What Is LASIK,

Developed in 1991 by Dr. Ioannis Pallikaris, LASIK stands for Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis. The procedure utilizes a highly specialized excimer laser beam that reshapes the keratomileusis or cornea to correct vision. It helps flattens the excessively steep corneas of a nearsighted patient. In farsighted patients, the technique creates a steeper cornea. It gives a smoother shape to the irregular corneas of patients suffering from astigmatism.
According to the Market Scope 2006 Comprehensive Report, these are some key LASIK procedure statistics:
* In 2006, nearly 24.6 million LASIK vision correction procedures were performed across the world.
* About 10.9 million procedures were performed in the US in 2004.
* Around 3,762 US surgeons performed refractive surgery in 2006.
LASIK: How Does It Work,
LASIK is an outpatient treatment, which needs no overnight hospital stay for the patient. The procedure begins with the patient being asked to lie down. The doctor then measures their underlying corneal thickness. This is followed by administering mild anesthesia or numbing eye drops. The patient’s head is placed comfortably under the laser.
A soft clip is positioned around the patient’s eyes to keep them open. Then, a femtosecond laser or microkeratome is used to create a thin flap. The surgeon then adjusts the excimer laser, using a computer, according to the patient’s prescription.
The patient is then asked to stare at the target light for a short period. During this period, the doctor observes the patient’s eye through a microscope, while pulses of light are sent to the cornea. The cornea gets painlessly reshaped by the light.
The whole procedure usually takes 5 to 10 minutes per eye. However, the exact time depends on the prescription.
After the procedure, the patient is asked to rest for a while. A protective shield is positioned around the eye to protect them from accidental rubbing. This is important because the cornea is vulnerable during the postoperative period. Then, the surgeon prescribes the required medications and eye drops for the patient.
The recovery process starts within 4 to 6 hours. However, the restoration of functional vision takes 24 to 48 hours. It is also important to follow post-surgical precautions to avoid complications.
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