LASIK – or Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis – is the most common elective surgery in the world, with millions of procedures having been performed worldwide in the last decade alone. LASIK laser eye surgery is used to correct refractive eye errors. These are problems with your vision that occur as a result of the way that light is refracted when it enters the eye. For example, if the light falls short of the retina (landing in front of it rather than on it), patients are said to be short-sighted. This is where they can see objects nearby clearly, but those that are further away appear blurred. Fortunately, LASIK can help.
LASIK can correct all types of refractive eye error, provided your prescription falls within specific parameters. The technique works using cutting-edge laser technology to reshape the cornea so that light can be refracted directly onto the retina at the back of the eye.
First, your surgeon will use a device called a microkeratome to create a thin, hinged flap in the outer layer of corneal tissue. This will be opened to reveal the underlying cornea which will then be reshaped using the laser. The process takes just a few minutes per eye and is performed using a local anesthetic so that you don’t experience any discomfort.
Every patient is different, so treatment is planned on a case-by-case basis. Before you can be approved for LASIK, you’ll first need to attend a consultation appointment so that your suitability can be assessed.
Good candidates for LASIK surgery should:
Be over 18 years old
Have healthy eyes with no sign of disease or infection
Have a prescription that falls within certain parameters
Has realistic expectations for the outcome of their procedure
While many patients who have LASIK find that they no longer need to wear glasses or contact lenses after the procedure, the results are not always perfect vision. Your LASIK surgeon will discuss the potential outcomes with you at your consultation.
Co-management is a common practice and refers to your LASIK care being completed by both your LASIK surgeon and your regular eye doctor or optometrist. This is possible because they both take over certain aspects of your care. When an optometrist and LASIK surgeon co-manage, the pre and post-operative elements of your care will be taken care of by your optometrist/regular eye doctor. They will also refer you to the LASIK surgeon who will perform the corneal reshaping that will correct your vision.
There are several benefits to this. Firstly, you can relax knowing that all of your pre-LASIK assessments and post-surgical care will be performed by your usual eye doctor, in the practice that you usually attend. This gives you the comfort of familiarity and the reassurance that you are in tried and tested hands.
Secondly, your eye doctor will be the one referring you to your LASIK surgeon. Since they have a strong relationship with you already, you can guarantee that they will only refer you to a great LASIK surgeon that you can trust to carry out your procedure to the highest standards.
If you would like more information about LASIK and refractive surgery co-management, contact Kennedy Vision Health Center in Plymouth or Elk River, MN at 763-296-2600 or 763-296-2700 to schedule an appointment.