Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Laser Eye Surgry - Before, During and After LASIK procedure

Before Surgery

If you wish to undergo laser refractive treatment you will have an initial consultation with an optometrist, counsellor or doctor; this is to determine whether or not you are a suitable candidate and also to obtain vital data. Contact lens wearers should stop wearing them before the initial consultation and use spectacles instead. This is because contact lenses affect the shape of the cornea. It is essential that your cornea is in its natural shape before the consultation. It is important for the optometrist to be able to take accurate measurements of your cornea during the consultation to allow accurate determination of your suitability for the treatment. Some of the crucial measurements are repeated before your surgery to ensure that your eyes have not changed.

* Soft contact lenses: should be removed five days before your initial assessment and suitability consultation.
* Toric soft lenses: you should stop wearing these lenses for at least two weeks before your initial assessment and suitability consultation.
* Rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses: you should stop wearing these lenses for at least four weeks before your initial assessment and suitability consultation.
* Hard lenses (non-gas permeable or PMMA): you should stop wearing these lenses for at least 12 weeks before your initial assessment and suitability consultation.

The day before surgery You should stop wearing:

* Perfumes, after shaves or colognes
* Makeup around the eye area. Mascara and eyeliner should be avoided for 2 days.
* Creams
* Lotions

Treatment day checklist

* Please bring a pair of dark sunglasses with you, as you may experience light sensitivity in the first 6-8 hours. Please don’t forget your consent form.
* You should arrange transport both to and from the clinic for the day of your treatment and the 1-day follow up visit.
* On the day of treatment you may be given medication to help you relax. This will affect your ability to drive. Additionally, as your vision may be blurred, you should arrange for someone to take you home following the treatment. Do not travel alone after treatment.
* You should expect to be at the clinic for between 1 and 2 hours. If a delay occurs you will be kept informed. Understandably the surgeon cannot rush to catch up. Your patience is appreciated during any unforeseen delay.

You should eat before you arrive at the clinic. You will probably be at the clinic for between 1 and 2 hours. If you are nervous and have not eaten this may make you feel light headed or dizzy. Therefore, we advise against attending with an empty stomach.

The LASIK procedure – During treatment

Treatment should take less than 30 minutes. You will lie on your back on a couch in the room containing the laser. The laser includes a large machine with a microscope attached to it and a computer screen. Your details will be identified by one of the ophthalmic care assistants.

A numbing drop will be applied to your eye. The area around your eye will be cleaned, and an instrument called a lid guard will be used to hold your eyelids open. A suction ring will be placed on your eye and pressures applied to create suction to the cornea. Your vision will dim while the suction ring is on and you may feel the pressure and experience minor discomfort during this part of the procedure. Your surgeon will use the microkeratome to cut a flap in your cornea.

The microkeratome and the suction ring are then removed. You will be able to see, but you will experience varying degrees of blurred vision during the rest of the procedure. The doctor will then lift the flap and fold it back on its hinge, and dry the exposed tissue.

The laser will be positioned over your eye and you will be asked to stare at a spot of light. This is not the laser. This light is to help you keep your gaze fixed once the laser comes on. When your eye is in the correct position, your surgeon will start the laser. The pulse of the laser makes a ticking sound. A computer controls the amount of laser delivered to your eye. After the pulses of laser energy vaporise the corneal tissue, the flap is gently placed back into position.

Immediately post treatment

* You will be asked to relax with your eyes closed for the first 15-20 minutes after the procedure.
* One of the ophthalmic care assistants will explain the Post-operative instructions and after care with you.
* Your surgeon or senior optometrist will check your eyes, and you will then be allowed to go home.

Some surgeons routinely use contact lenses to act as a bandage for 24-48 hours for the flap to settle and the optometrist/doctor will remove it at the first post-operative follow up.

Will I feel any pain after treatment?

Most patients experience light sensitivity post-treatment, your eyes may feel a little gritty and sore and may water continuously. It is best to sleep in a darkened room, you may take your normal pain relief, such as paracetamol, and you should also wear the eye shields provided.

How long will it last?

Most patients experience light sensitivity for the first 12-24 hours post-treatment, occasionally longer. Your sunglasses will provide relief against the light sensitivity. You may find these beneficial indoors also.

Can I take any pain relief?

Yes, you can take your normal type of pain relief, such as paracetamol.

How well will I see?

This will depend upon your original prescription. Most patients notice an immediate improvement with some meeting driving standards the following day. However, please be patient, as some prescriptions will take longer to settle than others. It is normal for vision to fluctuate for up to 1 month following treatment. Rarely, fluctuations last for longer due to variations in individual healing.

What if I have problems?

You should contact the clinic as soon as possible; you will already have emergency telephone numbers for out-of-hours

You should wait at least one week following surgery before taking part in any light exercise. This also depends on the amount of activity involved, your doctor’s instruction and how you feel.

* To help prevent infection, you may need to wait for up to two weeks after surgery or until your doctor/optometrist/counsellor advises you otherwise before using lotions, creams or makeup around the eye. Your doctor may advise you to continue to scrub your eyelashes for a period of time after surgery. You should avoid swimming and using hot tubs or whirlpools for one month.

Cheers Darran for the video


Darran said...

Intresting!! I don't know if I would ever take the plunge!

Video I found.

Yay too much eye touching!

lynchtp or Mr T said...

My Wife will no longer be four eyed as of the 8th Of Aug