Lazer eye surgery literally reshapes the eye’s cornea so that glasses or contacts are no longer required.
The most common and well known form is Lasik.
LASIK eye surgery (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) is a common procedure performed to correct minor vision problems such as astigmatism, myopia (near or short-sightedness) and hyperopia (far or long-sightedness).
Lasik is similar to other forms of laser eye surgery like the PRK (photorefractive keratotomy) but provides faster patient recovery.
The LASIK technique was made possible by Jose Barraquer, a Spanish ophthalmologist in 1950 and was first accepted by the US Food and Drug Administration in 1989.
Since then, this procedure has been thoroughly improved and developed to become efficient and effective.
How does it work?
The procedure for LASIK eye surgery is known to be quick and relatively painless. It usually takes less than 5 minutes and is done with local anesthesia. A patient can go through this type of surgery and recover in the comfort of his or her home, the very next day. But before a surgeon schedules a patient for the procedure, a screening is done to make sure that the patient qualifies for LASIK.
During the screening, the patient goes through a thorough eye exam and the surgeon discloses the benefits and risks of the procedure. Most candidates for LASIK qualify and there are a few who don’t.
Some factors that make a patient less than ideal or unsuitable for LASIK are – the patient is under the age of 18, is being treated for another health condition that may compromise healing, has unstable vision, is pregnant or nursing, has severe refractive errors and eye diseases such as advanced glaucoma and corneal thinning, and has a history of ocular herpes.
For suitable candidates, the surgery begins after the patient has been thoroughly screened and an appointment is set. During the surgery, the outer flap of the cornea is flapped back and the cornea is reshaped using an excimer laser. The flap is laid back in place as soon as the procedure is completed. The excimer laser utilizes UV light beam remove tiny bits of tissue from the cornea.
Types of laser eye surgery
There are several types of lazer eye surgery, although as noted already, these days most folks think mainly of Lasik.
There are at least three types of LASIK eye surgery, and these are:
1. Epi-LASIK – needs a special cutting tool to remove the cornea’s outer layer.
2. IntraLase LASIK – also known as “bladeless” LASIK uses a second layer to open the flap.
3. PresbyLASIK – a laser eye surgery specifically for individuals with presbyopia (inability to focus).
How much does it cost?
The cost for a LASIK surgery varies from surgeon to surgeon but is usually within a $1000 to $3000 range.
A recent report commissioned by AllAboutVision.com revealed the following average cost for this type of procedure:
1. $2,150 for LASIK and all other vision-correcting procedures
2. $1,580 for traditional or bladed LASIK
3. $2,170 for wavefront-guided or bladeless LASIK.
Choosing a surgeon
Lazer eye surgery, like all other surgical procedures, can affect the rest of your life, which is why it is crucial to choose the best surgeon.
Here is a list of factors you should consider when choosing a surgeon:
2. Board certification and
3. ACS (American College of Surgeons) membership.
You can also ask friends or relatives who’ve had lazer eye surgery where they’ve gone for it or look to other resources such as websites like www.aao.org/ (The American Academy of Ophthalmology).
Lazer surgery summary
Laser eye surgery facts from BBC Health
We hope this website will help you to make an informed decision as to whether or not it is time to throw away your glasses!
Here you will find everything you need to know about lazer eye surgeryfrom its historical origins to the latest techniques used today such as Lasik, the procedures involved, pre and post operative information, patient and surgeon comments/advice and much more.
If it seems like surgery is NOT for you, we provide information about new and sometimes unusual forms of vision correction as well as the latest advice about eye glasses / spectacles and contact lens wear.
PS: The “correct” spelling – or perhaps it is better to say the original or most common version – is “laser” but many people prefer to spell the word as “lazer”.
In any case, whether you prefer a Z or an S, please take time to explore the website and discover more eye surgery facts.