LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) is a safe, reliable and painless way to improve vision and reduce or eliminate the need to wear glasses or contact lenses. LASIK changes the way light is bent, or refracted, as it passes through the cornea so that it focuses properly on the retina and objects can be seen clearly.
During the procedure, a device called a microkeratome cuts a thin flap in the surface of the cornea. Patients are given anesthesia so they can’t feel the instruments. Next, the flap is lifted and an excimer laser beam reshapes the cornea’s curvature to improve vision. The flap is then closed and covered with a protective contact lens.
The entire procedure takes only 15-30 minutes per eye, and patients are often ready to leave within an hour or two. The flap heals on its own within a few days with no need for stitches.
A common complaint after surgery is sensitivity to light, but this will subside. Antibiotic eye drops will be prescribed for a few days, along with any other post-operative instructions. Full recovery takes a few weeks.
LASIK after Cataract Surgery
Clear lens extraction, also called refractive lens exchange, replaces the natural lens with or without a multifocal IOL in patients wishing to correct high farsightedness, high nearsightedness or presbyopia without undergoing a corneal modification procedure such as LASIK. The procedure is the same as that used in cataract surgery; the only difference is that CLE is performed to achieve refractive correction rather than cataract removal. CLE has a low risk of side effects, involves a rapid recovery, and offers patients dramatic improvement in vision quality. After surgery, patients enjoy clearer vision and greater focusing power.
You may be a candidate for clear lens extraction if you:
- Want to reduce or eliminate your dependence on glasses or contacts
- Are over 50 years old
- Have high myopia (nearsightedness), high hyperopia (farsightedness), or presbyopia, with or without cataract
- Have early symptoms of cataracts