LASIK (Laser in-situ Keratomileusis)
LASIK (laser in-situ keratomileusis) is a widely used refractive eye surgery to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism (improper curvature of the eye’s surface), and sometimes, presbyopia (loss of ability to focus on nearby objects),
The surgery works by remoulding or reshaping the cornea (the transparent dome-shaped front part of the eye), allowing proper focusing of the light that passes through the cornea onto the retina (light-sensitive membrane at the back of the eye).
What are the pre-operative procedures?
To prepare for your LASIK assessement you will need to
- Temporarily cease wearing contact lenses and switch over to glasses for a week before the procedure, if using soft contact lenses, and longer if hard contact lenses.
- Dr Chiu and her staff will review your medical and ocular history and perform eye scans. Dr Chiu will conduct a detailed eye examination to measure your spectacle prescription, cornea, l shape, steepness, topography (contour map) and thickness. This helps Dr Chiu determine your suitability for and safety of surgical procedure.
- In addition, wavefront-guided and topographic-guided technologies generate a detailed chart of your individual eye features, so your treatment can be customised. These advanced technologies are used as the standard of care by Dr Chiu.
How is the procedure done?
You will be seated in a reclining chair, and given medication to relax you. Eye drops will be instilled to numb your eyes. You will be taken into the procedure room and Dr Chiu will guide you through the treatment. She will use a special instrument to keep your eyes open during the procedure. You will be asked to focus on a source of light in order to keep your eye fixed during the procedure. Dr Chiu will then use a special laser to cut a thin flap on the cornea similar to a hinge. The flap will then be carefully and gently folded back and the underlying deeper corneal tissue will be remoulded. Once the cornea is reshaped appropriately so that it properly focuses light onto the retina, your surgery will be completed by carefully folding the corneal flap back into place, where it will heal normally without the need for stitches. The entire procedure takes 30 minutes or less.
What are the tips for post-operative care?
- Following the surgery, you can expect some irritation as your eyes may feel dry. You will be given medicines and eye drops to keep your eyes moist and to prevent pain and infection. You will use a clear shield over your eyes at night until they heal. You may have blurred vision for the remainder of the day following your procedure, and most people have clear vision the first day after the procedure, Healing occurs fairly rapidly.
- You will follow up with Dr Chiu the day after your procedure and regularly periodically in the first year. During your recovery period, there are certain precautions which will be explained to you. For example, do not allow tap water to get in the eye for a week following surgery and no swimming for 2 weeks following surgery. Medicated eye drops are prescribed for around a month following surgery. It is important not to rub your eyes for a week after surgery.
What are the risks of LASIK?
- As with any surgery, LASIK carries its own set of risks which include:
- Under correction: You will not experience clear vision if the procedure removes too little tissue from your eyes. Under correction can be corrected by performing a second refractive surgery within a year.
- Overcorrection: Overcorrection can be more difficult to rectify than under correction, as more than the required amount of tissue is removed.
- Astigmatism: Uneven tissue removal can alter the shape of the cornea, and may require additional surgery.
- Dry eyes: Temporary decrease in tear production can be expected after LASIK for up to six months. You may require additional surgery in severe cases.
- Vision abnormalities: You may experience glares, halo, or double vision temporarily for some days after LASIK. You may require additional surgery if they worsen.
- Conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, immunodeficiency, pregnancy, persistent dry eyes, unstable vision, and abnormal shape of the cornea can increase the risks associated with LASIK. Your doctor will be able to address all your concerns before you consider LASIK.
What are the advantages of LASIK?
LASIK is preferred over other methods due to the following benefits:
- It has been proven to correct vision in about 90% of the patients
- Your vision may be corrected almost immediately
- You will have less pain
- You won't require adhesive dressings (no stitches or bandages)
Your dependence on eyeglasses and contact lenses may be reduced. Most patients no longer require assistive devices after LASIK.