After Lasik Eye Surgery
After LASIK eye surgery (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis), the patient is usually free from the hassles of corrective glasses or contact lenses. Previous vision problems can be corrected through a fairly recent innovation in surgical procedures. The newest instrument developed is called an Intralase laser, used for creating a thin, circular flap in the cornea. The flap is folded back by the surgeon, and a cool ultraviolet light beam is used to precisely remove very tiny bits of tissue from the cornea to reshape it. Then the flap is replaced so it covers the area where the surgery was done. Previously, surgeries of this type were limited to people with nearsighted vision, but now both nearsighted and farsighted people can benefit from this procedure.
Following the doctor's instructions exactly as they are given is very important to full and effective recovery. Immediately following the surgery, the patient is required to rest for a while before going home. The doctor may prescribe medication for postoperative pain, although many patients have found that their LASIK expectations after surgery were minimal compared to their fears. Some mild discomfort may be felt, and several hours of rest are ordered by the physicians. In addition, patients may find the need to rest for a couple of days before returning to work. The biggest restriction is against any strenuous exercise for about a week, so as not to traumatize the eyes.
Postoperative complications can include infection, but with quick attention from the doctor, such assures can usually be cleared up in a relatively short time. More LASIK expectations after surgery include the possibility of a complication known as night glare, where halos or starbursts are seen around lights at night while the patient is driving. On very rare occasions, patients will have improved vision for a while following the operation, but then the vision gradually worsens. Sometimes a second "touch-up" operation will fix the problem.
According to a 2003 online survey conducted by Harris Interactive, ninety-three percent of the patients who had LASIK done were satisfied with the results. Please clients commenting on quality-of-life issues reflected high degrees of improvement with freedom from eyeglasses or contact lenses, improvement in personal safety and personal appearance, and greater ability to participate in sports or fitness activities. Most patients experience improved vision immediately after LASIK eye surgery, but for some the improvement is gradual over several days or weeks. However it comes about, improved vision is important to most of us, so a little patience while it happens is usually considered worthwhile.
While most people have 20/20 or better vision following the procedure, there are some who will reach only 20/40, or not even quite that good. Most states require only 20/40 vision to permit driving without glasses. There are some people whose LASIK expectations after surgery are not met, and they still need corrective lenses in the form of glasses or contacts. However, even these people usually need a much lower prescription level than before the procedure. Even if vision is perfect after LASIK eye surgery, reading glasses or bifocal contact lenses may be needed occasionally.
As with any medical procedure, there are negative possibilities that should be discussed with your surgeon before the operation. Some patients lose lines of vision on the vision chart that are uncorrectable after surgery, and some do not see as well after treatment as before in low contrast environments, such as in fog or at night. Others develop severe dry eye syndrome after the LASIK procedure, which means that the eyes are not producing enough tears to keep them moist and comfortable. This condition can also reduce visual acuity due to blurring and other symptoms, and it could be permanent. Finally, LASIK expectations after surgery cannot be very high for those patients with very large refractive errors of any type, and glasses may still be needed after treatment. LASIK is a relatively new technology. Therefore, the long-term safety and effectiveness of this procedure is not known.
Obviously, there is much to consider before having this procedure done. When considering the pros and cons, look carefully at the records and references of several good surgeons. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends that anyone considering LASIK eye surgery compare the experience of several surgeons and the devices they are using. Be wary of anyone advertising LASIK expectations after surgery to be "20/20 vision or your money back" or "package deals" because there are never any guarantees in medicine. Read the patient handbook provided to your doctor by the manufacturer of the device used to perform the surgery, and discuss it thoroughly with your doctor. Decisions about eyesight and the possible effects after LASIK eye surgery are extremely important and not to be taken lightly. Above all, ask God for his wisdom and will in the matter. He provides the best vision. "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path," (Psalm 119:105).
Results After LasikThe results after lasik surgery can be remarkable for those who choose a surgical alternative to wearing glasses or contacts. This operation offers an solution to corrective lenses for those who want to shed their glasses and enjoy the freedom of better vision. Developed especially for nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism, laser assisted situ keratomileusis is especially successful for those who experience nearsighted limitations. Many patients are pleased with the lasik results that are achieved in their cases because of the almost immediate vision improvement and short recuperation time required. There are certain risks and side affects associated with lasik surgery, so it is best to do research, as well as discuss the procedure with an experienced surgeon.
This type of surgery is one of the most popular corrective vision procedures offered to patients in the last 20 years. Even though the technique is still continuing to develop through constant improvements of surgical skills and tools, the long term positive or negative repercussions are still not totally known within the medical community. There are many who are not good prospects for successful results after lasik surgery including those who have vision instabilities, those who do not heal well, those who are under 18 and those who are involved in especially jarring physical activities. People who have certain illnesses such as glaucoma, shingles around the eye area, and other eye injuries are also not good prospects for the operation.
A prospective patient that has had to change eye glass prescriptions within a year of proposed surgery is considered an unlikely patient because of the instability to vision. This instability can be caused by many factors including hormones, diabetes, medications and age. Many of the instabilities occur in people who are in their twenties. Patients that do not heal well because of diabetes or other problems are generally discouraged to undergo the operation because of expected poor results after lasik. One of the earmarks that has made the procedure most notable is the typical recovery time involved. Patients who heal normally can expect to use eye drops for approximately 24 hours and after that, are expected to assume a normal routine.
Lasik surgery has not been approved by the FDA for patients under 18 years of age, so anyone who is considering the procedure must be able to provide personal consent to the operation. There are also people who are involved in sports professions or activities that would not see good lasik results because of the impact they generally sustain to the face or head region. Boxers or martial arts experts are not good candidates for lasik surgery because of the unusual amount of hits to the face they may commonly sustain. This makes vision stability difficult to maintain and most surgeons do not want to risk unsuccessful results after lasik procedures. Other issues that can affect many people's decisions to have the operation may be the cost and any risks to a current job or career.
The cost for the operation can be quite steep especially if it is applied to both eyes. Many surgeons, until recently, have opted to operate on one eye at a time to lessen the risk of negative lasik results for patients. With more advanced procedures and laser equipment, more and more patients are now choosing to have both eyes operated on during one surgery. The cost is more expensive for both eyes as well as more expensive if performed on separate operation schedules. Career risks are a factor that some prospective patients must consider before choosing the surgery. Some careers with the military or other specialized fields actually have requirements about optional vision surgery.
There are many things to consider before choosing corrective vision surgery and it is best to thoroughly research the topic before making a final commitment. Even though there are risks and certain people are not the best candidates for the operation, there are many people that can enjoy the benefits of the procedure. Over 3 million American have undergone the operation and about 85% have reported highly beneficial results after lasik surgery. "By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name." (Hebrew 13:15) Many report a better quality of life and overall improvement in performance of daily routines as well as work related activities.
Freedom from glasses or contacts and better quality of vision is one of the most important results that many patients experience. Over half of all those who have had the surgery express regret that it was not a vision alternative chosen sooner in life. The newest laser procedure, custom LASIK, is providing even better vision and clarity than before. Many current patients are choosing this procedure for the advanced lasik results that it provides. Custom LASIK provides for an individualized procedure that is customized for each patient. This type of operation provides the best chance at improving vision with least side affects because of its personalized surgical approach.