Soon after you arrive at our state licensed and accredited surgery and laser center, you are given oral medication to relax you. Next, numbing drops are placed in your eyes. The laser computer will have been previously programmed with your prescribed refractive correction and will precisely calculate the exact amount of corneal tissue to be reshaped in the laser suite while you’re comfortably reclined.
An eyelid stabilizer holds your eyelid open to keep you from blinking. A shield is then applied to occlude your non-operative eye. Eye drops are used to keep your eye moistened and numb during the procedure.
Utilizing a specialized instrument, the Intralase laser, you will only be aware of pressure being applied to your eye, as a thin protective flap on the front of your cornea is silently created. This flap is precisely made by a computerized laser and is all “Blade-Free”. This eliminates the need for a noisy, hand held, bladed, instrument known as a microkeratome. This flap stays attached to the rest of the cornea by a small hinge. Following the creation of the first flap, the same process will then be performed on your other eye.
The flap is then elevated, in preparation for the Excimer laser treatment. Your doctor will position the excimer laser and ask you to focus on a red blinking light overhead. The three-dimensional tracking system and iris registration is set and the excimer laser is activated, which then begins reshaping the cornea.
You will hear the sound of the laser but you will feel nothing. Each pulse removes a microscopic layer of cornea, about one millionth of an inch per pulse. Total laser time for most patients is between 30 seconds and one minute per eye. After the laser treatment, the flap is placed back in its natural position by your doctor, not by an assistant, where it self seals. Next the second excimer laser procedure is performed on the other eye.
Corneal flap created
Laser performed on the cornea underneath flap
What to Expect After Going Home from Your Laser Eye Surgery Procedure
On the day of your procedure, you will be encouraged to go home and keep your eyes closed, take frequent naps and avoid reading, going online or watching TV. There will also be protective transparent shields gently taped over your eyes until the next morning.
For the first few nights following surgery, you will be asked to wear protective transparent shields over your eyes at bedtime; so you don’t inadvertently rub your eyes while sleeping. After surgery, you will be asked to use prescription eye drops and artificial tears. You will be encouraged to avoid rubbing your eyes. Women are instructed not to wear mascara for about 2-3 weeks to avoid disturbing the flaps. Ask our refractive counselors for alternatives to mascara. LASIK patients should avoid water sports for several weeks following the procedure to permit healing.