You probably already know that it’s a procedure involving lasers, but it isn’t like the Space Invaders video game. LASIK is a precise surgery that’s so detailed it needs two acronyms.
- LASER is an acronym for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation.” Basically, it’s a precise and powerful beam of light.
- LASIK is short for laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis. In situ means “in place,” and keratomileusis refers to cutting the cornea in order to reshape it. LASIK is an effective surgical procedure to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and/ or astigmatism.
Like a camera lens, the cornea focuses light onto your retina so you can see what’s around you. But sometimes, the cornea is misshapen and won’t focus correctly. Glasses or contacts make up for an eye’s physical imperfection. LASIK gets to the root of the problem by actually reshaping the cornea which allows light to focus on the retina.
Before your procedure surgery, a customized map of your eye is created with the Wavescan® system. The system calculates focusing errors by measuring light as it reflects out of the eye into a camera sensor. These measurements are then used to program the laser with a treatment plan unique to your eye.
During LASIK, your doctor will first create a small flap in the outer layer of the cornea with the Intralase™ laser.
This flap is then lifted and the treatment area is exposed. The Customvue laser uses rapid pulses, guided by the Wavescan map taken in the office, to remove a small and precise amount of corneal tissue. For example, the laser removes tissue from the center of the cornea to correct nearsightedness.
Surgery lasts about 25 minutes. Yes, it’s that quick!
Once the laser is finished and your cornea flap is repositioned, you’ll be given an eye shield to keep you from bumping or rubbing your eye.
You will receive instructions for care and schedule a follow-up appointment. Then it is time to go home. Resting your eyes (ie. Taking a nap) is often a good way to get your eyes to heal more quickly.
Eye surgery patients should avoid contact sports for several weeks, but you can play video games again as soon as it’s comfortable to do so.