Lasik is a relatively simple and fast procedure. The entire surgery takes about 30 minutes, during which you will be lying on your back in the room containing the laser system. The laser system is a machine with a computer screen and a microscope attached to it.
Whether you have shortsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism the cause is the same - your cornea is not a perfect shape. The goal of the lasik surgery is to reshape (polish) your cornea so the light going through it focuses better on your retina.
The surgeon can't use a general anesthetic because you have to remain conscious, throughout, and be able to look directly at the laser. However, anesthetic drops are used for your eyes, so you will not feel any pain - only some pressure and a little discomfort. You will be able to see during the entire procedure, although your vision might blur or flicker, for a few moments.
Lasik surgery can be separated into 6 steps
1. First of all the surgeon will drop a few numbing drops into your eye and clean the area around it. Then your eyelids will be propped open.
2. Before the laser can start its work, the surgeon will need to cut a flap in your cornea. This could be done with either a laser or with microkeratome - a special cutting instrument. It might sound scary, but don't worry: you won't feel the cutting.
3. After that, the laser will be positioned over your eye and you will have to look directly at it for about 60 seconds. The reshaping has not started yet, but your eye needs to get used to being focused on the light.
When your eye is in the perfect position, the laser will start its work. The laser is controlled by a computer, which is preprogrammed by the surgeon to remove a specific amount of corneal tissue.
4. After your cornea is reshaped, the flap is put back on it place.
5. Stitches won't be used to keep the flap in place; instead, doctors use a special protective shield to hold it. The shield will protect your eye from being touched accidentally.
6. That's it! Usually you can go home straight after the procedure, but you will have to organize a lift for yourself because you might feel a bit dizzy and your vision will be blurred, at first; obviously you shouldn't drive, under these conditions. The improvement in vision is usually noticable the same day, or by the following morning, at the latest.
Straight after lasik surgery you might feel some discomfort, like there is something in your eye. The most difficult thing is to resist the urge to rub your eyes, but you mustn't touch them until the flap is healed.
There are also several restrictions, after the surgery. You shouldn't use any eye make-up for two weeks, play any sports for four weeks, or swim or take a hot bath for two months. Also you will have to come in for a follow up visit within 48 hours after the surgery, plus a few more visits during the following six months.