LASIK surgery

What is the view of professionals abroad about the safety of the LASIK operation?


LASIK surgery is a procedure designed to alter the focusing power of the eye and to reduce or remove the need for spectacle wear. Usually, LASIK is employed for the correction of short sight, but it is also possible to make corrections for long sight.
In short-sighted people, the length of the eye is longer than in normal-sighted people, so that, effectively,the optical strength of the cornea, the curved, front window of the eye, is too strong for the eye, so that a blurred image is formed on the retina when a distant object is viewed. LASIK surgery for short sight, is designed to reduce the front curvature of the cornea so that light coming from a distant scene can be focused sharply on the retina, either without a spectacle correction, or with a spectacle correction of much lower strength than in the past.
LASIK surgery involves the initial creation of a flap of corneal tissue, using an instrument called a microkeratome. The flap is hinged in such a way as to allow the exposed, inner surface of the cornea to be re-shaped by an excimer laser. When the hinged flap of corneal tissue is restored to its original position, the the front surface of the cornea takes on the new shape determined by the internal laser surgery. As I mentioned, in a short-sighted person, the surgery will be designed to reduce corneal curvature.
Generally, in experienced hands, this is safe surgery. Rehabilitation after surgery is fairly quick, so that a person may get back to work within a few days of the procedure. The procedure is not painful to perform, because it is carried out using a suitable drop of local anaesthetic at the time of surgery. The postoperative period too, is usually fairly comfortable using appropriate therapy, and the procedure has the reputation of being more comfortable than the related procedure of photorefractive keratoplasty.
In the majority of individuals, the procedure will give the planned optical result, or a result close to that which was planned. However, in a small percentage of people the required result may not be acheived and the surgeon may advise additional surgery. In another, small percentage of patients, there may be complications from the surgery, such as an imperfectly cut flap, eccentric placement of the laser ablation, loss of the flap, infection, and so on. These complications may be serious and sight-threatening. An ophthalmologist performing such a procedure must be able to inform his or her patients of the possible risks involved so that the patient can take an informed decision before deciding to undergo surgery. You will understand from these comments that although the LASIK procedure is usually safe, it is not a trivial procedure and should not be contemplated without weighing the potential risks and benefits. It may have sight-threatening complications, and these may not be reversible.