LASIK, which stands for laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, is a type of refractive eye surgery. This procedure can correct nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism. Many patients choose LASIK because it is a quick and safe procedure with minimal downtime.
To date, over 8 million Americans have received LASIK eye surgery.
There are a few different LASIK treatment options to choose from, including:
During LASIK, the surgeon operates on your cornea, which is the clear covering on the front of your eye. There are two ways the surgeon can cut a flap in your cornea:
The results of bladeless LASIK are generally more accurate, reproducible, and cause fewer side effects, such as dry eye. Overall, surgeons consider LASIK an extremely safe medical procedure, whether it is traditional or bladeless.
Research shows LASIK eye surgery has a 96 percent patient satisfaction rate.
Customized LASIK gives you sharper, higher quality vision than conventional LASIK. Conventional LASIK uses measurements based on your eyeglass prescription, while customized LASIK is much more detailed. The surgeon can combine customized LASIK with either a traditional or bladeless flap procedure.
There are different types of customized LASIK procedures:
Monovision is a special LASIK technique for patients who need reading glasses, typically those in their 40s or older. This procedure corrects one eye to see distance and the other eye to see near. Your eye doctor will test your eye dominance to determine which is which.
Ask your eye doctor to try monovision with contact lenses first to see if you can adapt.
There are some potential drawbacks to consider:
Potential monovision patients should consider their type of refractive error:
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There are some alternative laser eye surgeries to LASIK, including photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) and small incision lenticule extraction (SMILE). Your eye surgeon will determine if you are a candidate for LASIK or an alternative procedure. There are some key differences between LASIK, PRK, and SMILE.
Below is a comparison of these two procedures:
SMILE is a newer type of refractive eye surgery that is gaining popularity. Below is a comparison of SMILE versus LASIK:
There is minimal downtime after LASIK eye surgery. Many patients can see well within a day. If you feel comfortable, you may even drive and go back to work the next day.
You will take a regimen of antibiotics and steroid eye drops for a few weeks after surgery. Your doctor will also recommend lubricating eye drops to help with any dryness.
The most common side effects include:
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