Lasik (Laser assisted in-situ keratomileusis) is the most commonly used technique to correct short-sighted, long-sightedness, astigmatism and combinations of these.
The LASIK procedure consists of the surgeon peeling back a very fine flap of corneal tissue. This flap can be obtained via two techniques: the first using an instrument called a microkeratome, and the second using a femtosecond laser. At Clínica Castilla we offer both techniques choosing the best option for each patient’s needs. After lifting the flap, an incision is made into the cornea using an Excimer laser after which the flap is put back in place without any need for stitches.
By using an Excimer laser to cut into the cornea, the refractive characteristics of the cornea are modified thus correcting any defects in eyesight. At Clínica Castilla we have state-of-the-art Excimer laser equipment that allows us to treat all kinds of cases and tailor our treatments to the needs of each patient. As well as correcting a patient’s sight, this personalised procedure also treats the periphery of the cornea to avoid any deterioration in eyesight.
The LASIK procedure is carried out using a local topical anaesthetic (drops) meaning that the patient will not feel any pain. The procedure lasts only a few minutes and following a brief stay at the clinic and an initial post-operative check, the patient can be discharged and leave the clinic by themselves.
As previously mentioned, LASIK is the most commonly used technique in refractive eye surgery due to how safe and efficient it is as well as the rapid recovery time of patients.
Should I choose LASIK surgery?
Lasik surgery benefits those who suffer from both short-sightedness and long-sightedness whether it’s related to astigmatism or not.
Patients must be over 18 and have a stabilised level of refractive error.
Pregnant women should not undergo LASIK treatment.
Before treatment, patients must undergo a full eye examination to check that their cornea is healthy and in the right state to undergo surgery. For this to be carried out properly, patients must refrain from wearing contact lenses for at least a week prior to the examination.
Can I have both eyes done at the same time?
Generally, surgery is performed on both eyes simultaneously. However, in certain cases, such as with amblyopia (lazy eye) or when correcting a previous procedure, it’s recommended that each eye be operated on separately.
Does the laser affect the interior of the eye?
No. The laser affects only the out layer of the eye, the cornea.
What happens if I move my eyes during surgery?
During laser eye surgery, patients should remain relaxed and focus on a light so that the treatment can be applied to the centre of the cornea. The laser has a system that follows the movement of the eye allowing it to compensate for any small involuntary movements and meaning the procedure to be carried out correctly. The patient will also be told what position to adopt if they are not looking in the right direction.
Does the surgery have any risks?
All surgical procedures carry some risk and refractive surgery is no exception. However, the procedure is generally very safe.
Some of the complications that may occur include dry eye, sensitivity to light and halos around lights. These side effects do not usually last long and disappear over a few weeks. More serious complications that can affect sight, such as infections, serious inflammation of the surgical wound, corneal thinning or ectasia, are very infrequent. A small number of patients may need a further short session of LASIK treatment in order to achieve optimum results.
What does postoperative healing consist of?
Following LASIK treatment sight is recovered very quickly. Most patients are able to see clearly, return to work and resume their everyday lives in just 24 to 72 hours. In some rare instances, it may take a month for sight to completely stabilise and recover fully.
The temporary side effects that a patient may experience after LASIK surgery are rare but include dry eye, photophobia, watery eyes and generally feeling under the weather. These side effects will disappear over the course of a few days. It’s vital that patients avoid touching, rubbing or scrubbing their eyes for several days following the operation.
How long lasting is the LASIK treatment?
As long as the procedure is performed when the patient’s vision is still stable, the results should last for the rest of their life since once the cornea has been modified, its state tends to remain stable. Some cases of a patient’s sight worsening do exist, but this can generally be corrected by repeating the LASIK surgery. Due to the natural ageing process it’s possible for a patient to develop a cataract that requires surgical intervention. If this happens then the cataract surgery is exactly the same as if the patient had never undergone LASIK surgery.