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LASIK (Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) is a surgical procedure that reshapes the cornea, the front window of your eye, to improve your vision. This procedure is generally safe, effective, and has very few side effects.

Chart Showing the Steps of LASIK Surgery

LASIK eye surgery has helped millions of people see clearly without dependence on glasses or contact lenses. It has made those with active lifestyles happy again. For contact lens wearers, the hassles associated with contacts can be a thing of the past! LASIK is a quick and relatively painless vision correction procedure with an excellent track record of success.

During LASIK the surgeon first applies anesthetic eye drops to numb the eye for surgery. Next a suction ring is applied that is designed to hold the eye steady and also maintains the pressure of the eye. The LASIK surgeon then creates a thin corneal flap using a device called a precision device. The corneal flap is lifted up, and the excimer laser is applied to the exposed interior surface of the cornea to reshape the tissue.

WaveLight® EX500 Excimer Laser Side View

The computer-controlled excimer laser removes the tissue under the flap and reshapes the cornea of the affected eye. The flap is then repositioned over the treated area. The corneal flap serves a natural bandage, which eliminates the discomfort associated with other types of refractive surgery, and expedites the healing process. Because of the extraordinary bonding properties of the corneal tissue, stitches are not needed to keep the flap in place postoperatively. Eye drops will be applied to assist with the healing process.

Below are some answers to frequently asked questions about LASIK. You can also call our LASIK Hotline today at (603) 528-1955.

Why is LASIK so popular?

Seventy-five million people in this country woke up this morning reaching for their eyeglasses, or squinting to see without their contact lenses. But more than a million people each year give up this daily struggle, and make the decision to have laser vision correction.

Interest in laser vision correction has skyrocketed over the past few years. It’s not just high profile athletes, actors, politicians and professionals, people from all walks of life are experiencing the thrill of waking up to their world in focus.

Wavelight Suite

One of the most popular ways to correct your vision is with a procedure called LASIK (laser in-situ keratomileusis), which uses a laser to change the curvature of the cornea (outer window of the eye). LASIK has quickly become the procedure of choice for most patients because they recover quickly and have less discomfort than with other methods of vision correction. In fact, most LASIK patients notice a significant improvement in their vision 24 hours post surgery.

Thanks to new advances in laser technology, LASIK is now an option for those who are nearsighted, farsighted or who have astigmatism.

Why do I need glasses?

The cornea, which covers the front of the eye, bends light rays so they focus directly on the retina, a thin membrane at the back of the eye. The retina sends those images to the brain through the optic nerve, producing eyesight.

If the cornea is too steep, light focuses in front of the retina, causing nearsightedness. Nearsighted people usually see well up close without corrective lenses.

If the cornea is too flat, the focal point lies behind the retina, causing farsightedness. People who are farsighted need glasses for both distance and near activities.

Astigmatism results from a cornea with an oval or irregular surface. This causes multiple focus points within the eye. Many people have astigmatism in addition to nearsightedness or farsightedness.

Reshaping the cornea with LASIK

LASIK is a procedure that uses the”cool” light from an Excimer laser to reshape the inner tissue of the cornea. During the procedure, a special device creates a hinged flap of thin corneal tissue. The flap is gently folded out of the way. Then the laser reshapes the underlying tissue. The surgeon replaces the corneal flap, which quickly goes back into place without the need for stitches.

Chart Showing the Steps of LASIK Surgery

To treat nearsightedness, the steep cornea is made flatter by removing tissue from the center of the cornea. This moves the point of focus from in front of the retina to directly on the retina.

To treat farsightedness, the flat cornea is made steeper by removing tissue outside of the central optical zone of the cornea. This moves the point of focus from behind the retina to directly on the retina.

To treat astigmatism, the cornea is made more spherical – like a basketball instead of a football. This eliminates multiple focusing points within the eye and creates one point of focus on the retina. Astigmatism can be treated at the same time as nearsightedness and farsightedness.

Is LASIK the only option?

There are many ways to correct vision, including glasses and contacts. After examining your eyes, your eye doctor will thoroughly explain which options might be best for you. The decision to have LASIK – or any other type of surgery – is an important one that ultimately only you can make.

Am I a good candidate for LASIK?

The ideal candidate for LASIK is over 18 years of age, with stable vision and healthy eyes. A quick screening can determine if your vision is within the acceptable corrective range for LASIK, but a thorough examination is necessary to determine the health of your eyes. Detailed measurements will be gathered during this examination, which are critical to obtaining optimal results.

How soon can I return to my normal activities after LASIK?

LASIK is an outpatient surgical procedure. The only anesthetic is an eye drop the completely numbs the surface of the eye. The LASIK procedure itself typically takes less than fifteen minutes. Most LASIK patients return to normal activities a few days after their procedure.

What will my vision be like after my procedure?

The visual results of LASIK are usually very rapid. You may be able to see more clearly within hours of the procedure, although it’s common for vision to fluctuate for several weeks to several months as your eyes heal. Your individual results will depend on a number of characteristics. The goal of LASIK is to enable you to see as well as, or perhaps better than, you currently see though your glasses or contact lenses, only without them!

Is LASIK safe?

LASIK is the most commonly performed vision correction procedure in the United States. Long-term studies indicate that LASIK is safe and effective. Consistently excellent results and LASIK’s rapid healing characteristics have made it extremely popular with patients, and widely accepted by thousands of eye doctors as a legitimate alternative to dependence on glasses and contact lenses.

There is no surgeon or surgical procedure that can guarantee perfect results. As with any surgery or medical procedure, there are possible risks. Your doctor will give you detailed information about LASIK’s potential risks, complications and side effects and you should get all of your questions answered before giving your consent for surgery.

What's the next step?

If you are tired of reaching for glasses and contact lenses, call our LASIK Hotline (603 528-1955) today to make an appointment to find out if you are a candidate for laser vision correction. Ask about our interest free financing.

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