The whole treatment process takes at least three days which includes examination, treatment and post-treatment control.
Before the procedure
During the first day the patient goes through full examinations in order his/her candidacy for LASIK surgery to be properly assessed. For this purpose you will have an appointment with a physician. During the examinations the doctor will verify your prescription, perform a corneal topography, measure your pupil size and corneal thickness, examine your retina and provide you with an expert evaluation of the success chances ratio of a LASIK operation. Upon doctor's certification and patient's consent the operation can be scheduled for the next day. It is advisable for patients to avoid applying creams, lotions or perfumes on day the prior to the surgery. Patients wearing soft contact lenses should take them off at least 7 days before the treatment and those using gas-permeable semi-hard lenses should remove them at least 3 weeks, before the appointed operation date.
Half an hour prior to the operation you will be prescribed a tranquilizer, which takes off the tension and helps you to feel more relaxed and comfortable. Few minutes before entering the laser room your eyes will be treated with anesthetic drops to eliminate any discomfort or pain. After lying down comfortably on the operation table, your eyelids are wiped with an antiseptic solution which may feel a little cold and wet. A sterile plastic eyelid drape will be placed over the eyelid and the other eye will be covered with a plastic eye shield. The eyelids are being isolated by a special wire, thus making it impossible for them to close. Your physician will mark your eye using a specially designed marker. You are ready for operation.
The surgeon will attentively explain and support you throughout this procedure. You will be asked to look at a target, usually a small red or green light that you will need to focus on during the operation. By using a microkeratome a thin flap in the outer layer of the cornea will be created and lifted up. This will take no more than a minute. The doctor will then instruct you to concentrate at the center of the light again. Itӳ time for the excimer laser to reshape the corneal tissue located beneath the flap so that light rays can be bent at the correct angle to focus images on your retina. An elaborate infrared pupil tracker ensures that all eye movements will be safely followed and the laser will precisely carve the specified area. During its operation the excimer could make some loud tapping noises but there is nothing to be scared of. The movements and touches of the excimer are so precise that only tiny amount of tissue are being removed correcting the refracting error. When the reshaping of the cornea is completed, the flap will be smoothly placed back and will adhere naturally without stitches in its original position. The doctor will then apply some more eye drops on your eye and will release the string holding the eyelid. If you are having both eyes operated on the procedure will be repeated for the second eye as well. Feeling comfortable and at ease during the operation will relatively shorten its duration. It takes only 15 minutes for the procedure on both eyes to be completed and you wonӴ feel a thing.
After the procedure
Following the procedure, antibiotic drops are prescribed and the patient is sent home or hotel for a couple of hours nap. During the first few hours after the surgery you may feel slight burning, stinging and watering in your eyes which will fade out eventually. A foreign body sensation resembling a dried contact lens may be experienced for twelve to twenty-four hours. Your vision may be blurry at first, due to the swelling on the cornea but this is absolutely normal. The vision is usually restored back to normal on the following day after a good night sleep. Rest and sleep will be your best friends for the first two days after the operation. You should avoid watching television or reading anything. It is also advisable to restrain yourself from touching, scratching or rubbing your eyes, having a bath, taking a shower or washing your face. Apply your antibiotic drops as prescribed by the physician. In some cases an eye shield may be placed over your eye to prevent you from rubbing it or protective glasses may be worn to avoid dusts. Wrap-around sunglasses may be good for shielding your eyes against the discomfort of bright lights. These are to being taken off the very next day when the patient returns to the clinic for a brief post-op examination. Most of the patients are back to their daily routine this very same day.
The antibiotic drops prescribed by the doctor are applied for a period of one week and after that are discontinued. Having a bath or taking a shower on the day after the treatment is allowed however patients should be careful not to allow soap or shampoo getting into their eyes. It is highly recommended to avoid make-up for a week. Avoid also any water sports or activities such as entering hot tubs, whirlpools or swimming for 2 weeks, avoid scuba diving for 6 weeks. Control exams should be performed on the first, sixth and twelfth month following the procedure.