Imagine one day needing glasses to see, and the next day not? Well in 1995, that dream became a reality for many. After the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of an excimer laser for ophthalmic use, thousands of people were suddenly able to say goodbye to their glasses for good. More than 20 years later and laser eye surgery has been performed on over 20 million people worldwide. But what exactly does a LASIK procedure entail? We know that you won’t be the one doing the procedure, but that doesn’t mean you should go in blind (pun intended!). If you’re considering getting LASIK, here are the basic steps of the procedure.
- Numbing Drops. The first thing your surgeon will do is place a few numbing drops in your eye. The drops will begin to take effect in about 10 – 15 minutes. After that, you won’t feel a thing!
- Preparing Your Eye. The next thing your ophthalmologist will do is create a small flap over your eye. When this happens, patients will begin to experience blurry and dulled vision, which is perfectly normal.
- Correcting Your Vision. Next is the part you’ve been waiting for – better vision! Your surgeon will now use a laser to reshape the stroma layer of your cornea. Depending on your prescription, the laser removes microscopically thin layers of your cornea. While the surgeon is performing the procedure, a computer tracks your eye movement. This will ensure that everything is done precisely.
- Flap Replacement. The next thing your surgeon will do is place the clear eye flap back down against your eye, using special tools and equipment.
- Aftercare. Believe it or not, the procedure is completed in roughly 30 minutes! Now that your surgeon’s job is done, it’s your turn to care for your eyes. After surgery, your eyes may water or feel irritated – which is completely normal and will go away in just a few hours. Depending on the time of day you had surgery, vision typically begins to return by that night or the next day. For about a week after the procedure, you will have to place antibacterial drops in your eye.
If you’re considering getting LASIK surgery, contact Dr. Barry Wasserman! Dr. Wasserman is an accomplished LASIK surgeon, pediatric ophthalmologist, and educator. As a certified AMO/VISX Excimer Laser surgeon, he performs LASIK refractive surgery for the correction of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. He is also a board certified ophthalmologist and the Medical Director of New Jersey Eye Laser Centers at Princeton.