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LASIK Surgery – Steps

IntraLase

The first step in LASIK is the creation of a corneal flap.  Years ago, this was done manually using a microkeratome blade.  With advances in technology this is now done with a laser.  The IntraLase laser system creates a precise, clear corneal flap in about 20 seconds, greatly reducing complications associated with a blade method. We combine the IntraLase and Allegretto Wave Eye Q systems to create a totally blade-free experience for all of our LASIK patients.

Allegretto Wave Eye-Q laser treatment

The second step in LASIK is reshaping the cornea with a cool laser beam to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.  The Allegretto Wave Eye Q is the latest technology that provides wavefront optimized treatments in every case. It is the fastest laser available, producing excellent results, and significantly reducing side effects associated with older systems such as glare and halos.

What happens during the procedure?

During LASIK, the eye is anesthetized with eye drops. Our experienced surgeon will use a laser to create a blade-free flap. The surgeon then folds the flap back and applies the Allegretto excimer laser’s cool ultraviolet light beam to gently reshape the cornea. (Click here for more information on our state-of-the-art technology) The doctor returns the corneal flap to its original position where it immediately holds fast. The actual procedure takes just five to ten minutes and the total visit lasts about 1-1/2 – 2 hours.

What about recovery?

Recovery is different for everyone, but generally there is little or no discomfort and you should be fully recovered in one to two days. Both eyes can be treated the same day, so you’ll be good to go in no time.

Post-op LASIK Instructions

You will be given a bag with drops as well as a prescription for antibiotics that you will need to fill and use. Try to use the drops 3-4 minutes apart so one drop doesn’t wash the other drop out.  Starting four hours after surgery use the following drops:

  • An antibiotic is to be put in the eye or eyes one drop four times a day for 7 days.
  • A mild anti-inflammatory agent is to be used one drop four times a day for 7 days.
  • Artificial tears can be used as often as you like, but use them at least every 20 minutes the day of surgery, then continue to use them every day for the next few weeks.
  • The eye or eyes will be shielded with a clear plastic shield after surgery. Leave these in place until the following morning when you can remove them yourself. They need to be worn at bedtime for one week.

After surgery, you may have tearing or a scratchy feeling in the eyes. This is all normal. However, severe discomfort or pain may be an indication of a problem with the LASIK flap. Should this occur, please call the Eye Institute or your co-managing doctor.

Blurry vision is common the first day. It may appear as though you are looking through dirty contacts or eyeglasses. This will gradually improve.

Fluctuating vision is not uncommon and should stabilize over a period of days to weeks.

Rarely a soft contact lens may be used as a “band aid” to help with healing.  This will be removed by your doctor at the appropriate time. If the lens comes out, do not attempt to place it back in the eye.

Make-up can be worn after 7 days. Swimming and hot tubbing can also begin in 7 days. Always wear eye protection during sports, recreational and work activities. Avoid rubbing your eyes.

Keep all follow-up appointments with your physician or co-managing doctor.

The Eye Institute