Laser Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis
LASIK (Laser Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis) is one technique used to correct greater degrees of short & long-sightedness. This two-step process involves the use of a laser to re-shape the front surface of the eye (the cornea). A device called a microkeratome is used to create a thin "flap" from the surface of the cornea. Once this is done, an excimer laser gently reshapes the exposed cornea. The excimer laser is a cool beam of light. It doesn’t burn tissue, but vaporises small amounts of the cornea every time a beam of the laser is pulsed onto the surface of the eye. The diameter of the laser beam and the number of pulses that are directed onto the cornea are carefully controlled using computer technology, so that the surface of the cornea is reshaped.
The flap is then replaced, adhering naturally and securely to the eye, and you are on your way to better vision. Each pulse of the laser removes 0.26 microns (a micron is 1 thousandth of a millimeter) of tissue, enabling surgeons to achieve remarkable accuracy while maintaining excellent control throughout the procedure.
The procedure is performed using local anaesthetic eye drops and takes between five and 10 minutes per eye. However, the time taken for the reshaping of the cornea with the excimer laser is usually less than a minute.
If the procedure is successful, the cornea is able to focus light rays directly onto the retina at the back of the eye, rather than in front of or behind the retina.
- LASIK is the most common form of laser vision correction performed today
- The LASIK procedure has a remarkable success rate, with 96% of patients achieving 20/20 vision or better
- The time taken for reshaping the cornea is usually less than 1 minute
- In most cases laser eye surgery is completed within 15 minutes for both eyes
- The results - improved vision without eyeglasses or contact lenses can usually be seen in as little as 24 hours