LASIK is short for laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis, well know as laser eye surgery or laser vision correction. This type of surgery treats myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/10/161017140554.htm).
The ophthalmologist who performs LASIK is using a laser or a microkeratome to improve the visual acuity. In the best cases, the patient will never have to wear corrective eyeglasses or contact lenses again. These are the most common eye conditions that make people from Singapore undergo LASIK:
LASIK is an effective procedure that is medically approved and in most of the cases, the patient is satisfied with the result. The ophthalmologist needs to run some examinations on the patient and to decide whether there is a possibility for LASIK and what results can be expected.
In some cases, there is no possibility of an absolute correction and the patient still needs to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses, but with a lower diopter. The global rate of satisfied patients with their LASIK results is over 95% in the last 10 years. Everyone who has some sight problems needs to visit an ophthalmologist because the large problems are harder to treat later on in life.
There are many things to know and consider before getting under the knife. In this article, we will explain how the process actually works along with other things you would want to know.
There are two stages done in LASIK eye surgery:
- The pre-operative stage
- The actual operation
Throughout the pre-operative stage, the patient is asked to stop using contact lens if they do for a certain period – usually from 7 to 14 days. The first tests of the patient’s cornea are performed to identify if there are any irregularities in corneal shape. The test is done with a computerized scanner which shots low-power lasers to form a map of the patient’s cornea.
The surgeon arranges the exact coordinates – the place of the tissue, the total amount of corneal tissue that has to be removed, etc. The patient is also required to use a mild antibiotic in order to reduce the risk of corneal infection after the surgery.
At the beginning of the operation, the patient is administered localized anesthesia, which usually comes in an eye-drop form. While there were cases where the patient is given a sedative, it is more likely for him to be awake throughout the operation.
The first incision is done with a femtosecond or a microkeratome laser and a part of the cornea at the specific place is cut. This will make the flap of the cornea to fold back to uncover the stroma, which is the cornea’s middle part. Next, the surgeon will use an excimer laser to readjust the stroma.
Different LASIK Procedures
With the popularity of this form of eye surgery, it is not surprising how more and more LASIK centers are mushrooming not only in the United States but also in many parts of the world.
While could possibly get this surgery anywhere, you have to know that every center may offer different types of LASIK operation
Let’s take a look at some of the common types of procedures being offered today.
As the name suggests, this is the traditional and the most commonly used process of performing the surgery. As mentioned earlier, this is where the flap of the cornea is cut with a microkeratome.
LASEK Eye Surgery
LASEK, short for Laser Epithelial Keratomileusis, is a type of the traditional LASIK operation. This process is done by a surgeon on a person whose cornea is too thin to go under LASIK operation. In this process, an alcohol solution is needed to remove epithelium easier. The drawback of this process is that it involves a longer recovery time in comparison with the conventional LASIK surgery method.
In this process, another laser – an IntraLase or femtosecond – is used to make the incision. This lessens the risk of side effects that may take place after LASIK that is performed using a microkeratome.
Epi-LASIK or Epithelial Laser in Situ Keratomileusis is another form of LASIK practice where the surgeon tries to combine the best of PRK, LASIK, and LASEK. Epi-LASEK hinders the complications that may take place after the LASIK surgery. On top of that, it gives the person a faster recovery period compared to LASEK or PRK.
WaveFront LASIK or Custom Wavefront
This procedure provides the patient with high precision corrections to corneal conditions. The amount of precision is a lot sharper than what is normally given the conventional LASIK. This might be due to Wavefront LASIK that uses 3D measurements of the image-processing capabilities of our eye to help the laser reposition the cornea to get rid of corneal problems.
By using this type, the patient can also improve the overall quality of his vision, when it comes to being about to see well. It allows the person one to improve his eye’s contrast sensitivity.
While it’s not easy to make a decision which type of procedure is best for you, the most important thing you need to do is to keep in mind that every procedure comes with its own advantages and is made for specific needs of patients. With the many LASIK eye centers offering different types of LASIK surgeries, make sure to consult a trusted specialist to give you a recommendation.
Frequently Asked Questions about LASIK
LASIK eye surgery can benefit a lot of people who are struggling with poor vision, that’s why this surgery has exploded throughout the last few decades to be one of the most popular elective procedures in the world.
However, before setting up an appointment, it’s important to know what to expect before, after and during LASIK surgery. Remember that having realistic expectations for any type of medical procedure is necessary.
Most reliable specialists will have a discussion with you and explain to you completely how the procedure works. Like most patients, you’ll probably have a lot of questions regarding this eye surgery. Below is a list of frequently asked questions about LASIK operation.
Am I a suitable for getting LASIK surgery?
There are a lot of factors to consider before knowing if a person is a suitable candidate for LASIK surgery. When you set your first appointment for the surgery, expect to be asked with many important questions.
Furthermore, your eye condition and medical history may play a big part as to why you are having a vision problem, and this is going to be the basis as well if you are a good candidate for the surgery. Patients with particular health complications like diabetes and autoimmune diseases, this operation is usually not recommended.
Patients that are 18 years old and younger are not allowed to go under this surgery. Some degenerative eye complication might also prohibit you from going through this surgery. The surgeon is going to make a decision derived from all of these aspects. Patients that are not good suitable for the surgery but still insist to get it performed may have a poor outcome and serious complications.
Do LASIK surgeries come with complications?
Yes. Just like most types of medical procedures, LASIK eye surgery may come with risks and complications. While most people who underwent the surgery didn’t have problems, some people had to go through them.
One of the most commonly reported cases is having poor low light vision. This may lead to glowing or halos all over lit objects during the night. Fortunately, they go away after some period of time.
Is getting LASIK eyesight correction eliminates the need for wearing corrective lenses?
Well, maybe! Most of the time, people who went through the surgery may still require to wear eyeglasses to see well. This is not to say that having a surgery is not going to improve your eyesight.
You have to keep in mind that this operation would not completely fix vision problems completely. It is only done to improve your vision. If what you want is to have 20/20 vision, then you may reconsider getting this treatment because it is unlikely to give you the result you want.
How much does LASIK surgery cost?
The cost of this surgery depends from country to country. However, the national average rate of LASIK surgery plays around $2,000 per eye. Again, this could be lower or higher depending on your location.
Does medical insurance cover LASIK surgery expenses?
Since this surgery is considered to be an elective procedure, most insurance companies don’t cover it. However, there are insurance companies that have extended eye care plans to help pay the costs of this procedure.
If your insurance policy doesn’t cover this surgery, you may want to ask your employer. There are employers who offer special rates to their employees for getting the treatment from a certain clinic.
How long does the recovery process last?
After the surgery, your doctor will likely monitor you for 24 to 48 hours to make sure that your eyes are healing properly. Most people are able to go back to work after a couple of days after the surgery – but then again, this should depend on what your doctor would advise you.
It’s going to be important to rest your eyes after surgery, so, as much as possible, rest your eyes from watching too much TV and staying in front of the computer for too long.
Is the LASIK surgery painful?
For most patients, the surgery is fast and painless. Each eye would only take a couple of minutes. As mentioned at the earlier part of this article, the eye is numbed with the use of anesthesia and patient is likely to be awake the whole time.
For patients who are uncomfortable about going through LASIK surgery, they might be given a sedative. Most patients can walk out of the surgery room when the procedure is done.
As every other surgery, LASIK also has some risks such as infections, temporary vision loss or dry eyes, but it happens very rarely, which classifies LASIK as a safe intervention with high rates of success. It’s normal for the patient to have a lot of questions about the LASIK procedure and we tried to answer some of them:
- Is LASIK surgery painful? – This procedure itself is 100% pain-free, but the patient may experience some pressure, discomfort or irritation in the next 24 hours. It’s important to remember that the results are worth that. After the LASIK intervention, the patient has great chances to get free from the contact lenses or eyeglasses. If necessary, the ophthalmologist will prescribe pain relievers.
- What does the patient need to qualify as an appropriate candidate for LASIK? – First, the patient needs to be older than 21, but there are some cases when an exception can be made. Next, the eyes should be healthy, that means no glaucoma, no cataract, no eye infections and no dry eyes. The diopter must be stable for at least one year. Pregnant women and the mothers who breastfeed need to wait until the hormones are back to the normal levels. The patients with the degenerative or autoimmune disease should avoid LASIK because their condition can postpone the healing.
- What are the chances of not having to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses after LASIK? – Every patient’s goal is avoiding the eyeglasses and contact lenses for a lifetime, but the truth is that LASIK will increase the vision quality for about 90%. It all depends on the specific case. The ophthalmologist will tell you all the possible risks and will decide how far can they go with the first LASIK intervention. LASIK results may vary from case to case. The patient may still need to wear glasses for reading or close-up seeing. It’s important to set realistic goals before the LASIK.
- Can I go blind after LASIK? – There has never been any reported case of blindness after LASIK, but there are some cases of damaged or reduced vision related to infections or improper laser positioning. That is why the patient needs to look for the best, certified and accredited clinics where LASIK is performed.
- Where can I find the best ophthalmologists that perform LASIK in Singapore? – There are over 65 clinics in Singapore that provide general eye care and the patient can make an appointment with some of the best specialists in the country. We recommend Focal Eye Centre, Titus Eye Care, Shinagawa LASIK Centre and so on. Schedule a meeting with some of the best ophthalmologists in Singapore and they will decide if there is a need for LASIK after the examination.
The health of the eyes is very important. Make an appointment today if you think that you may have some problem with your vision. There are a lot of doctors in Singapore who are experts in their field, including those ophthalmologists who are trained to perform LASIK.