Laser eye surgery (Lasik)

Published: September 14, 2009

Lasik surgery, as it is called, is a procedure that only takes approximately 10 minutes per eye. It is the most modern and precise type of eye surgery to correct sight.

A surgeon begins by covering the eye to keep the area to be operated on sterile and then separates the eyelids. The surgeon then numbs the eye with special eye drops, after which the operation may begin.


Through a glass surface the eye is treated with ultra-short laser impulses in which only the most outer layer of the cornea is penetrated. The separates the eye’s outer layer tissues from each other, allowing the surgeon to pull back the outer most layer.

Once this is done, the corrective laser treatment may begin. An Excimer laser is used for this part of the procedure, which shapes the cornea in order to achieve perfect vision. It spends a maximum of 60 seconds per eye. After this procedure is done, the outermost layer of the eye is folded back to cover it. Then the same procedure is repeated on the other eye.

The process, which remains pain-free for the patient, is over in a matter of 20 to 30 minutes. The patient may have a slight burning sensation in their eyes and may be sensitive to light, however the surgeon will provide the patient with eye drops to downplay these symptoms. It is usually only a matter of hours before the patient can see properly.

Eye laser surgery is a procedure that permanently fixes vision problems in patients. The procedure, however, should only be performed on individuals above the age of 20, when the eyes have fully finished developing.

What type of sight problems may be fixed with a laser eye surgery?

  • Short-sightedness up to minus 10 diopters
  • Long-sightedness up to plus 3,5 diopters
  • Astigmatism up to 5 diopters

Patients who have other issues with their eyes, including a layer of cornea that is too thin or pupils that are too large will not be healed with this procedure.

There are generally no risks involved with this procedure, as the laser kills all forms of bacteria or irritants. The only issue that could arise is that the outer layer of skin that is folded back over maybe touched by the patient. If this happens, which occurs only in three out of one thousand patients, they must receive a further operation. The skin that is folded over will re-attach itself within two to three days.

Many patients wonder what would happen during a laser surgery on their eyes if they move involuntarily, like for example, if they needed to sneeze. This, also, is no problem. Two surgeons are usually present during this procedure that keep watch over everything. A computer, which has a so-called ‘Eye Tracking System’, controls the procedure. If there is any change, ever so slight, of the size of the pupil or the movement of the eye, it aborts the laser immediately, within one thousandth of a second. After aborting the operation, the computer is able to continue the procedure precisely where it left off.

Celebrities who have had Lasik include Brad Pitt, Tiger Woods, Kathy Griffin, Cindy Crawford and Elton John.

One Response to “Laser eye surgery (Lasik)”

  1. eliza

    10. Jan, 2011

    Just to add. Lasik surgery has its risk just like any surgery. But it’s still relatively safe.

    Reply to this comment

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