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A Beginner's Guide To Understanding Laser Eye Surgery

Many are familiar with terms like LASIK and understand that surgeries can effectively tackle glaucoma and cataracts. However, the specifics of undergoing these procedures often remain unclear, leaving potential patients apprehensive about the path ahead. Preparation is key, whether the surgery is cosmetic or medically necessary. Being well-informed about what to expect during eye surgery and understanding the recovery process are crucial steps. Moreover, choosing the best hospital for laser eye surgery is equally important.  Dr. Anuj Kodnani aims to delve into LASIK, its alternatives, and safety considerations in this article while dispelling common myths surrounding refractive surgery.

What is LASIK: Types & Alternatives 

  Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) is a groundbreaking procedure in refractive surgery. The procedure aims to improve your vision and eliminate the need for glasses and lenses. Amidst various vision correction options available, LASIK often stands out as the primary choice. LASIK is highly regarded for its effectiveness, speedy recovery, and high patient satisfaction rates. The procedure involves creating a thin corneal flap and reshaping the underlying corneal tissue with an excimer laser to correct refractive errors like myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. Most patients experience minimal discomfort and rapid visual improvement, with about 90% achieving optimal visual acuity within a day post-surgery.

Types of LASIK Treatment 

Presbyond

Presbyopia, the age-related loss of near vision, can be effectively treated with LASIK. One such advanced LASIK technique is Presbyond, available at Parul Sevashram Hospital, which provides permanent correction for presbyopia and eventually removes the need for glasses or lenses.

Wavefront LASIK Eye Surgery

Wavefront technology represents the pinnacle of LASIK techniques, offering personalised vision correction tailored to individual eyes. Wavefront LASIK Vs. Standard LASIK Standard LASIK aims to replicate your glasses prescription, while Wavefront LASIK goes beyond correcting imperfections like higher-order aberrations. This customisation results in better visual outcomes and precision. The unit to measure visual correction is the Diopter. There is a greater degree of precision attained in the LASIK wavefront in comparison to standard LASIK. Wavefront-guided custom LASIK can measure visual correction to 0.01 Diopters, whereas traditional LASIK is only able to correct 0.25 Diopters. Therefore, the visual potential is better optimised in wavefront LASIK. At the Parul Laser Vision Center, the Zeiss Mel 90 Topolink wavefront system is used. This is the highest-resolution wavefront system in the world.

Alternatives To LASIK

Besides LASIK, alternative procedures cater to specific patient needs:
  • Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK): This procedure is similar to LASIK but involves surface ablation without creating a corneal flap, which is suitable for patients with thin corneas or active lifestyles.
  • Implantable contact lenses (ICLs): These are beneficial for individuals with high refractive errors or inadequate corneal thickness, offering excellent visual outcomes while reducing dependence on glasses.
  • Refractive lens exchange (RLE): This addresses presbyopia and cataracts by replacing the eye’s natural lens with a multifocal intraocular lens (IOL), providing spectacle independence for a wider age range.

Benefits of Laser Eye Surgery

Laser eye surgery offers several compelling advantages that can significantly enhance both vision and overall quality of life.

Dramatically Improved Vision

Most patients achieve at least 20/25 vision, which greatly reduces or eliminates their need for glasses or contact lenses in everyday activities.

Increased Activity and Freedom

Post-surgery, individuals enjoy greater freedom in sports, hobbies, and travel, as they no longer need to worry about the physical encumbrances and limitations imposed by corrective eyewear.

Long-Term Cost Savings

While the initial cost of laser eye surgery may seem high, it can be economically beneficial in the long run. Patients save on the recurring expenses of prescription glasses, contact lenses, and related supplies.

What To Expect After The LASIK Procedure 

Extensive research has consistently highlighted the safety and effectiveness of LASIK, making it one of the most thoroughly studied elective procedures available worldwide. The success of LASIK relies heavily on careful patient selection, comprehensive preoperative assessments, and the expertise of the surgeon. These factors work together to minimise the risk of complications and ensure excellent visual outcomes and high levels of patient satisfaction.

Temporary Complications

After LASIK surgery, it’s common to experience some temporary discomfort. One of the most frequent issues is dry eyes, which typically resolves within a few months. While rare, other complications can occur, including under-correction or overcorrection of vision and flap-related problems. These issues are generally manageable and can often be corrected through additional treatments or procedures.

Long-term Expectations

For the majority of patients, LASIK provides a long-lasting improvement in vision. Only about 5% of patients experience any significant regression of their new visual acuity. If needed, enhancements can usually be performed at no extra cost to refine the vision further. It’s important to note that as you age, you may still need reading glasses due to presbyopia, a common age-related condition. Regular screenings for other ocular diseases like glaucoma remain essential to maintain overall eye health.

Comparison with Alternative Options

While wearing glasses remains the safest method of vision correction, LASIK offers a desirable alternative for many, particularly for those who face challenges with contact lenses, such as infections or discomfort. Studies indicate that the risks associated with LASIK are often lower than those associated with long-term contact lens use, making it a compelling option for eligible candidates seeking a permanent solution to refractive errors.

Dispelling Common Misconceptions About LASIK

Stops The Eyes’ Natural Aging Process
A common misconception about LASIK is that it halts the natural ageing process of the eye. It’s important to clarify that LASIK does not prevent age-related conditions such as presbyopia or cataracts. Regular eye examinations remain crucial after undergoing refractive surgery. These check-ups help detect any age-related changes and ensure ongoing eye health, preserving the benefits of LASIK over the long term.
Any Age Group Can Opt For LASIK
LASIK and other vision correction surgeries are options for individuals aged 18 and above, primarily due to the necessity of having a stable prescription before undergoing the procedure. As people age, they may develop presbyopia, which affects near vision. Fortunately, specialised procedures, like Presbyond surgery, are designed to correct this condition, thereby enhancing near vision. These options offer older adults the opportunity to enjoy clearer vision tailored to their changing eyesight needs.
Choosing the Right Surgeon at Parul Sevashram Hospital
Choosing the right surgeon for laser eye surgery is pivotal to achieving the best outcomes. Our Laser Vision Centre is staffed with top-tier ophthalmologists who specialise in laser corrective surgeries. Here’s why considering our facility could be the best decision for your vision needs:
  • Expertise and Accreditation: Our surgeons are board-certified and have years of specialised experience in advanced laser vision correction techniques.
  • Advanced Technology: We utilise state-of-the-art laser technology that ensures precise and tailored treatment for each patient, enhancing safety and effectiveness.
  • Patient-Centric Approach: As the best hospital for LASIK eye surgery in India, at Parul Sevashram Hospital, we prioritise patient education, thorough pre-surgical evaluations, and personalised care plans to ensure optimal outcomes and satisfaction.

Conclusion

LASIK represents a significant advancement in refractive surgery, providing individuals with clear vision and freedom from corrective lenses. However, it’s essential to recognise LASIK as part of a comprehensive range of vision correction procedures. By consulting with a skilled refractive surgeon at the best hospital for laser eye surgery and undergoing thorough preoperative evaluation, patients can make informed decisions tailored to their needs, ensuring optimal visual outcomes and long-term eye health.

Written by Parul Sevashram Hospital | 20 May 2024