What Happens During Laser Eye Surgery?

What Happens During Laser Eye Surgery?

Laser eye surgery is used to correct refractive errors by altering how light enters the eye. This surgery changes the shape of the cornea so that light will enter at a different angle, which helps focus light on the correct spot in the eye. This procedure is used to correct refractive errors such as myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, and presbyopia. Many people who are interested in laser eye surgery are worried about the surgery itself, as this surgery is performed while you are awake. To help you make an informed decision about laser eye surgery and to help you better understand the process, here is what you can expect during laser eye surgery.

What To Expect During Laser Eye Surgery

Laser eye surgery is performed by an ophthalmologist (an eye surgeon) and is an outpatient surgery with simple post-surgery recovery. The procedure only lasts about 30 minutes and this common procedure has a very high success rate of 95%.

Pre-Surgery Preparation
Numbing eye drops will be administered so that laser eye surgery is a painless procedure, but you will need to be awake during the surgery. You may feel some pressure on your eye as the surgery is performed but it should feel similar to a finger pressing on your eyelid and should not cause any pain.

Keeping Your Eye Still
Because you are awake, your surgeon will need to keep your eye still. They will do so using an eyelid holder and a suction ring. Again, these devices will not be painful but you may feel slight pressure. To assist in keeping your eye still, you will be asked to look at a point of light. This light will give you something to focus on to keep your eye in place.

The Surgery
A laser will be programmed with the measurements of your eye, and this laser will be used to cut a flap into your outer cornea (the transparent cover of the front of your eye), which will then be folded back to access the inner part of the cornea that needs to be reshaped in order to correct vision. Once the corneal shape is corrected, the flap will be laid back down into place. Typically, the corneal flap made during laser eye surgery heals without the need for stitches.

Your Experience
During laser eye surgery, your vision may become dim or may temporarily go black, but this is completely normal. Vision dimness will subside after the surgery is completed, although vision may be blurry. It typically takes about 24 hours for vision to become clear. During the procedure, you may hear noises such as clicking or ticking sounds as the laser is activated and you may smell some mild burning similar to the smell of burning hair. These are all common parts of laser eye surgery and not cause for alarm.

Find Out If You Are Eligible For Laser Eye Surgery

Because this procedure involves thinning the cornea, you will first need a laser eye exam to determine if you are eligible for this procedure. A laser eye exam will also assess other factors such as your eye health, your overall health, and other eye conditions that may influence your odds for a successful surgery. To book a laser eye exam and a referral for this treatment, contact Sunridge Eye Clinic in Calgary. Our staff will perform a pre-surgery consultation and follow-ups to assure continued eye health. To schedule a laser eye exam, call Sunridge Eye clinic at 1-403-280-7518 or fill out the online contact form.

FAQ
Q: How long is the healing process from laser eye surgery?
A: A full recovery from laser eye surgery will take 6 months. Most patients see significant improvement in their vision after a month or two after the surgery. Up until the six-month mark, patients may notice their vision fluctuate, but this is a normal part of the healing process.

Q: If I have laser eye surgery, does that mean I will never have to wear eyeglasses again?
A: That will depend on your prescription and your eye health going forward. Some people receive laser eye surgery to improve their eyesight but they still need to wear corrective lenses, although their new eyeglasses may be thinner. Laser eye surgery also does not protect against the development of eye conditions that damage the eye (such as glaucoma) or against developed refractive errors such as presbyopia that occurs after surgery.

Q: What are the risks of getting laser eye surgery?
A: As with any surgical procedure there is a possibility of complications. Although rare there are some risks associated with laser eye surgery such as:

  • Under/overcorrection of vision
  • Vision regression
  • Post-surgical infection
  • Visual aberrations such as haze or oversized pupils
  • Dry eye complications
  • Inflammation
  • Irregular flap healing
  • Epithelial ingrowth

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