LASIK: Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis Surgery

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LASIK: Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis


LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis) is a surgical procedure that corrects vision problems by reshaping the cornea, the clear front surface of the eye. It is a type of refractive surgery, which aims to reduce or eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses. LASIK is commonly used to treat conditions such as nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism.

Principle of LASIK

The principle behind LASIK involves using a laser to create a thin flap in the cornea. This flap is then lifted up, allowing the surgeon to access the underlying corneal tissue. A specialized laser is then used to reshape the cornea, correcting the refractive error. Finally, the corneal flap is replaced, where it naturally adheres and heals.


The LASIK procedure typically involves the following steps:

  1. Preparation: Before the surgery, the patient undergoes a thorough eye examination to ensure they are a suitable candidate for LASIK.
  2. Eye Drops: Numbing eye drops are applied to anesthetize the eye.
  3. Flap Creation: A special instrument called a femtosecond laser or a microkeratome is used to create a thin, circular flap in the cornea.
  4. Laser Treatment: Excimer laser pulses are used to reshape the underlying corneal tissue, correcting the refractive error.
  5. Flap Replacement: The corneal flap is repositioned and left to heal naturally.

Advantages of LASIK

LASIK offers several advantages over traditional refractive surgeries, such as:

  • Accuracy: Lasers provide precise and consistent results.
  • Speed: The procedure is relatively quick, often taking less than 15 minutes per eye.
  • Minimal Discomfort: Numbing eye drops ensure minimal discomfort during the procedure.
  • Rapid Recovery: Vision typically improves within a few hours after surgery and stabilizes within a few weeks.
  • Long-Term Results: LASIK provides long-lasting correction, with most patients achieving stable vision for many years.

Disadvantages of LASIK

While LASIK is generally safe and effective, it does have some potential disadvantages, including:

  • Dry Eyes: LASIK can temporarily reduce tear production, leading to dry eyes.
  • Glare and Halos: Some patients may experience glare or halos around lights, especially at night.
  • Undercorrection or Overcorrection: In rare cases, the refractive error may not be completely corrected, requiring additional treatment.
  • Corneal Ectasia: This is a rare but serious complication that can lead to corneal thinning and vision loss.
  • Risk of Infection: As with any surgical procedure, there is a small risk of infection.

Eligibility for LASIK

Not everyone is eligible for LASIK. Suitable candidates typically have:

  • Stable vision for at least a year
  • No significant eye diseases or conditions
  • A healthy cornea
  • Realistic expectations for the outcome

Preoperative Preparation

Before the LASIK procedure, patients should:

  • Avoid wearing contact lenses for a few weeks.
  • Inform the surgeon about any medications they are taking.
  • Get a good night’s sleep before the surgery.

Postoperative Care

After LASIK, patients should follow the surgeon’s instructions carefully, which may include:

  • Eye Drops: Using prescribed eye drops to prevent infection and reduce inflammation.
  • Eye Patch: Wearing an eye patch or shield for a few days to protect the eye.
  • Activity Restrictions: Avoiding strenuous activities or contact sports for a week or two.
  • Regular Checkups: Scheduling regular eye exams to monitor progress and ensure a successful outcome.

Expected Outcomes

Most patients experience significant vision improvement within a few hours after LASIK. Vision typically stabilizes within a few weeks or months. The vast majority of patients achieve satisfactory results, with improved vision and reduced or eliminated dependence on glasses or contact lenses.

Alternatives to LASIK

If LASIK is not suitable for a particular patient, alternative refractive surgery options include:

  • Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK): A surface ablation procedure that does not involve creating a corneal flap.
  • Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE): A surgical procedure that replaces the natural lens with an artificial intraocular lens.


LASIK is a widely performed and effective refractive surgery that can significantly improve vision and reduce or eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses. It offers advantages such as precision, speed, minimal discomfort, and rapid recovery. However, it is important for patients to understand the potential risks and benefits before undergoing the procedure. By carefully selecting suitable candidates and following appropriate postoperative care, LASIK can provide long-lasting and life-changing improvements in vision.

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