Preparations for Lasik Eye Surgery
At least two days before Lasik eye surgery you are not allowed to apply eye makeup or face lotions or creams because they will build up on your eyelashes and increase the risk of infection. Also on days before lasik procedure, your doctor will ask you to clean your eyelashes daily with shampoo and warm water and sometimes using antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection.
You will not be allowed to use perfumes also because it will affect the function of the laser. You also must find transportation to and from the hospital, and also to and from the first post-operative visit in which your vision will be blurred and it will be unsafe for you to drive.
Steps of Lasik Procedure
The procedure consist of two major steps, step 1 is flap creation and step 2 is laser ablation.
Lasik surgery is done under topical anesthesia in which your eye will be numbed using topical anesthesia, sometimes your surgeon will pre-operative sedative like Valium to help you relax.
Eyelid skin is prepped with antiseptic then a speculum is used to keep your eye opened. A special surgical instrument is attached to your eye with creation of suction pressure and then a microkeratome is used for flap creation.
Microkeratome either will be mechanical with blade to cut through the cornea and flap creation or it can be laser microkeratome which has different names like intralase or bladeless lasik.
The advantage of laser microkeratome is that it can be used to create thinner corneal flap than that created by mechanical microkeratome and give another chance for patients who were non candidate for lasik because their thin cornea.
The flap that is created will not be completely separated from the cornea in which it will be attached to it in one side and the other side is folded back.
This corneal bed will be ablated by excimer laser for re-shaping its surface. Through a computer based program, this laser will be delivered through repeated pulses of high energy ultraviolet (UV) light which will cause microscopic vaporization of corneal cells without affecting the surrounding tissue.
This vaporization will cause reshaping of the corneal bed and so it will change the curvature of the corneal surface after the flap is repositioned again to its place without stitches in which it will heal naturally with time.
The amount and the part of the cornea that needed to be ablated will depend on the type and the power of your refractive error.
The duration of Lasik Procedure is usually few minutes.