Lasik Referrals and Co-Management
Lasik refractive surgery has been an innovation to our industry. Its popularity is still very strong and patients inquire about their candidacy frequently in our practice. Although the surgery is rather simple and so many thousands of patients have had it, it cannot be taken for granted. As primary care optometrists it is our role to choose the best surgeon for our patients and make the referral that will give them the best overall results. Furthermore, it is essential to carefully manage the healing of our patients post-operatively and communicate these findings with the surgical centre.
Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis -is the most common refractive eye surgery today. LASIK, often referred to as laser eye surgery or laser vision correction, is a type of refractive surgery for the correction of myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. LASIK surgery is performed by an ophthalmologist who uses a laser or microkeratome to reshape the eye’s cornea in order to improve visual acuity. For most patients, LASIK provides a permanent alternative to eyeglasses or contact lenses.
LASIK is the premier surgery for vision correction. It is quick, almost painless and there is little or no discomfort after the procedure. Vision recovery is rapid – patients report seeing 20/20 within 24 hours. LASIK corrects nearsightedness, farsightedness and even astigmatism. With a technique called mono-vision, it can reduce the need for reading glasses among patients over age 40 who wear bifocals.
Who Are The Optimal LASIK Candidates?
The best candidate for LASIK is age 18+, has healthy eyes with adequate corneal thickness. This is necessary because LASIK procedure removes tissue from the cornea to reshape the eye.
Chronic dry eye, corneal disease or other abnormalities may disqualify a candidate from LASIK surgery. A comprehensive eye exam is required to be sure.
For your convenience, we are happy to provide LASIK pre-operative exams and consultations at our office. Note that LASIK is an elective procedure and proper consideration must include the weight of personal needs, potential gain and willingness to accept the risks involved. There are no guarantees that LASIK will absolutely succeed to your expectations.
The results are not always perfect vision. In some cases, your vision after LASIK may be permanently less clear than it was with glasses before LASIK. This outcome must be factored before deciding on LASIK surgery.
Certainly there is upside. In normal circumstances and conditions LASIK can reduce your dependence on glasses and almost always gives you the ability to function well without the need for glasses or contact lenses.
Specifics of The LASIK Procedure
LASIK is an ambulatory, two-step procedure. You walk into the surgery center, have the procedure, and walk out about an hour later. The surgery event is about 15 minutes for both eyes, but allowances should accommodate for about at the surgery location, perhaps even a bit more.
First, the surgeon creates a thin, hinged flap of tissue on your cornea with an instrument called a microkeratome, or laser. This flap is folded back so the laser reshaping of your eye can begin. After laser treatment, which lasts a minute or less, the flap is repositioned and the surgeon proceeds to your other eye.
After The Surgery
Following the LASIK procedure, you will use medicated eye drops and clear protective shields to cover your eyes. You can open your eyes and see well enough to walk without glasses, but you must not drive yourself home.
You will use medicated eye drops several times a day for a week or more to prevent infection and help the healing. You may also use artificial tears to keep your eyes moist and comfortable. You should rest your eyes as much as possible the day of your surgery. You may find it more comfortable leaving the house lights on low dim.
Postoperative care may be performed by an eye doctor other than your LASIK surgeon. This is referred to as co-management. We are happy to provide post-operative care for you at our office through a co-management agreement with your surgeon. Ask us for further details.
What If My Vision Is Blurry After LASIK?
Though most patients see clearly within a day or so after LASIK, it can take several months before your eyes completely stabilize. Until then, improvements in your vision can still occur in fits and jumps. If several months pass and your vision is still blurred, be sure to communicate and visit with your LASIK surgeon. It may be appropriate to have a second LASIK surgery -an enhancement- to sharpen your eyesight further. If an enhancement is not required, eyeglasses or contact lenses may be used to help. We will be happy to examine your eyes and discuss the options available to you.
After LASIK Eyewear
Even if your vision seems perfect after LASIK, you may still require or be more comfortable with eyewear.
When outdoors, it’s optimal and sometimes urgent to protect your eyes from the sun’s strong and sometimes harmful rays. Use sunglasses that provide 100% UV protection. For sports-sunglasses, the lenses need to have poly-carbonate for extra strength and protection. Anytime you work with power tools or do any activity where eye injury is possible, be sure to use safety glasses with poly-carbonate lenses.
If you’re over 40 (or close), it’s likely you’ll need reading glasses after LASIK. Many LASIK patients benefit from prescription eyeglasses for night driving. Even a mild prescription will make your vision sharper for added safety and comfort at night.
After LASIK Eye Care At Dueck Optometry
Remember to continue to schedule routine eye exams post – LASIK. Even with perfect vision you still need to have your eyes examined for glaucoma and other potential problems on a regular basis. Routine exams will help insure that your vision remains stable after LASIK.