Laser Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis, is the
leading refractive surgical procedure performed worldwide. Lasik is
remarkably effective in improving visual errors due to nearsightedness
(myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism. The procedure
involves two parts; the creation of a thin surface corneal flap, and
then the application of laser energy from an Excimer laser to reshape the
underlying corneal bed. The surgery is relatively painless, and it takes
only minutes. The results for appropriately screened candidates are
extremely gratifying. Virtually all of our Lasik patients drive
themselves to the office the next day without their glasses or contact
Visual or Refractive Errors occur when the focusing
mechanism of the eye (the cornea and the lens) is unable to focus
light rays from objects in the outside world onto the retina. If the
light rays don't focus right onto the retinal plane, a blurry image will
result. In nearsightedness, the light rays focus in front of the retina.
Nearsightedness is usually the result of a steep cornea, or a large eye.
In farsightedness, the light rays focus at a point behind the retinal
plane. Farsightedness is usually the result of a flat cornea or a small
eye. In astigmatism, light rays focus at two or more planes either in
front or in back of the retina. Astigmatism is usually caused by an
uneven or irregularly shaped cornea. In each of these conditions, the
common experience will be a blurry, out of focus image.
The Excimer Laser
After the corneal flap is made by using either a steel keratome blade or
the new Intralase technology, an Excimer laser
is used to gently smooth or resurface the cornea. Unlike most medical
and industrial lasers, the Excimer laser is not a hot or tissue
destroying laser. Instead of burning or melting tissue away, this laser
works by gently breaking the bonds that hold tissue together. Also,
because it is computer assisted and has a precise focusing mechanism,
there is little effect or change to surrounding tissue.
The Lasik Procedure
Lasik is performed as an outpatient procedure at our
laser eye center, Laser Eye Associates at Cedars Sinai.
Arrival an hour before the procedure is usually required to take
pictures of the eye or Wavefront measurements. Dr. Ullman will then
examine you and after the application of anesthetic drops, the eye will
be gently marked if astigmatism is present. The eyelids will then be
cleansed with a disinfectant solution and a plastic drape will be
applied to cover the eyelid and lashes.
Next, a thin speculum will be
placed to open the eye. At this point, under the microscope, the corneal
flap is made with an automated keratome blade. If the "All Laser Lasik"
option was chosen, the corneal flap will have been made beforehand with
the Intralase laser. The flap is then gently lifted back toward the
superior attachment hinge and then the excimer laser is applied for
twenty to ninety seconds to resurface the cornea. During this time you
will be focusing on a blinking colored light. The flap will then be
irrigated back onto the corneal bed and returned to its exact original
location using marker alignments which were previously placed.
Eye drops are applied and then protective goggles are fitted which are worn
overnight. The whole procedure usually takes around twenty to thirty
both eyes. If the "All Laser Lasik" method is used, the
procedure will take a little longer. There is little discomfort or pain involved during or after
the procedure. Vision might be blurry immediately after the procedure,
similar to what your vision is like without your glasses if you are
mildly to moderately nearsighted. Hour by hour the vision will
progressively improve. By the next morning most people will obtain
vision good enough to drive themselves to the office without their
glasses or contacts, i.e. 20/40 or better.
We invite you to contact the Ullman Eye Center to discuss your needs or
any questions you may have. Simply complete our form,
or you may send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.