Safe Laser Eye Surgery

Asking about safe laser eye surgery should not occur after a person is in the surgeon's chair and the laserbeam is pointing directly into your eyes. Ignoring all the questions about laser eye surgery until the last second can be just as damaging as the groom waiting for his bride to come down the aisle and trying to remember her name. Most people have looked at the statistics on airline safety, so why not know how safe one's eyes are in the hands of a doctor who is going to cut away the eyes tissue? The reality is that the term safe laser surgery may be a misnomer, and that more to the point ought to be the phrase safer ocular laser surgery. When pilots say that flying is safe, they are saying it is relatively safe, but flying is not safe in the sense that nothing ever happens. And safe laser eye surgery is usually the outcome of most procedures of its kind, but it is not always safe from risks.

Most people elect to have this kind of procedure done because they hate glasses and don't want to have to mess with the hassle of contact lenses. There are some who may desire a particular vocation or occupation that requires normal vision that is uncorrected by contacts or eye glasses. So the last resort is to allow a doctor to cut tissue out of one's eyes to reshape the light coming in. Yes, it is a crude way to describe what LASIK surgery is, but that's what a laserbeam does: it burns and cuts. While the surgeon does some general cutting of the eyes with a knife, in some high tech offices the very exacting cutting of the eyes is not in the hands of the surgeon, but rather in the very precise and mechanical care of a computer controlled laser which certainly lowers the opportunities for human error in safe laser eye surgery.

In the end, long term complication risks for a sight correction operation of the eyes are very low. In fact, it is less than half a percent or one in every two hundred procedures. But they can be very serious including blurred vision, over or under correction, inability to drive at night because of night blindness and loss of eyesight, or the vision is worse than before the procedure. Second surgeries can often correct the problems from the first, so perhaps there really is almost one hundred percent safe laser eye surgery, especially after the second time around. Jesus understood the importance of the health of eyes, which is not surprising because He makes the human ocular system, but he likened the health of the eyes to the health of the soul. In other words, just as all of us are affected by the condition are eyes are in, so spiritually God looks at the condition of our heart and judges us accordingly. "The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light, but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness." (Luke 11:34)

There are two types of laserbeam surgery, LASIK and PRK. In the LASIK procedure, a flap in the cornea is cut by the surgeon. The flap is lifted, and the laser cuts enough of the cornea to reshape it for correction. In PRK, the entire procedure is performed by the laserbeam and instead of a flap being lifted, the laserbeam cuts through the surface cells and reshapes the cornea. PRK sculpts the cornea and LASIK cuts it. PRK is considered to be the most safe laser eye surgery of the two types, yet both of them are essentially routine. Recovery for PRK takes longer, and for many patients, both LASIK and PRK, full corrected sight may not be recognized or experienced for six months.

The good news is that tens of thousands of safe laser eye surgery procedures take place in the United States every year. There are many very qualified and highly skilled ophthalmologists that have done this surgery day after day for several years. But not all those desiring this procedure are good candidates. Those under the age of eighteen, those who have had changes to contact prescriptions in the past year, no woman who is nursing or pregnant, and those with dry eyes syndrome are not considered good candidates for safe laser eye surgery. These exceptions have proven to cause a higher incident of risk complications and so are dismissed by ethical surgeons as poor candidates. And of course it goes without saying that those persons who do not sign a consent form will not be allowed to have the procedure undertaken on their behalf.

Laser eye surgery can be found at varying prices among many competing ophthalmologists who are anxious for your business. Many times there are ads for surgeries on each eye at beginning at four or five hundred dollars. However, the average regular cost is about eleven hundred to seventeen hundred dollars per eye, so the real question is why are those doctors advertising such very low prices? Safe laser eye surgery is possible because doctors must keep all equipment in top notch working order and must, in many cases, pay a royalty to the manufacturer of the laser equipment for every procedure performed. The question is, can all this overhead be maintained with cut rate prices?

Custom Lasik Eye Surgery

Custom lasik eye surgery improves natural vision and often can totally eliminate the need for eyeglasses or contact lenses by using a new technology that creates a three-dimensional image of the eye. A three-dimensional image of the eye provides greater precision and a higher success rate with the operation. The first thing to consider when considering lasik is to find an eye surgeon who has a lot of experience performing the procedure. Talk to some of the previous patients of the surgeon of choice and see if they are happy with their results. An initial consultation should provide some answers to important questions not only about the doctor but about the operation itself. A person considering the operation may want to find out what the risks and complications are. Some of the risks include a possible chance of developing dry eyes, inflammation, and infection. Lasik surgery for astigmatism is possible with the custom lasik procedure and can be successful unless the astigmatism is due to problems with the cornea. An examination before the procedure will help to determine if a person is a good candidate for the surgery.

To find the right surgeon a person should use careful consideration. The right surgeon will be honest with patients who are not good candidates and explain why they are not and will be able to answer any questions that a potential patient may have about custom lasik eye surgery. In addition, the right surgeon will have experience that includes having many successful surgeries. One way to start looking for an experienced surgeon is by going online and reading some of the personal testimonies of previous patients. Finding one locally is important for follow up and any emergencies that may arise after the procedure.

A person undergoing the procedure can generally expect to be given a mild sedative beforehand and to be awake during the surgery. The time the procedure takes often depends upon the extent of the reshaping of the cornea. Lasik surgery for astigmatism may take longer than the procedure takes for someone who is nearsighted or farsighted. A computer is used to adjust the laser based upon the patient's prescription. During the surgery a person may notice light pulses, hear a clicking sound, and smell an odor. Normally one eye is done at a time but some surgeons will do both eyes at the same time if a patient requests it. Having any type of operation can be scary; so pray and ask God to help guide and direct all decisions that will be made. "In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." (Proverbs 3:6)

After the procedure the patient will usually not have to spend very long in recovery and should be able to go home within a couple of hours. Custom lasik eye surgery or lasik surgery for astigmatism does not require extended time for healing. Most surgeons suggest that their patients rest for several hours at home afterwards but can resume moderate activities by the next day. Strenuous exercise should not be resumed for at least a week after the procedure. The patient will be advised to not rub the eye during healing because of the chance of irritating the corneal or moving the corneal flap. Some of the risks to be aware of after the surgery include a possible chance of infection, dry eyes, night glare, seeing halos or starbursts, and blurring or hazing of eyesight. Some of these conditions will improve progressively but in some instances a repeat procedure may be warranted.

Conditions that might make a person a poor candidate for the procedure include but are not limited to dry eyes, conjunctivitis, glaucoma, diabetes, unstable vision, pregnancy, a degenerative or autoimmune disease, and myopia. Some sites on the Internet that offer custom lasik eye surgery have an online screening questionnaire that will help a person determine if the procedure is foreseeable based upon his or her answers. This report should not be considered all inclusive but instead seeing a surgeon and taking the questionnaire to an initial appointment will provide some additional information to make an informed determination. A person who may not be a good candidate for the procedure should not become discouraged since there may be alternative solutions. New technology has made it possible for patients to have different options and custom lasik has made it possible for people with astigmatism and more complex considerations to have more alternatives.

Astigmatism is an irregularly shaped cornea or lens that often includes being nearsighted or farsighted. Lasik surgery for astigmatism can help to smooth an irregular cornea making the procedure successful. However, an examination will need to be done to determine if the patient with astigmatism is a good candidate for the operation. The alternative procedures that may be offered to patients who are not good candidates for lasik include several options. Some of these options are radio frequency energy used to shape the corneal, implantable lenses, and replacement lenses.

Custom procedures are making it possible for people who have not been good candidates in the past to be able to have lasik using new technology. This new technology has made it possible for people who have more than one problem with vision to have custom lasik eye surgery since many people who have a condition such as astigmatism are also either nearsighted or farsighted. A custom procedure makes it possible for patients to achieve 20/20 vision with a reduction in the chances of developing night vision and decreases the chance of having to have the procedure repeated.

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