LASIK and Refractive Surgery Co-Management
If you currently wear eyeglasses or contact lenses, getting LASIK vision correction surgery may reduce or eliminate your need for them. LASIK stands for Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis. Performed by an ophthalmologist, LASIK surgery reshapes the cornea, the clear dome-shaped window on the front of the eye which focuses light into the eye.
LASIK surgery can correct hyperopia (farsightedness), myopia (nearsightedness), and astigmatism. It can even reduce the need for reading glasses for people over 40. It’s a common and popular procedure; in fact, millions of Americans have had LASIK surgery since it was first approved by the FDA in 1999.
What is LASIK and Refractive Surgery Co-Management?
LASIK and refractive surgery co-management means that the optometrist and ophthalmologist who will perform the surgery have a relationship in which they work together to provide the best care for the patient undergoing LASIK surgery. The doctor at Clarin Eye Care or Coral Gables Eye Care will handle your pre- and post-operative care and will refer you to an expert ophthalmologist for the surgery.
Am I a Candidate for LASIK?
Generally speaking, a good candidate for LASIK eye surgery is over 18 – 21 years old, has had a stable prescription for at least 1 year, and is in good overall health. People who have diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or certain autoimmune disorders are not good candidates for LASIK eye surgery. Good candidates for LASIK should have adequate corneal thickness, because LASIK will remove tissue from the cornea to reshape the eye. The candidate should be free of any eye disease or conditions such as keratoconus, amblyopia, glaucoma, strabismus, and chronic dry eye disease.
The first step is to get a comprehensive eye health and vision exam to ensure you are a good candidate for the procedure.
- During your comprehensive eye exam, we will evaluate the health of your eyes to detect the presence of eye diseases.
- We will assess the shape and thickness of your corneas to confirm it is safe for you to undergo the surgery.
- We will determine your current eyeglass prescription. We recommend that your prescription is stable before undergoing surgery, meaning it hasn’t changed in in the last year.
- We will assess your eyes to determine if there are possible dry eye problems, and if there are signs of dry eye, we may recommend treatment for dry eye prior to recommending LASIK surgery for you so that you avoid complications related to dry eye.
If we have determined that you are a good candidate for the surgery, the next step will be to meet with an ophthalmologist. We will refer you to an expert eye surgeon and will collaborate with them on your overall care.
On the day of surgery, you’ll walk into the surgery center, have the procedure, and leave about an hour later. The surgery only takes about 15 minutes for both eyes, but you should plan on being at the center for at least an hour or so.
During the procedure, a special cutting laser will be used to precisely change the shape of the cornea, which is the dome-shaped clear tissue on the front of your eyes, to improve your vision. You’ll be given medication to help you relax and numbing drops will be place in your eye. The surgeon will use the cutting laser to cut a small, hinged flap away from the front of your eye, allowing the surgeon access to the part of your cornea to be reshaped. As soon as the cornea is reshaped, the small, hinged flap is sealed and will begin to heal in the hours after your surgery.
Right after surgery, your vision may be blurry, and your eyes may feel itchy or burn. You’ll need someone to drive you home from the surgery center. You may be prescribed pain medication or special eyedrops so you are more comfortable, and your doctor may ask you to wear special shields over your eyes at night until they heal. Within a day or so, you should be ready to resume normal daily activities.
We may ask you to come back in the following day after surgery for an eye exam so that we can check your vision and the progress of the healing of your eyes.
If you are considering LASIK vision correction surgery, remember the first step is to have a comprehensive eye exam. When you call to schedule an appointment for your comprehensive eye exam, please mention your interest in consulting with an optometrist about LASIK vision correction surgery.