Lasik Eye Surgery
What Is LASIK?
LASIK stands for Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis.LASIK laser eye surgery is a procedure in which a thin flap of tissue is cut, and then peeled back from the very front of the cornea (this is the transparent covering over your pupil). The laser literally vapourises away some of your corneal tissue beneath the flap to make your cornea a slightly different shape which will correct your refractive error. Then the flap is placed back over the front of your eye. LASIK laser eye surgery can be used to correct short-sightedness (myopia), far-sightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism.
Should I Have LASIK?
We cannot decide for you. But you will probably decide to have LASIK laser eye surgery if you desire a reduced dependency on glasses & contact lenses, and you are prepared to take a well-informed risk with the health of your eyes.
LASIK is an operation on your eye that is irreversible. It is often described as a "treatment", and sounds nothing more innocuous that a visit to the dentist. This is not exactly the case, despite what the marketing says - whilst it is true that LASIK is relatively quick and painless compared to other types of laser eye surgeries, it is STILL surgery, and there is a list of potential complications.
What Are The Long-Term Risks?
Put simply, no-one knows the very long-term implications of LASIK laser eye surgery (i.e. beyond 10 years or so) on the health of eyes that have undergone it. Some cases of corneal ectasia have been reported - this is an abnormal bulging of the cornea, due to it being weakened by LASIK. However, at the moment this only appears to be a problem if you have had LASIK for a very high prescription, e.g. for myopes around -10.
There is also a lot of division over whether the flap created in LASIK Surgery ever really does heal to the point where the eye is as strong as it was before the procedure.
LASIK laser eye surgery is still a relatively new procedure, around 10 years old, and to an extent some of the "bugs" are still being ironed out. It is important for this reason, that you take your time to choose a eye surgeon who is experienced.
LASIK Eye Surgery in the UK
LASIK surgery is a booming business, and it is becoming more popular in the UK. Treatments here have been in the tens of thousands, unlike the US where the uptake has been in the millions. If you are thinking of getting laser eye surgery , here are a few guidelines to start with.
- Before visiting any eye surgery clinic, DO RESEARCH on what questions to ask them. The key questions to ask the laser eye surgeonare about your pupil size and corneal thickness. Both of these factors are very important in selecting what type of laser eye surgery you require.
- PRK, the older type of laser eye surgery is becoming less common, but it is still just as effective as LASIK laser eye surgery for low prescriptions, and avoids any potential complications with the flap. A newer version of PRK laser eye surgery, called LASEK laser eye surgery is now being performed.
- Get at least TWO different consultations with different laser eye surgery clinics and beware of any contradictory things you hear. Get clarification.
- Be realistic about your result. If you have a high prescription, there's a chance you'll need a second "top-up" surgery.
- Treatments for far-sightedness, whilst generally effective for low amounts (and not so effective for higher amounts), have a considerably longer recovery time than for short-sighted treatments.
- Don't fall for the marketing hype. LASIK laser eye surgery has made the majority of people very happy, but is still surgery, and there are a number of documented examples of where it has gone horribly wrong. It is up to you to get the facts and make a decision based on them.
- Read as much as you can on this site! It will give you an idea of what to expect, before, during and after the "experience". And if you do decide to go through with it, please post your experience here, we'd love to hear from you.
We wish you the best of luck !