Understanding Lasik

What is Refractive Error?
Having the basic knowledge of understanding refractive errors and how the eye focuses light gives the patient a better understanding of how refractive surgery improves vision. When light reaches a curved surface it bends, this process is called refraction. There are two main refractive surfaces of the eye. The cornea is the outer layer of the eye and the lens is the inner layer of the eye. Light rays enter the eye through the cornea which provides most of the focusing power of the eye. Light then travels through the lens where it is fine-tuned to focus on the retina. If light does not focus directly on the retina depending on the location of that focus, the eye will either be nearsighted, farsighted, or astigmatic. These problems are called refractive errors.

What is Refractive Surgery?
People who have refractive errors may want to consider LASIK as an alternative to wearing glasses or contacts. The LASIK procedure is able to correct refractive errors by changing the shape of the cornea which changes the way the eye focuses internally.

Lasik: Step-By-Step

Introduction to Surgery:
Just prior to the procedure the patient's eyes will be anesthetized with a few eye drops. We then lead the patient into the laser suite and place them in a relaxed position on the surgical bed. Dr. Rahmani will then adjust the bed so that the patient's eye is positioned directly underneath the laser. Then Dr. Rahmani will use an eyelid holder to keep the eye open during the brief LASIK procedure.

Suction Tool
The surgical procedure begins with Dr. Rahmani placing a suction device on the eye. The patient's vision will be blocked momentarily by the device. The purpose of the suction is to make the cornea firm enough for Dr. Rahmani to create the flap.

Creating the Flap
With the IntraLase laser, Dr. Rahmani uses the precision of a laser to create the corneal flap. The flap will allow Dr. Rahmani access to the underlying corneal tissue. The accuracy of the IntraLase laser (100 times more accurate than a blade) is unparalleled by any other technology in vision correction.

Folding the Flap Back
Once the corneal flap is made, Dr. Rahmani will then use a special instrument to gently fold back the flap. The eye is now prepared for the laser to gently re-shape the cornea.

Applying the Laser
Once the eye is prepped for the correction, the patient will be asked to stare at a fuzzy red light. The laser process is ready to begin. Based on preliminary measurements taken by Dr. Rahmani during the pre-operative examination, a sophisticated computer program controls the amount of laser pulses needed to reshape the cornea. This portion of the procedure only lasts a few minutes.

Flap Return & Smooth
Following the correction of the refractive error, Dr. Rahmani will then fold back the flap to its normal position on the cornea. Once in place, Dr. Rahmani will use a special medical sponge to smooth out any bubbles or wrinkles under the flap.

After both eyes are corrected, the patient will then be asked to sit up. At that time, Dr. Rahmani will look at the patient's eyes through a high-powered microscope to check the placement of the corneal flaps. The patient will then be taken into a quiet room where they will be given post-operative instructions. Normally patients can see immediately after the procedure.


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