What is Lasik-Consultation Process

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Laser vision correction is now in its second decade of helping patients reduce or eliminate their dependence on glasses and contact lenses. As testimony to its life changing benefits, thousands of ophthalmologists and optometrists around the world have become so impressed with the results of laser vision correction that over one million procedures are now performed each year. At New World iCare our patients continuously tell us they appreciate our commitment to being on the cutting edge of this exciting technology.

One of the most popular ways to correct vision is with a procedure called LASIK (laser in-situ keratomileusis), which uses a laser to change the curvature of the Cornea (outer window of the eye). LASIK has quickly become the procedure of choice for most patients because they recover quickly and have fewer side effects and complications than with other methods of vision correction. In fact, most LASIK patients notice a significant improvement in their vision soon after surgery. LASIK removes tissue within the Cornea to treat low to high levels of nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.

LASIK is an acronym for Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusi, a Refractive surgery procedure performed by Ophthalmologists intended for correcting the vision in order to reduce a person's dependency on corrective devices such as glasses or contact lenses. The procedure is usually a preferred alternative to PRK, or photo refractive keratectomy, as it requires less time for full recovery, and the patient experiences less pain overall.

The first step in the procedure consists of mapping the corneal surface with a computer controlled scanning device to determine the exact shape. Then the appropriate amount of tissue which needs to be removed is calculated, such that upon replacing the flap there is no need (or less need) for corrective devices like spectacles and lenses.

LASIK is a procedure that permanently changes the shape of the Cornea, the clear covering of the front of the eye, using an excimer laser. A blade, called a microkeratome, is used to cut a flap in the Cornea. A hinge is left at one end of this flap. The flap is folded back revealing the stroma, the middle section of the Cornea. Pulses from a computer-controlled laser vaporize a portion of the stroma and the flap is replaced. When the Cornea is properly reshaped, it will then better focus light onto the Retina. This results in improved vision.

Both nearsighted and farsighted people can benefit from LASIK. Sufferers of astigmatism can also benefit.

Suitability for process

Generally to be a good candidate for LASIK, you should

  • Be above 17-18 years of age
  • Have stable refraction (glass number) for 6 months.

Consultation Process

Before the actual process of conducting the LASIK surgery, the Doctor will have a consultation and examination of your eyes to determine your suitability for the process. This process begins with a discussion regarding what your expectations are and what you wish to achieve by being less dependent or eliminating eyeglasses or contact lenses. Then the Doctor takes a careful review of your health and eye history.

Next, in order to determine the exact prescription that will need to be treated, a refraction will be performed to measure the amount of nearsightedness or farsightedness and astigmatism. This will require the use of eye drops to get the best possible measurements. It is necessary to map the surface of the eye, called the Cornea, with a corneal topographer that gives the Doctor a blueprint of the shape of your eye. An important step is to measure the corneal thickness, called pachymetry, in order to help determine whether the anatomy of your Cornea is appropriate for LASIK or perhaps another laser eye surgery procedure. Once all of these steps have been completed, the Doctor will examine the health of the Retina and inner structure of your eyes as a final check.

The consultation process is an excellent opportunity for you to have a one on one discussion with the Doctor on whatever you may want to know about the process, benefits and risks. The consultation establishes whether or not you are a suitable candidate for the LASIK procedure.


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