|What is LASIK Eye Surgery (laser in situ keratomileusis)?|
LASIK is a very common eye surgery procedure that can be used to correct myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. This procedure is widely use throughout the world and has been very successful with low complication rates.
LASIK consist using an instrument called a microkeratome to cut a flap on the cornea. Once the flap is created, a laser is used to reshape the cornea to correct one’s refractive error. The flap is then carefully repositioned. The procedure usually takes about 10-20 minutes per eye.
The minimum age for LASIK is 18 years old. However, one’s prescription must be stable prior to surgery. If ones prescription is not stable then a few years after surgery one will find themselves back in glasses. Typically, around the age 21 with a history of a few years of prescription stability creates an ideal refractive surgery candidate.
LASIK can be used to correct myopia from -0.50 to -12.00 diopters, hyperopia +0.50 to +4.00 diopters, and astigmatism up to 6.00 diopters. These ranges will vary slightly depending the laser technology and doctor experience.
LASIK cost between $1000-$2500 per eye. This largely depends on the surgeons fees and if wavefront technology is used. If a center or doctor is offering this procedure for less $1000 make sure they are a reputable company/doctor and ask to see their complication rate. Remember, these are your eyes we are talking about. Do your homework before getting this surgery done. If the deal sounds too good to be true it probably is. Be careful with discount laser centers. In order for these centers to prosper they require a very high volume of patients. These centers often use older laser technology to help curve the cost. If you decide to go to a discount laser center make sure you ask the surgeon about his complication rate and how many procedures he has done.
Typically, the complication rate for LASIK is very low (around 2%) however if a complication does happen it can be devastating. One needs to make sure the surgeon is an experienced with refractive surgery. Always ask your surgeon how many procedures he has done and ask about his complication rate. Also, your eye care professional can recommend a reputable refractive eye surgeon in your area. Don’t forget to ask about refractive surgery at your next eye examination.
Here is an educational video of what exactly happens during the LASIK procedure.
Here is a live LASIK procedure. It took less than 10 minutes.
Risk, complications, and Side effects
As with any surgeries, there are risks and possible complications that are involve with LASIK. The complication rate for LASIK is low, about 2%. That means 2 out of 100 people will experience side effects or complications for the procedure. Below are some of the risks and possible complications of LASIK.
Halos in vision, especially at night
Painful Dry eyes
Bad night vision
Moncular double vision
Loss of best corrected visual acuity
Corneal Flap complications
Dislocation of flap
Wrinkle in flap
Epithelium ingrown under flap
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