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Laser In Situ Keratomileusis


What do I need to know about laser in situ keratomileusis?

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.

How do I prepare for surgery?

Your healthcare provider will talk to you about how to prepare for surgery. He will tell you when to stop wearing your contact lenses.

What will happen during surgery?

  • 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.

What will happen after 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.

What are the risks of surgery?

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.

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. 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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