Laser In Situ Keratomileusis

What you should know

Laser in situ keratomileusis, or LASIK, is eye surgery to improve your vision. One or both eyes may be done. You may be able to see clearly without glasses or contact lenses after LASIK.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

Risks

You may have eye damage or develop an infection. Your vision may be worse than before surgery. You may still need to use reading glasses. Your vision may get worse again over time. You may have dry eye or sensitivity to light. You may see halos around lights or have hazy vision. You may have trouble driving at night. You may develop double vision, eye sores, glaucoma, cataracts, or retinal detachment.

Getting Ready

Before your surgery:

  • Write down the correct date, time, and location of your surgery.

  • You may need to stop wearing contact lenses 1 week to 3 months before your surgery. This depends on the kind of contact lenses you wear. Your healthcare provider will tell you when to stop wearing your contact lenses.

  • Arrange a ride home. Ask a family member or friend to drive you home after your surgery or procedure. Do not drive yourself home.

The night before your surgery:

Ask caregivers about directions for eating and drinking.

The day of your surgery:

  • Do not wear eye makeup, lotion, or hairspray.

  • You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives caregivers permission to do the procedure or surgery. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your choices. Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign this form.

Treatment

What will happen:

  • You will be given eye drops to numb your eyes so you do not feel pain. You may also be given medicine to help you feel calm and relaxed. A tool called a speculum will hold your lids apart so you cannot blink during surgery. A small suction ring will be placed on your cornea. The cornea is the clear layer that covers your iris and pupil. Pressure from the suction ring will cause your vision to fade and become black. A cutting tool will move along the track of the suction ring. It will cut a small, hinged cap or flap on your cornea.

  • The corneal flap will be folded over. The area under the flap will be gently cleaned and examined. The laser will be placed over your eye so it can reshape the uncovered layer of the cornea. The flap will be put back in its normal place. The cornea begins to heal almost as soon as the flap is moved back.

After your surgery:

You may be taken to a recovery room. The eye doctor will watch your eyes closely to make sure the flap does not move or wrinkle. Your eyes may feel gritty or itchy the first few days. They may be sensitive to light, watery, or painful. You may have redness on the whites of your eye. Your vision may seem hazy. You may see halos or glare around lights. It may be hard to see at night. These problems usually improve as time passes.

Contact a caregiver if

  • You cannot make it to your surgery.

  • You have a fever.

  • You get a cold or the flu.

  • You have questions or concerns about your surgery.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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