Are you considering laser eye surgery? LASIK is the most advanced type of laser eye surgery available, and it is also the type of eye surgery most commonly performed in Australia and around the world. This makes it the best choice for the vast majority of patients.

We have put together this guide to LASIK eye surgery to help you understand exactly who can have it, what the procedure involves and how quickly you can get back to normal life after surgery.

What is LASIK eye surgery?

LASIK stands for Laser In Situ Keratomileusis. It is a type of laser eye surgery that combines the most advanced vision correction techniques, making them available in a single safe and highly effective procedure.

The results are immediate, and the recovery from LASIK surgery tends to be quicker and more comfortable than from other comparable types of laser eye surgery.

What can LASIK surgery be used for?

LASIK eye surgery can be used to treat all the most common vision conditions, including:

  • Short-sightedness (myopia)
  • Long-sightedness (hyperopia)
  • Astigmatism (distorted vision resulting from a fault in the curvature of the eye)

LASIK eye surgery cannot be used for patients who have thin or irregularly shaped corneas. Other types of laser eye surgery are more appropriate in these circumstances. However, LASIK surgery is the best option for you if your corneas are of a regular shape and thickness.

What does the LASIK procedure involve?

LASIK surgery uses two precise lasers, along with 3D mapping, to produce a bespoke solution for your vision. There are no needles or sharp implements involved, and you won’t need a general anaesthetic.

Prior to your surgery, 3D scans are taken of your eyes to capture their unique refractive signatures. This enables the treatment to be tailored to correct your vision properly in each eye. Both eyes are usually treated on the same day as LASIK is a short procedure, only lasting about 20 minutes.

Before the LASIK procedure begins, you will be given eye drops to numb your eyes. You won’t feel any pain during the procedure, just a slight pressure. However, many patients are understandably nervous, so you can choose to have a mild sedative if this will make you feel more comfortable.

The LASIK procedure involves two extremely precise lasers:

  • IntraLase femtosecond laser. This uses highly advanced light pulse technology, guided by a computer, to create a thin flap of corneal tissue, allowing your surgeon to access the corneal bed.
  • Excimer laser. This laser uses ultraviolet technology to reshape your corneal bed, correcting your sight with microscopic precision.

Your surgeon will then position the flap of corneal tissue back into place, and your eye will start healing straight away without the need for any stitches.

LASIK recovery

When your LASIK procedure is finished, you will be given protective gloves, as well as two types of eye drops: antibiotics and steroids. You must bring these with you to your post-operative consultation.

You will be allowed to go home almost as soon as the procedure is finished. Your vision will be slightly blurry at first, so it is important to have someone with you.

By the day after your surgery, you will be able to return to most aspects of your normal life. However, you should wait two weeks before swimming, and not take part in any contact sports for a month.

You may need to use artificial tears to keep your eyes lubricated for about a week after surgery. You might also find that your vision fluctuates a little for the first few days. This is normal and will stabilise very quickly, leaving you with the best eyesight you have enjoyed in a very long time!

Find out more about LASIK surgery

At George Street Eye Centre, our expert team have improved the vision of hundreds of Sydney residents using LASIK eye surgery. If you would like more information, or to book a consultation, please call us on (02) 9230 0010, or contact us online. We will be happy to help.