All you need to know before your LASIK eye surgery
What is LASIK Eye Surgery?
LASIK stands for “Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis.” At its core, LASIK involves precisely reshaping the cornea, which is the clear front surface of the eye responsible for directing light onto the retina. This reshaping process is achieved by utilizing an excimer laser, a specialized tool that can precisely remove microscopic amounts of corneal tissue without generating heat. By altering the curvature of the cornea, LASIK aims to ensure that incoming light is properly focused onto the retina, thus improving visual clarity.
The primary goal of LASIK is to reduce an individual’s dependency on corrective eyewear, such as glasses or contact lenses. By customizing the corneal reshaping according to the specific refractive error of the patient, LASIK can often result in significantly improved vision without the need for external visual aids. This can lead to enhanced convenience, improved self-confidence, and a greater quality of life.
What purposes does LASIK Eye Surgery serve?
LASIK Eye Surgery serves the significant purpose of addressing and rectifying various refractive errors that can hinder clear and precise vision. These refractive errors, namely myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism, occur due to irregularities in the shape of the cornea or the length of the eyeball. Let’s explore these purposes in more detail:
Correcting Myopia (Nearsightedness)
LASIK surgery reshapes the cornea to flatten its curvature, allowing light to focus directly on the retina for improved distant vision.
Rectifying Hyperopia (Farsightedness)
LASIK corrects hyperopia by steepening the cornea’s curvature, allowing light to focus directly onto the retina for improved close-up vision.
LASIK eye surgery can reshape the cornea, smoothing out its irregularities and enabling light to focus properly on a single point on the retina.
What is the Success Rate of LASIK?
The success rate of LASIK eye surgery is generally high, with a significant percentage of patients achieving improved vision and reduced dependency on glasses or contact lenses. Many patients attain 20/20 vision or better after the procedure, leading to increased patient satisfaction. However, the exact success rate can vary based on factors such as the patient’s refractive error, overall eye health, and the expertise of the surgeon.
In summary, the success rate of LASIK is typically measured by the improvement in visual acuity and patient satisfaction, both of which are generally positive outcomes for a majority of individuals who undergo the procedure.
What Are the Potential Risks and Complications?
LASIK eye surgery is generally considered safe and effective, but like any surgical procedure, it does carry some potential risks and complications. It’s important to discuss these potential risks with your ophthalmologist before deciding to undergo LASIK. Here are some of the potential risks and complications associated with LASIK:
- Dry Eyes: Following LASIK, some patients may experience dryness, burning, itching, or a gritty sensation in their eyes.
- Glare, Halos, and Starbursts: Some individuals may experience increased sensitivity to light, glare, halos, or starburst patterns around lights, especially at night.
- Undercorrection or Overcorrection: In some cases, the desired level of vision correction may not be fully achieved. This can result in under-correction (residual refractive error) or overcorrection, where vision is slightly better or worse than the intended correction.
- Regression: Over time, some individuals may experience a regression of their initial results, requiring additional vision correction. This might be due to the natural healing process of the cornea.
- Flap Complications: Creating and lifting the corneal flap during LASIK can lead to complications such as flap dislocation, wrinkling, inflammation, or infection.
- Corneal Ectasia: In rare cases, the cornea might weaken and bulge out, leading to a condition called corneal ectasia.
- Infection: Although uncommon, there is a risk of infection following LASIK, which can potentially affect vision. This is why post-operative care and following instructions are crucial.
- Vision Irregularities: Some patients might experience irregular or asymmetrical astigmatism, leading to blurred or distorted vision.
- Visual Fluctuations: It may take some time for your vision to stabilize after LASIK. During this period, your vision might fluctuate, which can be concerning for some patients.
- Higher Order Aberrations: These are subtle imperfections in the cornea that can affect vision quality, especially in low-light conditions.
Who are the suitable candidates for LASIK?
Suitable LASIK candidates have:
- Age of at least 18 (preferably mid-20s or older).
- Stable refractive errors (myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism).
- Stable prescription for at least a year.
- Generally healthy eyes and corneal thickness.
- Realistic expectations.
- Good overall health and eye health history.
- Corneas within acceptable parameters.
- Not pregnant or nursing.
- No contraindicating medications.
Consultation with an ophthalmologist is essential to confirm eligibility.
What Pre-Operative Preparations Are Required?
Before LASIK surgery, make sure to:
- Attend a consultation and eye examination with your ophthalmologist.
- Discontinue contact lens wear as advised.
- Share your medical history, including medications and allergies.
- Avoid makeup on surgery day.
- Arrange transportation for after the surgery.
- Wear comfortable clothing on the surgery day.
- Follow any fasting instructions provided.
- Have a final discussion with your surgeon to address concerns.
- Prepare your home for recovery with necessary supplies.
- Schedule follow-up appointments for post-operative care.
These preparations ensure a smooth LASIK procedure and recovery process.
LASIK Eye Surgery Procedure: In-Depth Overview
- Anesthesia and Eye Preparation:
- Before the surgery begins, numbing eye drops (local anesthesia) are administered to ensure your comfort and minimize any potential discomfort during the procedure.
- You’ll be positioned under the laser system, lying down comfortably on a specialized chair.
- Corneal Flap Creation:
- The surgeon uses a microkeratome (a mechanical blade) or a femtosecond laser to create a thin, hinged flap on the cornea’s surface. The choice between these methods depends on the surgeon’s preference and the technology available.
- With a microkeratome, a circular blade creates the flap, while the femtosecond laser uses rapid, high-energy pulses to create a precise and predictable flap.
- Corneal Flap Lifting:
- Once the corneal flap is created, it’s gently lifted and folded back to expose the underlying corneal tissue, often referred to as the stroma.
- Corneal Reshaping with Excimer Laser:
- An excimer laser is used to reshape the corneal tissue. This laser emits a cool, ultraviolet light beam that removes microscopic layers of tissue in a highly precise manner.
- The surgeon customizes the laser settings according to your specific refractive error. For myopia, the cornea is flattened; for hyperopia, it’s steepened; and for astigmatism, irregularities are smoothed out.
- Flap Repositioning:
- After the corneal reshaping is complete, the surgeon gently places the corneal flap back into its original position.
- The flap adheres naturally due to the cornea’s self-adhesive properties, eliminating the need for sutures.
- Immediate Visual Feedback:
- Many patients experience improved vision almost immediately after the procedure, although it might take some time for your eyes to fully adjust and for your vision to stabilize.
- Recovery Room and Postoperative Care:
- You’ll be guided to a recovery area where your eyes will be examined post-surgery.
- Protective shields may be placed over your eyes to prevent accidental rubbing and to promote proper healing.
- Follow-Up Appointments:
- Your surgeon will schedule a series of follow-up appointments to monitor your healing progress and ensure that your eyes are responding well to the surgery.
How Long is the Recovery Period?
Here’s a summarized LASIK recovery timeline:
- Immediate Recovery: Rest your eyes after surgery, expect discomfort, dryness, and temporary blurring.
- 1-2 Days: Vision improves, but you might have dryness and light sensitivity.
- 1 Week: Vision continues to improve, discomfort decreases, and eye drops are used.
- 2-4 Weeks: Most patients achieve stable vision and attend follow-up appointments.
- Months: Vision stabilizes and improves further, residual symptoms gradually resolve.
How Soon Can I Return to Work and Normal Activities?
- Return to Work: Most patients can return to work within 1 to 2 days after LASIK.
- Return to Normal Activities: Light activities can be resumed on the day of surgery, while strenuous activities should be avoided for about 1 to 2 weeks.
What Are the Alternative Vision Correction Options?
Alternative vision correction options for LASIK include:
- Orthokeratology (Ortho-K)
- PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy)
- SMILE (Small Incision Lenticule Extraction)
- LASEK (Laser Epithelial Keratomileusis)
- Implantable Contact Lenses (ICL)
- Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE)
- Glasses and Contact Lenses
What is LASIK eye surgery cost in Vietnam?
The cost of LASIK eye surgery in Vietnam can vary based on similar factors as in other countries, including the type of LASIK technology used, the surgeon’s experience, the location of the surgical center, and any additional services provided. However, in general, LASIK surgery in Vietnam tends to be more affordable compared to many Western countries.
Keep in mind that these are rough estimates, and actual prices can vary. Additionally, it’s important to thoroughly research and choose a reputable and experienced surgical center that adheres to international safety and quality standards.
Since prices can change over time and can be influenced by various factors, we recommend reaching out to multiple eye clinics or surgical centers in Vietnam to get accurate and up-to-date pricing information. It’s also advisable to inquire about the specific technologies they offer, the experience of their surgeons, and any additional services included in the package.