The LASIK Procedure
The LASIK procedure, while relatively simple and painless for the patient, requires the utmost precision and absolute knowledge to be successful. Dr. Christian has helped over 2,500 people per year improve their vision with this method, making him one of the top providers of LASIK Surgery Los Angeles & Santa Monica have to offer. He has found that the best way to understand the LASIK procedure, is to first understand how the eye works.
How the eye works
The eye works much the same way as a camera lens focuses light to create an image on film. The cornea helps focus the light coming in and creates an image on the retina.
Often the shape of the cornea and eye is imperfect, causing distortions in your sight and making objects seem blurry. The imperfections of the focusing power of the eye are called refractive errors. The three primary refractive errors that LASIK can correct are:
- Myopia (nearsightedness)
- Hyperopia (farsightedness)
- Astigmatism (distortions caused by irregularities in the cornea or lens)
Each of these conditions are common to a large number of people and are easily corrected by LASIK.
How lasik works
Once you've elected to undergo LASIK with the Vanguard Eye Institute, the first step is having an eye examination to ensure you are a fully qualified LASIK candidate. Tests for glaucoma, cataracts and other disqualifying conditions. Then Dr. Christian will use a machine called a corneal topographer to take an extremely detailed and accurate photograph and electronic map of your eye. He will use this to plan the surgery for the most precise results possible.
During the surgery, Dr. Christian uses a precise surgical tool or a laser to create a thin, circular “flap” on the surface of the cornea. He will then fold back this flap to gain access to the underlying cornea. An extremely precise laser is then directed at the cornea, reshaping and changing its focusing power to sharp and clear images and perfect sight. The FDA approved this laser to be used in corrective eye procedures in 1995, and millions of people have benefited from it since. Because Dr. Christian provides his patients with some of the best LASIK surgery Los Angeles & Santa Monica have to offer, The LASIK procedure takes an average of 15 minutes per eye.
What will I experience during LASIK surgery?
We have treated thousands of patients with the LASIK procedure and understand that having eye surgery while awake can be a daunting prospect for some people. In fact, this anxiety is shared by most patients prior to surgery. Post surgery, these same patients are pleasantly surprised at how easy and painless the whole process is. To help with relaxation, patients are offered a sedative prior to surgery, as, our goal is to provide the most stress free LASIK surgery Los Angeles & Santa Monica have to offer.
Starting surgery – 30 minutes to clear vision
The surgical process of LASIK takes about 30 minutes including preparation. When you arrive, you will be comfortably settled in a reclining chair. You will notice the laser equipment as it is quite large and comprises the laser, a microscope and a computer.
To begin, Dr. Christian will apply anesthetic drops to your eyes and clean the area around your eyes. To prevent blinking a device that holds the eye lid open is attached so you won’t be tasked with keeping your eyes open. During the procedure you will be able to speak to Dr. Christian at any time. He will continuously keep you up to date on what he is doing, what he is about to do and if you should be prepared to feel pressure, etc.
Creating the corneal flap – will it hurt?
To correct your vision, the cornea (the clear surface at the front of your eye) must be adjusted and to do that, a small flap of tissue from the surface is cut and folded back to allow access to the underlying tissue. During this part of the LASIK procedure you will feel pressure on your eye, but not pain. Additionally, until the flap is replaced on your eye, your vision will darken and blur. This will only be for a brief period of time.
Once the flap has been created, it will be moved out of the way. Adjusting your eye dimensions requires you to keep your eye as still as possible and to do this you will be asked to stare at a light for up to 60 seconds. During this phase of the procedure you should also feel no pain.
The laser isn’t begun until your eye is in the exact right position. You will hear the laser working as a series of ticking sounds, and you may notice a smell. This is all part of the process of removing corneal structure and is the shortest part of the surgery. Most patients experience only pressure during this phase or very mild discomfort related to pressure.
The amount of laser energy delivered to the eye is preprogrammed into the equipment, based on the measurements that Dr. Christian takes during your pre-surgery examinations. Once the cornea has been adjusted, the flap is replaced and protective eyewear will be placed over your eyes.
Adjusting for patient movement
Sometimes patients worry that permanent damage to their vision can occur by accidentally moving while the laser is working. As Dr. Christian is one of the best providers of LASIK surgery Los Angeles has available to patients, he uses only state-of-the-art equipment. This machinery is precisely calibrated to adjust to small patient movements, and will compensate for them. By in large, accidental movement does not compromise the final result.
After LASIK surgery
Once your LASIK surgery is complete, you can be driven home to rest. Your vision will be blurry for a few days so you should arrange for a two or three day absence from work. You will possibly experience some itching or burning or feel as if there is something in your eye. Dr. Christian will provide you with complete instructions on what to do over the first few days following surgery, including managing any pain or discomfort.
Your first postoperative visit will be 24 to 48 hours after LASIK surgery. Dr. Christian will examine your eyes and test your vision. You will now be able to enjoy the vastly improved vision you were hoping for without your corrective lenses.
What are the benefits of LASIK?
- It’s proven to correct vision in most cases
- LASIK surgery is completed with little discomfort
- Vision is corrected almost immediately, usually within 24 hours
- Recovery is quick, generally with no need for bandages
- Adjustments can be made years after the LASIK surgery to further correct vision
- After LASIK, most patients no longer need corrective eyewear
Is LASIK safe?
The FDA recognizes LASIK as proven, safe and effective. The laser used is a cool (non-thermal) beam of light that is monitored by computer. The surgeon has complete control over its operation and can turn it off at any sign of trouble. There are many other safeguards involved in making sure it is a safe procedure. Although the chances of complications are slim to none, you will be under the watchful eye of top laser eye surgeon, Dr. Christian, the entire time. Studies suggest that the chances of minor difficulties such as dry eyes and nighttime glare occur in only 3-5% of patients, and serious complications occur in less than 1%. The vast majority of outcomes are 100% positive and effective.
Does LASIK hurt?
During LASIK, Dr. Christian will place anesthetic eye drops before he begins treatment. As such, patients experience little to no discomfort during the procedure. Many LASIK patients report very mild discomfort for a day or two after surgery.
Are there any side effects?
Some people experience dry eye, which is commonly relieved with eye drops and disappears over time. Others may experience “night glare” (starburst or halos around lights, especially at night). This too usually disappears over time. Fewer than 1% of LASIK patients report their vision worsening rather than improving. As with any surgical procedure, there is a certain amount of risk, but with strict safety precautions and an exceptional safety record, Dr. Christian ensures his patients are as safe as possible.
I have more questions about LASIK, who do I ask?
If you have further questions about LASIK, please call our office and ask one of our knowledgeable staff. Also, Dr. Christian will answer any and all questions at your first consultation.
Truth: LASIK surgery only affects the cornea, which is the front surface of the eye. Serious complications are very rare and no patient has ever gone blind from LASIK.
Myth: If your outcome is poor from LASIK, it’s permanent.
Truth: 95% of LASIK patients are satisfied with their outcome, but if the need arises, even years later, adjustments can be made to improve your vision further.
Myth: After a successful LASIK surgery, you will never need glasses or contact lenses again.
Truth: LASIK corrects the imperfections in the eye that create near and farsightedness and a host of other non-optimum conditions. It does not stop the natural aging process of the eye. You may eventually need glasses for specific purposes such as reading or driving at night.
Schedule a consultation
If you are interested in LASIK surgery in Los Angeles or Santa Monica, your next step is a consultation with Dr. Christian. During this time, he will perform any necessary examination to determine the best course of action to restore your eyesight. In the interest of delivering the best LASIK surgery Los Angeles & Santa Monica, Dr. Christian keeps abreast of any improvements in this technology and procedure. This means you benefit from a surgeon who has the expertise to back up his compassion for his patients. Please call our office today to schedule a consultation.