Correction of Refractive Error with a Laser


What To Expect:
Your eye will be numbed with an eye drop and then gently opened with an eyelid holder. A suction ring is then placed on the eye. For a few seconds, while the suction ring is placed on the eye, your vision dims or goes black. The microkeratome, a cutting instrument, or a laser, then moves across the cornea to create a hinged flap of thin corneal tissue. The flap is lifted and folded back. You will then be asked to stare at a fixed flashing red light above you. The doctor focuses the laser on the exposed area under the flap. The computer-assisted laser vaporizes microscopic amounts of corneal tissue. After reshaping the cornea, the surgeon returns the marked flap to its original position where it adheres immediately without stitches.

If you wear contact lenses, you will be advised to stop wearing your lenses for a period of time prior to the pre-operative examination and before the surgery. You also will be instructed to arrange for a driver to bring you to and from the laser surgery appointment. You can expect to spend approximately 60 to 90 minutes in the center. 

The laser is extremely sensitive to scents and odors so the staff, patients and family members must follow these guidelines: no hair products, perfumes, after-shaves, colognes, scented lotions, facial creams and makeup. Earrings or facial jewelry should not be worn the day of the procedure. Most people can return to work the next day, however, depending on your occupation, you may need to take one to several days off. You should consider this possibility when scheduling surgery.

Immediately following your procedure, your vision will be blurry, and you will be slightly farsighted. We strongly encourage you to rest and keep your eyes closed as much as possible for the first 12 hours, being careful not to rub or touch your eyes for 24 hours. It is important to avoid getting substances like soap, shampoo or hairspray in your eyes. You must also avoid gardening, scuba diving, swimming, saunas, hot tubs and water sports for a minimum of two weeks following your procedure. Remember to wear proper eye protection when participating in active sports and working with machinery, tools or hazardous materials. Most importantly, be sure to take your medication exactly as prescribed and follow your post-operative instructions to ensure a successful recovery.