20 X 20 Eyesight
Lasik surgery is a medical procedure used as a corrective measure to achieve clear eyesight without using contact lenses or spectacles. Lasik surgery is considered among the most advanced and recent technologies in the field of eye care. This refractive surgery is done for corrective eye defects such as hyperopia, astigmatism and myopia making the patient to see things better than before. This surgery is considered more advanced and has better recovery time in comparison with earlier techniques such as PRK.
History: The Origin of Lasik
Dr. Jose Barraquer, a Spanish ophthalmologist, developed this procedure by introducing microkeratome in 1950. Later, the technique was improved by developing procedures such as radial keratotomy and photorefractive keratotomy in 1970’s and 1983 respectively. Radial Keratotomy is different than LASIK as the corneal cuts are done by using a diamond micrometer knife. Lasers were introduced in refractive surgeries by Rangaswamy Srinivasan who was working in an IBM Research Lab in 1980.
Present – Lasik
At present, the technology is much more sophisticated with the introduction of faster lasers, intraoperative pachymetry, bladeless incision and wavefront-guided and optimized techniques. The pre-operative period of a LASIK surgery require several preparations such as creation of thin flap and folding the eye’s cornea to remodel the tissue behind it using a laser. Repositioning of the flap and the healing of the eye are important during the post-operative period. The patient has to sign a form of consent which explains the possibilities of side effects and complications of the procedure.
During the pre-operative period, patients should not wear any kind of contact lenses, often for a period of 5-21 days prior to surgery. The thickness of the corneas will be measured using a pachymeter and a topographic map of cornea will be created by the topographer using lasers of low-power before performing the actual surgery. This procedure detects astigmatism as well as other irregularities of the cornea. The surgeon will calculate the location and amount of tissue from the cornea that should be removed. In order to reduce the risk of any infection after performing the surgery, the doctor prescribes some antibiotic that has to be self-administered by the patient.
The patient will be awake and can move during the operation, but often the patient will be given anesthetic eye drops and mild sedative to prevent feeling pain. There are three steps that are usually performed during a LASIK surgery:
1.Corneal tissue flap should be created
2.Remodeling of cornea beneath the flap by using laser
3.Repositioning of flap
Creation of a Flap
First of all, the doctor applies a corneal suction ring in to the eye in order to hold the eye in position. The ring should be applied very carefully or else the small blood vessels may burst that result in subconjunctival hemorrhage or bleeding in the white part of the eyes. Even if this happens, it is harmless and will be resolved within weeks. Dim vision may occur in the treated eye due to increased suction. Creation of a flap will be done when the eyes are immobilized. Flap creation is done with a femtosecond laser microkeratome, intraLASIK. This procedure will create tiny bubbles which are arranged closely in the cornea of the eye. The flap is then folded back showing the stroma which is in the middle part of cornea.
Due to the introduction of new technologies in LASIK surgery, the risk of complications after the operation is reduced and more accurate results are achieved. The use of laser in IntraLASIK surgery ensures that there are fewer complications. In order to reduce the risk of any infection after performing the surgery, the doctor prescribes some antibiotic that has to be self-administered by the patient. Much sleep is required after the surgery and the doctor will provide a pair of shields which are darkened in order to protect the eyes of the patient from bright light. Protective goggles are also provided to prevent dry eyes and rubbing of eyes when you are asleep.