LASIK is short for Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis. This mouthful of an acronym is the technical name for corrective eye surgery using laser to improve the vision of people who require lenses and spectacles. Ever since its development in the early 1990s, its popularity has grown several fold and it is now one of the most preferred options for treating eye disorders.
The questions asked most often are who can go in for such surgery? Exactly what does laser eye surgery involve?
LASIK or Laser eye surgery is a surgical procedure during which the shape of the cornea is permanently changed. (The cornea is the transparent front part of the eye that covers the iris and the pupil). This is done by the use of a laser. The surgeon reshapes the cornea in such a way as to correct the refractive error because of which the eye is unable to focus on objects and thereby improves the vision. Simply put, LASIK surgery involves cutting a flap in the top layer of the eye and folding it back so that a laser can reshape the surface of the eye. After this is done, the flap is put back and the eye is left to heal.
According to Delhi based independent medical practitioner Dr. Arpanaa Kumar, “LASIK or Laser eye surgery is usually performed on patients above the age of twenty one. This is because eyes in teenagers and children keep changing until their growth is complete. So, LASIK surgery should only be performed on individuals whose eyes have stabilised.” She continues, “Before prescribing LASIK, it is important to see that the eyes are healthy and that the patient does not have any contraindications to make LASIK unsuitable for them. Conditions like glaucoma, corneas that are too thin or steep or severely dry eyes can be contraindications.” Pregnant women, too, are advised not to opt for LASIK.
The surgery itself does not take very long. It is not painful because you’re under local anaesthesia, and the entire procedure takes about fifteen to thirty minutes.
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