1. WHAT IS LASIK? HOW IS IT PERFORMED?
LASIK or laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis is procedure commonly used for removal of spectacle number (Glasses) of the patient. The surgery is done on the cornea which is the outermost clear part of the eye. A flap is created as a part of the process followed by laser delivery on the cornea to remove the glass number. The flap is positioned back at the end of the procedure.
2. WHAT OCULAR CONDITIONS OR DISORDERS CAN BE EFFECTIVELY TREATED BY LASIK?
LASIK is most commonly performed for Myopia (Negative spectacle power) and its variants like High Myopia, Myopic astigmatism (patients with cylindrical glass power), Anisometropia (difference in glass power of both eyes).
LASIK can also be done for Hypermetropia (Positive spectacle power), Off late it has been increasingly done for presbyopia(Age related positive power beyond 40 years of age.)
3. HOW SAFE IS THIS PROCEDURE ? WHAT ARE THE SUCCESS RATES WITH LASIK TREATMENT FOR REFRACTIVE ERRORS?
LASIK is one of the most evolved procedures in ophthalmology today. It has been more than 20 years since first procedure was done. It’s SAFE and EFFECTIVE in patients who want to get rid of their glasses. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21946784)
4. HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHETHER A PARTICULAR PATIENT IS FIT FOR LASIK OR LENS?
I follow a very strict criteria for my patients undergoing LASIK (I reject 4 out of 10 cases)
The criteria are
- Expectation: the expectations of the patient should be realistic
- Stability: the glass number should be stable over a period of 6 months to 1 year
- Corneal Thickness:the corneal thickness should be adequate so that the procedure can be done safely. The cornea should be disease free.
- Retina: Patients with retinal diseases need treatment for the same before proceeding for LASIK
In patients who don’t have adequate corneal thickness a procedure called ICL is done in which a thin lens is implanted in front of the natural lens.
5. WHAT SHOULD A PATIENT EXPECT BEFORE AND AFTER LASIK SURGERY?
The expectation of the patient before the procedure should be realistic. Most patients who wish that their number should never come back should consider that it took 20 + years for the number to develop and expecting the doctor to predict that it will not come is unrealistic. But if the number has remained stable and all above mentioned criteria are met there is less than 1 % chance that it will come back.
After LASIK one can resume normal activities from day 1. Eye rubbing and swimming should be avoided for at least one month.
6. WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONS OR RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH LASIK SURGERY?
LASIK is one of the safest and most rewarding surgery. The patient starts seeing from day 1 post surgery. Dry eye is most common and can be controlled with eye drops. Other complications like Regression of number, Ectasia can also occur.