In recent years, corrective laser eye surgery became a staple choice for patients, with more than one million patients opting for such a procedure. But what exactly is it and how does it work? Well, we suggest you put on your landau scrubs and allow us to take you on a tour that will let you explore the world of corrective eye surgery.
For one, it owes its popularity to its effectiveness. First performed by an ophthalmologist in Greek during the late eighties and introduced to American surgeons in 1990, laser eye surgery soon made a name for itself in the medical field. It is often viewed as the best alternative to contact lenses and eyeglasses, and is used to correct astigmatism, farsightedness, and nearsightedness. Also, the said procedure can be done safely and quickly, with the patient experiencing very minimum discomfort.
Things to expect before surgery
Just like any other medical procedure, the patient will have to be educated regarding the whole process by the assigned expert. The information is usually given through a seminar or a free consultation. During this time, you can freely ask the surgery coordinator specific questions about the process and options. Should you decide to proceed with the surgery, the next step is to schedule an appointment for a consultation and comprehensive examination. At this point, your medical and ocular history will be reviewed. You may have to undergo a series of tests in order to assess your appropriateness for surgery. These measurements may include testing of the retina and optic nerves, measuring intraocular pressure, determining your dominant eye, and above all, measuring the thickness of the cornea.
Seeing through the surgery
Conventional eye surgery is done relatively quickly. It is basically a painless outpatient procedure that does no require hospitalization. Yes, you can go home right after undergoing eye surgery. So on with surgery itself…
While you are awake during the surgery, you will be given anesthetic eye drops, numbing your eyes in the process. To keep your eyelashes out of the way, a plastic drape will be used and placed on your eyelids. To hold the eyelids back, a speculum will also be used during the entire operation. A suction cup will then be placed over each eye, creating the flap. After being gently pulled back, expect to feel a little bit of pressure. A laser will take care of the actual correction of the vision impairment by reshaping the cornea. This will usually take about several minutes per eye. Aside from the “clicking” sound made by the machine, expect to smell a slight odor as the laser vaporizes the tissue. After the actual laser treatment, you will be ushered into a recovery room to rest. Expect to feel a slight tingling or burning sensation as the anesthesia wears off. Finally, you will be given a final check up, complete with post-operation care guidelines. You will also be given eye drops and protective eye shields during the final check-up. After that, you can go home to rest your eyes-now you’re on your way to recovery.