Your LASIK Surgery
On the day of your procedure, you’ll first meet with a Pre-op Specialist to go over medications following surgery and recovery instructions. Before the procedure, the eye is anesthetized with drops to ensure you remain comfortable throughout the treatment. Two small marks are placed on the cornea and a suction ring is placed to secure the eye and maintain pressure while a corneal flap is created. Minnesota Eye Consultants utilizes iLASIK technology and performs bladeless LASIK, therefore a femtosecond laser is then used to create a thin flap from the surface of the cornea. The flap is lifted to expose the deeper layer of cornea to be treated. If any abnormality is noted within the corneal flap, the procedure could be aborted and reattempted. The corneal flap stays attached to the rest of the cornea on one side. The laser is then positioned into place and delivers a programmed number of pulses of ultraviolet light onto the newly exposed part of the cornea. Each pulse of the laser removes a microscopic layer of cornea and this reshapes and corrects the vision. This bladeless, computer-guided technology is more accurate than the mechanical microkeratomes (hand-held devices with a thin metal blade), which are no longer used at Minnesota Eye Consultants.
Once the LASIK procedure has been completed, the corneal flap is put back in place and will naturally adhere to the treated cornea. With the center of the cornea newly reshaped, the light rays are now able to focus more precisely on the retina and images will become sharper.
Most LASIK patients notice a dramatic improvement in their vision immediately after the procedure, however, maximum improvement will occur over the next three to four weeks. Steroid and antibiotic drops are prescribed following the procedure to ensure proper healing. In order to keep the cornea smooth and moist during the healing period, artificial tears will also be used.
Following the recommended drop regimens and discharge instructions after the procedure is crucial to the healing process and can affect the visual outcome after LASIK. You will be asked to schedule several post-operative appointments, and each visit serves as an important milestone within your recovery. We will see you the day after surgery, one month following the procedure, and at the one year mark. It’s common to be seen more within this time frame, but your doctor will discuss his/her recommendations with you.