LASIK (Laser Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis) is a procedure used to treat nearsightedness, farsightedness, and/or astigmatism. In LASIK, a flap is made on the top surface of the cornea, and involves approximately 20% of the corneal thicknes. The flap is then lifted and a cool laser beam is applied to the underlying cornea. The laser reshapes the cornea to correct a patient's glasses prescription. The flap is then replaced where it heals quickly without the need for sutures.
Why should I consider LASIK?
— To reduce or eliminate your dependence on glasses or contact lenses and the costs associated with them. When compared to the cost of 10 or more years of eyeglass and contact lens purchases as well as associated cleaning solutions and care products, most patients find LASIK to be more cost efficient over time.
— LASIK is an extremely brief and comfortable procedure, taking only minutes to complete. Most patients are able to return to work the day after their procedure.
Is LASIK safe?
Yes. Over 28 million people worldwide have had LASIK, and millions more benefit from the procedure every year. There have been no cases of blindness attributed to the LASIK procedure. After extensive study, LASIK has become an approved procedure for many police forces, for the United States military including its fighter pilots, and for NASA astronauts, where extreme conditions are routinely encountered.
What are the risks associated with LASIK?
— Glare or halos around lights were seen with older versions of LASIK, but are much less common now and typically resolve within a few weeks after surgery.
— An irregular corneal flap is a rare event, particularly with bladeless laser flap creation. If this should happen it is not dangerous but is inconvenient for the patient as the flap must be allowed to heal before attempting to correct the vision, usually three to six months later.
— Infection by bacteria on the surface of the eye is rare, but possible. Most infections are mild and resolve without affecting the vision. You will be using a powerful antibiotic eyedrop for 1 week after your surgery to reduce this risk.
— The LASIK procedure may worsen symptoms experienced by patients with Dry Eye Syndrome, and may induce dry eye symptoms in healthy eyes. These effects are typically temporary, are closely monitored, and if needed are treated with prescription dry eye medications.
What is my first step?
— Schedule a complimentary appointment with Dr. Florkowski for a pre-surgical exam. At this appointment Dr. Florkowski with the assistance of his staff will measure the thickness of your cornea, determine your precise prescription before and after dilation of your eyes, and make a topographical map of the surface of your cornea.
— Soft daily wear contact lenses should be removed two days prior to the pre-surgical appointment and again two days prior to the surgery.
— Extended wear contact lenses (worn overnight) should be removed five days prior to the pre-surgical appointment and again five days prior to the surgery.
— Rigid gas permeable (hard) contact lenses should be removed at least three weeks prior to the pre-surgical appointment and again three weeks prior to the surgery.
What if I am very nervous?
Our staff is extremely experienced and strives to make your procedure as easy as possible. You will be given Valium to ease any anxiety before going to the laser suite. This will help you to relax for the procedure.
What should I do on the day of the surgery?
— Bring a driver to the LASIK Center to drive you home.
— Do not wear eye makeup or perfume. This is important as we want to avoid the possibility of debris in the eye, which can harbor bacteria.
— You should arrive at the surgery center 30 minutes prior to your surgery appointment time.
— You may eat a light meal prior to coming to the LASIK surgery appointment if you wish.
— Most of all, relax. This will be one of the best things you have ever done for yourself!
Will the procedure hurt?
Your eyes will be numbed with anesthetic drops. During the first step of the procedure you may feel slight pressure for about 30 seconds, and you will feel no discomfort at all during the laser reshaping.
What if I blink?
A holder will be place on your eyelids to hold them open. It is not uncomfortable and will prevent you from blinking.
What if I move my eye?
During the procedure you will be asked to look at a blinking light in the laser. The eye will be carefully tracked by an automatic infrared tracking system during the entire procedure.The laser will follow your eye and assure that all laser spots are placed exactly where intended, even with movement.
How long will the procedure take?
The actual procedure typically takes less than 15 minutes. You will wait briefly after your surgery in a recovery area so that Dr. Florkowski can examine you and assure that your healing process has begun. Most patients are at the LASIK center for about one hour.
AFTER YOU'RE HOME
What do I do when I get home?
— When you return home you should rest with your eyes closed. You may sleep if you wish. You may experience a mild gritty sensation, light sensitivity, and watering for 4-5 hours after your procedure. Keeping your eyes closed minimizes any discomfort and will speed your recovery.
— You may use artificial tears frequently beginning immediately after surgery, and should start your prescription drops 4 hours after the procedure.
— You should keep your plastic eye shields on overnight. It is important that you do not rub your eyes. After your day 1 postoperative visit you should continue to wear the eye shields when you sleep for 5 more nights.
— Do not shower the remainder of the day after surgery, a bath is preferable. You may shower the following day but be sure the water does not spray into your face. It is best to gently pat-wash around your eye with a clean cloth.
— Do not wear eye makeup that involves rubbing the eye (eye shadow, etc.) for one week after surgery. Light non-waterproof mascara is acceptable.
— Avoid dusty and dirty or sun and wind environments.
— No impact water sports, boxing or karate for one month.
— Do not go swimming or use a hot tub for two weeks after your LASIK procedure.
How fast will my vision improve?
Everyone heals at a different rate, but your vision will typically be improved 4 hours after the procedure. After a good night's sleep you will see a dramatic improvement in your vision without any eyeglass correction. Your vision may fluctuate for the first few weeks after surgery but will stabilize.
Will I ever have to wear glasses again?
The vast majority of our patients enjoy life without contact lenses or glasses after LASIK. LASIK does not stop the development of presbyopia, which is the need for reading glasses in patients over 40. If you are over 40 and wearing reading glasses before LASIK, you may be able to lessen your dependence on spectacles but may still find there are situations where the vision improves even more with them.
For those patients with presbyopia, monovision will be discussed at your consultation. Monovision is a technique that can offer some independence from reading glasses.
What is my follow-up care?
— You will use your antibiotic drops and anti-inflammatory drops for 1 week after the procedure. You will also need to use preservative free artificial tears as often as every 30 minutes for the first week.
— You will have the following routine post-operative visits: one day following the treatment, and at one week, one month, three months, six months, and 1 year afterwards. Dr. Florkowski may wish to see you more frequently depending on the healing process of your eye.
At every appointment, your vision will be evaluated and you will have the opportunity to discuss any questions with your doctor.
What happens in the event of an emergency?
Dr. Florkowski is on call 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week. If you have an emergency, you can call our office and have the doctor paged.
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The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider.
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You are a remarkable surgeon and have surrounded yourself with a competent and professional team." Don A.
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I've had one of my eyes fixed by this amazing doctor and can see better I have in years. My sincere thanks to both him for his talents, and his staff.
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