LASIK

(Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis)

Click here to view an animated version of this procedure.

Definition

LASIK is a surgery that uses a laser to reshape the cornea of the eye. This reshaping changes focusing power and usually corrects vision. Surgery may be done on both eyes, either at the same time or on separate occasions.
Cornea of the Eye
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Reasons for Procedure

LASIK is done to eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses. Most people who get LASIK will still need reading glasses at middle age and beyond to correct for presbyopia (decreased ability to focus due to age). Be sure to discuss presbyopia with your doctor prior to getting LASIK so that you understand how it will affect your vision.

Possible Complications

LASIK eye surgery has a relatively low complication rate, but they can occur. Possible complications include, but are not limited to:
  • Under- or over-correction of the cornea shape
  • Infection
  • Scarring
  • Fuzzy or blurry vision
  • Poor night vision
  • Seeing halos or sunbursts around light/glare
  • Long-term dryness, scratchiness, or pain in eyes
  • Correction may not last
  • Permanent decrease or loss of vision that cannot be corrected with glasses or contact lenses
  • Need for additional laser or surgery
Some factors that may increase the risk of complications include:
  • Pre-existing eye disease, such as glaucoma, or abnormalities in the shape of the cornea, such as keratoconus
  • Persistent eye infections, such as blepharitis
  • Dry eyes
  • Thin cornea
  • Large pupil size
  • Autoimmune disease, immunodeficiency, and other conditions, or use of medications that alter wound healing
  • Diabetes
  • Any other form of fluctuating vision

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