- Laser eye surgery involves precise reshaping of the cornea to correct focus using an excimer laser guided by information from pre-operative tests. These tests include detailed optical maps of your eye from wavefront scans and corneal topography. Procedures are normally performed consecutively to both eyes on the same day.
- This is the most commonly performed laser eye treatment. For LASIK two different types of laser are used. First, a femtosecond laser creates a thin protective layer by tracing a 3D pattern of tiny gas bubbles through the corneal tissue. This hinged layer is lifted back by the surgeon before an excimer laser reshapes the cornea to correct focus. The protective flap is then replaced to complete the procedure.
- After approximately 3-6 hours the surface cell layer heals around the edge of the flap and sight begins to improve. By the day after surgery, most people are able to see well enough to work and drive a car.
Surface laser treatment (LASEK and TransPRK)
Surface laser treatments are performed directly beneath the clear skin layer of the cornea (the corneal epithelium), which is removed by the laser (TransPRK) or the surgeon (LASEK) before laser reshaping to correct vision. Visual recovery is slower than for LASIK because it takes the skin layer a few days to grow back and a few weeks to smooth off optically. Surface laser treatments are often the best option for patients with thinner corneas.
Once the surface cell layer has healed the vision starts to improve, and typically reaches the driving standard one to four weeks after surgery, depending upon the prescription treated. Most patients require a week off work after surgery.