What you need to know before, during and after LASIK surgery?

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Here at Atlas Eye, we have your needs in sight, If you have Myopia, Hyperopia or Astigmatism and you want independence from glasses and contact lenses, you may consider having a laser vision correction procedure done with us. 
Here at Atlas Eye, we have all the facilities that a modern centre demands to ensure your safety and well-being. We provide the 3 main types of laser vision correction procedure: PRK, LASIK and ReLEx SMILE.  

In PRK, alcohol is applied on the eye to remove the cells on the surface of the cornea.

An excimer laser is used to sculpt the corneal tissue to correct the refractive errors. A bandage contact lens is then positioned over the eye to allow the surface cells to regrow. The contact lens will stay in the eye for 3 days while healing takes place.  During the first 3 days, your vision will be blurry like how it is without glasses. You may experience tearing, discomfort and difficulty in opening your eye.

On the third day, any discomfort should disappear and the contact lens is removed. It takes a further 4 to 5 days to regain about 80% of your vision. You are advised to take things easy the first 5 to 7 days after the surgery. The remaining 20% of your vision will return in the coming weeks and months 

Characteristics of PRK 

Flapless so there is no risk of flap complications,
Lower occurrence of dry eye after surgery compared to LASIK,
Suitable if you are into contact sports,
Recommended if you have thinner corneas,
Results in a stronger corneal structure compared to LASIK,
Potentially lower risk of corneal ectasia, a rare complication where the cornea loses its ability to keep its shape after surgery.

Despite slower visual recovery and higher levels of discomfort, we consider PRK to be gentle and minimally invasive as it is a ‘no flap, no incision’ procedure.

In LASIK, a femtosecond laser is used to create a 22 millimetre flap. The flap is then lifted and an excimer laser is used to correct the refractive errors. The flap is repositioned after the surgery. Within 3 days, you can recover about 80% of your vision. You are advised to take things easy during these first 3 days.

Characteristics of LASIK 

Fast visual recovery,
Lesser discomfort after surgery,
Relatively easier to do early enhancements,
Flexibility to treat most kinds of eye power,
Possible occurrence of rare flap related complications,
Comparatively higher occurrence of dry eye compared to PRK and ReLEx SMILE 

In ReLEx SMILE, a femtosecond laser is used to create a piece of lenticule under the corneal surface. The same laser is used to create a 4 millimetre incision, The lenticule is removed through the incision. You can recover about 80 percent of your vision within 3 days. You are advised to take things easy during these first 3 days.

Characteristics of ReLEx SMILE 

Fast visual recovery, 
Flapless so there is no risk of flap complications, 
Less incidence of dry eye compared to LASIK, 
Results in a stronger corneal structure compared to LASIK, 
Suitable if you are into contact sports, 
Potentially lower risk of corneal ectasia, 
Smaller 4 millimetre incision aimed at reducing infection, 
Unsuitable for very low myopia cases, 
Cannot treat hyperopia,
Which laser vision correction procedure is right for you? The right procedure for you depends on: 
The shape of your eye, the corneal thickness, your eye prescription, and your lifestyle and occupation. 

These days, there is the option of including collagen cross-linking as an add-on to your laser treatment. Collagen cross-linking strengthens the cornea by cross-linking its collagen fibres. 

After the laser treatment, Vitamin B12 eyedrops are instilled on the eye. Ultraviolet light is shone on the eye for one minute. This process activates the collagen fibres on the eye to crosslink and thereby strengthening the eye by 5 times. 

3 main benefits of collagen cross-linking 

Longer-lasting laser results, mminimizes the need for surgical enhancements, and it reduces the risk of ectasia. If you are including collagen cross-linking together with the laser surgery, you are advised not to take large amounts of vitamin C one week before the surgery.
Presbyopia and laser vision correction 

After laser surgery, the aim is for you to see far and near, well. However, as you enter your 40s, you will gradually develop presbyopia. Presbyopia is a natural ageing condition where the eyes lose their ability to focus on near objects, resulting in the need for reading glasses. Having laser surgery done today will not exclude you from reading glasses when presbyopia sets in. 

Cataract and laser vision correction 

Another age-related condition is Cataract. This is where the lens inside the eye becomes cloudy leading to a blurred and decreased field of vision. Although you can have cataract surgery done, you may need to return to some form of glasses depending on the technology available at that time. Having laser surgery done today does not increase the risk and complexity of cataract surgery. It may however, limit the type of intraocular lenses you may use for cataract surgery in future. 

Risks and side effects of laser vision correction 

The safest means of vision correction is to wear glasses. 

For those whose eyes are suitable, laser vision correction is a highly successful procedure. 

in the majority of cases. Performed on the surface on the eye, laser vision correction is considered a low-risk surgery. However, we must understand that laser vision correction is still a surgery, and no surgery is risk-free. There is the risk of infection for example, which affects about 1 in 10,000 people. 

If after surgery, the eye gets red, swollen, is tearing and there is sharp pain, please seek immediate medical treatment.

There are two common immediate side effects after surgery, one of which is dry eye. Use the prescribed lubricating eyedrops generously, so that your eye will heal better. The other common immediate side effect is experiencing haloes and starbursts when looking at point sources of light, such as streetlights at night. These side effects are mostly temporary and will usually taper off in time. For a small percentage of patients however they may be permanent but this is uncommon.

Prescription after surgery 

At Atlas Eye, we aim for full correction of your refractive error. Often, due to differences in healing in different individuals, there may be a residual prescription of 25 or 50 degrees after the surgery. Although not classified as a perfectly full correction, 25 or 50 degrees will still provide excellent vision without glasses. 

Post-surgery enhancements 

Even with today’s advancements in laser vision correction, everyone’s eye reacts to the procedure differently. There is a possibility of under-correction or over-correction. Only after the cornea has stabilised, can we consider an enhancement surgery for under- or over-correction of at least 75 degrees. The benefits must outweigh the risks when considering any enhancement surgery. 

The Laser Vision Correction Surgery 

Laser vision correction is a 30-minute procedure for 2 eyes. After the surgery, you may return home immediately as it is an out-patient procedure. Before the surgery, you will be given a mild sedative to help you relax. Numbing eyedrops are then instilled on the eye. During the surgery, you may feel some coldness, pressure or discomfort, but overall, the procedure is relatively painless and comfortable. 

After Surgery, Your vision will fluctuate as the eye heals. It takes 1 to 3 months for your vision to stabilise. During this time, most people do not need to use glasses or contact lenses to see well. You must however, invest the time to return for timely reviews after surgery, to ensure a smooth recovery. 

At Atlas Eye, we listen to your needs and provide you with customised solutions. 

Rest assured that your safety is our priority.