for healing varies. Hopefully this information reassures you that the Lasik flap will heal completely and provide strength and structural integrity for the eyes.

Always ask the eye doctor about your concerns so that they will be addressed immediately. Lasik is not the only type of Laser Eye Surgery. The eye doctor can recommend other procedures like Lasek or PRK

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